MISSISSAUGA, ON -- The Canadian Celiac Association, Fondation québécoise de la maladie coeliaque, and Gluten-Free Food Program Inc. have joined forces to create and promote the new industry standard for the celiac community.
Also read, Cheerios Goes Gluten-free.
The Gluten-Free Food Program Inc. (GFFPI) is pleased to announce the launch of its GF-Smart, GF-Verified and GF-Dedicated programs for the food service and hospitality industry. The Gluten Free Food Program (GFFP) has been developed with the endorsements from the Canadian Celiac Association (CCA) and Québec-based Fondation québécoise de la maladie coeliaque (FQMC); Canada's two authoritative voices for those living gluten-free. This program will serve to improve the dining-out options for those suffering from a gluten-related medical disorder, by arming the food service and hospitality sector with standardized professional training, management systems and best practices.
Over 2.5 million Canadians are affected by gluten and need a consistent hospitality sector standard. Operators serving food on a commercial basis may choose or be required to provide a gluten-free menu option. The GFFPI has developed professional standards to serve the gluten-free population, including restaurants, caterers, camps, hotels, convention centers, healthcare and educational institutions, cafés, and fast food outlets.
"Gluten-free diners are looking for dining options that are safe," says Anne Wraggett, CCA President. "They often fear eating out due to negative past experiences and lack of consistency throughout the hospitality sector, increasing the risks of consuming gluten accidentally. Our members will be excited to visit and support these outlets."
Although the term gluten-free is widely used in the food service and hospitality sector, it is often misunderstood, unpredictably executed, and thus an unreliable assurance of a safe dining experience. Until now, a national training standard that the industry in Canada could turn to has not been available. Now, and as part of their professional advancement, food handlers can learn about the importance of proper food handling and avoid accidental contamination of gluten-free food. For food service and hospitality operators, GF-Smart functions as a strategic business partner by standardizing food handler training, thereby improving customer service, fostering staff engagement and reducing the risk of negative publicity for those establishments who employ GF-Smart trained staff.
The Canadian Society for Nutrition Management (CSNM), the national association representing Food and Nutrition Managers across Canada, has adopted GF-Smart as part of their member curriculum. Dave Lebert, CSNM Continuing Education Chair, says "Gluten-free diets, procurement of safe food for these special diets, and, most critical, the teaching and providing direction to our staff who work with gluten-free clients, are among the many facets of responsibilities of which our members endure on a daily basis. We are thrilled to partner with GFFP to offer the GF-Smart program to our members, and even more excited to include this course as part of CSNM's Continuing Education program, worth one Continuing Education (CE) credit for our members."
GF-Verified and GF-Dedicated standards have been created to ensure a consistent approach to internal management systems. From the purchase of ingredients, food storage, preparation, cooking, service, and delivery of gluten-free meals, GF-Verified denotes an establishment that provides both regular and gluten-free meals. GF-Dedicated indicates that all meals provided within the establishment are gluten free.
Our logos for the GF-Verified and GF-Dedicated programs will be displayed to indicate to the gluten-free community that an establishment has achieved the GFFP standards and in doing so has been externally audited by an independent auditor.
SOURCE Gluten Free Food Program Inc
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