Food & Drink International - Fall 2017 - 15

gluten-free dining

What to Consider When
Offering GF Options
Planning GF menus begins with an
assessment of the GF status of all
ingredients that will be used in the
dish. Many food products have enlisted the services of a third-party
GF certification program, which will
display its certification symbol on the
food packaging. However, it is important to remember that once packaging is opened, a GF food product
is exposed to the risk of cross-contamination. As a result, in addition
to establishing that all ingredients
are GF, precautions need to be taken
when preparing, storing and serving
GF foods to avoid the potential for
cross-contamination.
Food service establishments can
enlist the help of a third-party GF certification organization in reviewing
their practices. Certification of the
food service is obtained through a
process that involves walking through
the food service facility to identify
the changes that are needed to avoid
the risk of cross-contamination when
offering gluten-free meals. Working
with a third-party certification program will give confidence to GF diners and develop loyalty with them.
Many of the steps that ensure GF
safety are very simple, such as not
storing gluten-exposed pans above
those used for gluten-free preparations. Cross-contamination can also
occur if gluten-containing and gluten-free preparations are both made
using certain utensils (such as pizza
cutters, graters, ice cream scoops,
etc.), even if those utensils have been

washed, because they are hard to fully clean in a manner that ensures no
food particles remain on the utensil.
A restaurant serving GF options will
also need to conduct ongoing staff
training on how to properly prepare,
handle and serve food to prevent
cross-contamination. A third-party
certification organization can help
with this training, as well.
Additionally, the food service staff
needs to know how to accurately an-

pass all aspects of the procurement,
processing and delivery of the GF
foods. Finally, worker hygiene as well
as production and storage area sanitation practices play a critical role in
minimizing the potential for contamination of GF foods.
Ensuring GF best practices is not
an impossible task - it is comprised
of simple steps regarding food placement and kitchen procedures that may
not have been considered previously.

"Planning GF menus begins with an assessment of the GF status of all ingredients
that will be used in the dish." - Lindsey Yeakle
swer guest questions about GF menu
items. Menu items are either GF according to the FDA, or even more
stringent standards, or they are not
GF. Diners deserve to know that a
restaurant's food will be safe for them
to eat. Wait staff need to take customer GF inquiries seriously and answer
them correctly.

The Big Picture
Overall, there are three main principles that every restaurant or foodservice establishment should follow
when offering GF menu items. The
first is to adopt the mindset that preventing food safety hazards is better
than relying on corrective actions after a problem has occurred. Secondly,
the food service needs to recognize
that preventing food contamination
requires safety measures that encom-

Observing best practices and safely
putting GF options on the menu can
be well worth the effort for a foodservice establishment.
The gluten-free community tends
to be very vocal and will spread the
word if they find a new dining option
that they like and know is safe for
them. As a result, offering GF options
can represent a relatively easy, lowcost way for a food service to gain
more business.
Lindsey Yeakle is the Gluten-Free Food
Service (GFFS) Quality Control Manager for the
Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG). As a trained
chef diagnosed with celiac disease, Yeakle left
her personal chef business to follow her true
passion of ensuring those with celiac can safely
and confidently eat at restaurants. GFFS has
been a recognized leader in the gluten-free
community for more than 20 years. For more
information, visit www.gffoodservice.org.
food & drink international * fall 2017 * www.fooddrink-magazine.com

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Food & Drink International - Fall 2017

Contents
Food & Drink International - Fall 2017 - Cover1
Food & Drink International - Fall 2017 - Cover2
Food & Drink International - Fall 2017 - 1
Food & Drink International - Fall 2017 - Contents
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Food & Drink International - Fall 2017 - Cover3
Food & Drink International - Fall 2017 - Cover4
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/fd_vol19_issue4a
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/fd_vol19_issue3
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/fd_vol19_issue3b
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http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/businessmedia/fd_2010winterspring
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