Education for food service staff members

Katarina Mollo MEd, RDN, LDN
Q: I am at dietitian who works for a food service company. Do you have education for staff members regarding celiac disease and/or gluten-free diets? It's being needed more and more in a lot of our communities, and proper education would be beneficial for staff members.

Answer


There are several resources that would be helpful to you and your staff to understand both celiac disease and meal preparation for gluten-free diets.

Food Service Training:

We recently did a two-part training webinar for the National Resource Center on Nutrition & Aging including Meals on Wheels America on celiac disease and how to prepare gluten-free meals. The aim was to increase awareness and knowledge for food service staff serving seniors in various environments, the meal prep guidelines would be applicable and useful for most food service environments. This two-part training webinar can be accessed for free here.

Also, check out our downloadable Gluten-Free Meal Preparation Guidelines for Food Services.

There are also official training and certification options available through the Gluten-Free Food Program’s Certification for Food Service Establishments. Here is a summary of their program:

“GFFP gluten-free certification for food service establishments is a voluntary program developed by industry specialists with standards founded on globally accepted, preventative gluten-free safety approaches for the safe development and serving of gluten-free menu items.

GFFP provides gluten-free standards, best-in-class conformance specifications and GF-Smart Training designed specifically for the food service industry. GFFP benefits a wide range of businesses including restaurants, fast food outlets, cafes, schools and universities, seniors’ residences and hospitals as well as caterers, remote camps, executive dining rooms, hotels and convention centers. Implementation of the GFFP’s Standards increases consumer confidence that gluten-free food handling procedures have been reviewed by a neutral party and confirms a sincere commitment to the gluten-free diner.”

Celiac Disease and the Gluten-Free Diet:

For general information about celiac disease and the gluten-free diet I would recommend checking out our free course Going Gluten Free: Off to a Fresh Start, it gives a very good overview of celiac disease, other gluten-related conditions and the gluten-free diet.

This course covers:

  • Celiac Disease (CD) & Other Gluten-Related Conditions - Symptoms, complications, diagnosis, treatment
  • The Gluten-Free (GF) Diet - Foods allowed/not allowed, oats, hidden sources of gluten, reading labels and product research
  • Lifestyle Changes - Emotional challenges, sharing a kitchen, eating out, traveling
  • Support & Resources - NCA resources, web links.

Finally, for a good snapshot overview of celiac disease and the gluten-free diet download our Quick Facts brochure.

Links to Resources:

Free Food Service Webinar Training:

https://nutritionandagingresourcehub.org/toolkit-preparing-gluten-free-senior-meals-parts-1-2/

GF Meal Preparation Guidelines for Food Services:

https://nationalceliac.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/GF-Meal-Prep-Food-Service.pdf

Gluten-Free Food Program Certification for Food Service: Establishments:

https://glutenfreefoodprogram.com/gluten-free-certification-food-service/

Going Gluten-Free: Off to a Fresh Start:

https://nationalceliac.org/going-gluten-free-off-to-a-fresh-start/

Quick Facts About Celiac Disease & Related Conditions:

https://nationalceliac.org/resources/what-is-celiac-disease-2/

Note: This information is provided by NCA and Katarina Mollo MEd, RDN, LDN, NCA's Director of Education. This information is meant for educational purposes only and is not intended to substitute for personalized medical advice or replace any medical advice provided directly to you by your health care provider. No liability is assumed by the NCA or Katarina Mollo, MEd, RDN, LDN by providing this information.

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