Monday, April 20, 2009

How to Tell if a "Gluten-Free Menu" is Truly Gluten-Free By William T. Beverly, Ph.D.

First, it is important for me to acknowledge the efforts of Food Service People. For one, I am very grateful for their sincere attempts at constructively addressing the important consumer need -- "Gluten-Free".

As a person with Celiac Disease who spent many years (about 20) working in food service, prior to just as many years in higher education, I have closely examined "Gluten-Free" Menus whenever I have been afforded the opportunity. Following a brief period of wonder and gratitude, I could not help but start to notice the potential for misunderstandings that can lead to big problems.

By all means, please keep the "Gluten-Free" Menus. But at the same time, please consider these areas that may call for closer attention.

I can see for myself the various ways in which a food-service menu item advertised as "Gluten-Free" by well-meaning food-service planners and menu designers could be slightly altered by well-meaning restaurant staff to become Gluten-Contaminated.

Then I started thinking about how (given my experience) such maladies could fall between the cracks and become tragedies for both unsuspecting Celiac Disease or otherwise Gluten-Sensitive persons as well as for well-meaning restaurateurs.

I have constructed a list which if used wisely, can help both consumers and sincere food-service persons to rule out sources of potential Gluten Contamination in the best of "Gluten-Free Menu" -offering food-service establishments. Please feel free to print this list and offer a copy to the managers of your favorite dining establishments. And if anyone needs further clarification or could use some more focused help with this, I will be glad to accommodate. My contact information is at the bottom of the list.

In additional pages of this blog, I offer various things to consider and look out for when creating Gluten-Free menus.

For additional information, please feel free to browse my other related pages at G-F, G-F S at Wordpress, and the G-F S IQ Building Site.

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