The national charity for people with coeliac disease is hosting a briefing event this afternoon and is set to launch a training package with specific guidelines for the catering sector on how to comply with the laws affecting gluten claims from the Food Standards Agency (FSA).
“Coeliac UK is passionate about working with the hospitality industry,” said Sarah Sleet, chief executive of the charity. “Catering gluten-free isn’t as hard as you might think.
“Businesses are already managing hazards and safeguarding their customers’ health, and controlling the use of gluten-free ingredients to ensure you can provide meals for people with coeliac disease is a small step beyond what is already being achieved.
“It is worth the effort and mutually beneficial to both the customer and the business.”
This afternoon’s briefing, entitled ‘From Legislation to Liberation’, is taking place at the Royal College of Physicians in London. New technical standards associated with the term gluten-free will be covered, along with a new way of signposting foods that are made with ingredients that don’t contain gluten.
Other topics that will be brought up during the briefing include the presentation of findings from a research project carried out in 2011, to establish the levels of gluten in food then being sold as gluten-free – research which was crucial in assessing the gap for training in compliance with the new law, and a panel session with key speakers and leaders in the industry.
Coeliac UK’s new catering training package is called ‘Accessing the gluten-free pound: Preparing food for people with coeliac disease.’ The training comprises of online, face-to-face and tailored information, along with a range of tools to help support the industry in training their staff which is a crucial part of maintaining the standards needed to consistently deliver gluten-free.
Coeliac disease is an autoimmune disease caused by intolerance to gluten which affects one in 100 people in the UK. There is no cure and no medication and the only treatment is a strict gluten-free diet for life.
To help raise more awareness, Coeliac UK is holding a campaign in May called the Gluten-free Challenge, asking the nation to pledge support and do at least one thing gluten-free during awareness week, which takes place between 14-20 May.
The Coeliac UK briefing takes place from 2pm – 4.30pm. Further information on the event, the new gluten-free lawa and the new training package can be found at www.coeliac.org.uk.