Catering to the needs of customers who require gluten free dishes is a necessity for any busy restaurant. While it may seem daunting at first, by being informed and outlining kitchen rules for preparation of gluten free dishes in your establishment, you will be able to provide options for this growing demographic of customers with gluten free dietary needs.
Gluten can show up in some pretty unexpected places. Before serving prepackaged foods (on their own or in a recipe) thoroughly review to ensure they do not contain gluten. When a product contains gluten, clearly mark the ingredient in a uniform manner. Train cooking staff to recognize which ingredients contain gluten and to clearly communicate when they are included in a dish. Some unexpected items to review which may contain gluten are:
Meat and Fish Pastes
Spices (particularly curry powders)
Last, but certainly not least, when it comes to identifying gluten ingredients, know that wheat free does not mean gluten free. Wheat free foods may still contain ingredients objectionable to gluten free diets. Review all wheat free items closely to see if they still contain gluten.
Betsy Craig brings 20 years of food service industry experience to MenuTrinfo, LLC a menu nutritional labeling Company. Her commitment to the betterment of the food industry and her desire to affect the dining public are the driving forces behind her new company Kitchens with Confidence, LLC.