Gluten free fish and chips on the menu
Article Date: 2018-05-14
Being able to cater for someone with coeliac disease or gluten intolerance attracts many customers and has a real profit potential. As coeliac disease affects 1 in 100 people in the UK, research shows that people with the condition and the family and friends they eat out with are worth a potential £100 million to the industry. Whether you are producing gluten free fish and chips already and not actively promoting your offer, or if you need to make minor adjustments to your ingredients and processes, it is worth the time and investment in the long run. Catering gluten free doesn’t have to be difficult, but you need to understand the basics of the law, how to manage cross contamination and have good control over your ingredients.
We know from research with our members that people will travel significant distances to get gluten free fish and chips and it is one of the most missed foods following diagnosis.
A number of fish and chip businesses around the UK have gained Coeliac UK’s GF accreditation and are seeing the benefits of the scheme.
How to serve gluten free successfully
The term ‘gluten free’ is covered by the law and can only be used for food which has 20 parts per million (ppm) or less of gluten. If you are labelling gluten free, you need to have controls in place to ensure your dishes meet this standard but with the right training and procedures it may not be as difficult as you think. Coeliac UK can provide advice and guidance on how to achieve the necessary standards and the GF accreditation provides customers with the confidence that you understand what is needed to serve safe gluten free food.
Here are some top tips for providing gluten free fish and chips:
- Separate, clean oil should be used to fry chips and/or gluten free battered fish (filtering oil alone is not enough). Consider having a separate fryer for a dedicated ‘gluten free night’ on the day that the chip fryers are cleaned and fresh oil is used.
- Use separate tongs and/or serving utensils to serve chips and gluten free products to prevent contamination.
- Check the labels on other foods that you serve as they may also be suitable for a gluten free diet – sausages, tomato ketchup, sauces, baked beans, salad dressings etc.
- Gluten free batter mixes are available. Make sure all gluten free batter/mixes and all other gluten free foods are clearly labelled to avoid confusion.
- Make sure you use clean mixing equipment before preparing gluten free batter to make sure wheat flour does not contaminate the gluten free batter.
- Salt and vinegar are gluten free. Barley malt vinegar is produced from barley, however the processing involved removes the barley protein. This makes it suitable for someone with coeliac disease. They will still have to be labelled as containing barley in the ingredients list.
What is coeliac disease?
Coeliac disease is a lifelong autoimmune disease caused by the immune system reacting to gluten. When someone with coeliac disease eats foods that contain gluten, it damages the gut and prevents the absorption of nutrients from food leading to a range of symptoms including anaemia, bloating, diarrhoea, nausea and constipation. The only treatment is a strict gluten free diet.
Coeliac UK is the national charity supporting people with coeliac disease and the experts in gluten free and is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year. They provide training and accreditation for the catering industry. More information can be found at www.coeliac.org.uk/catering. Please contact Anne Maloney on 01494 796726 for more information on GF accreditation and catering training.
Exclusive NFFF Reader Offer
Complete our online training course for just £25+VAT (usually £35+VAT) or contact us to discuss our accreditation scheme which includes free online training. Offer available until end July, 2018.
Visit www.glutenfreetraining.org, click through to the private sector and quote code NFFFMAY2018 when registering