National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) to Host Consumer Educational Session on Cross-Contamination in Restaurants

July 23, 2012

National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) to Host Consumer Educational Session on Cross-Contamination in Restaurants

Panel of industry experts will address concerns submitted directly from gluten-free diners.

On Thursday, August 16, 2012, the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) will host an educational session on the topic of cross contamination and gluten exposure in restaurants – a concern that often makes celiac and non-celiac gluten sensitive consumers think twice before dining out.

In preparation for this session, NFCA invited individuals with gluten-related disorders to share their thoughts and concerns about gluten-free dining through a form on* After reviewing the responses, NFCA staff identified several resonating themes:

  • Gluten-free diners tend to trust “gluten-free” labels on restaurant menus, even when the restaurant may not have undergone any formal foodservice training.
  • Gluten-free diners are wary of disclaimers indicating that despite best practices, a “gluten-free” dish may still remain at risk for cross-contamination.
  • Gluten-free diners know there is a risk of gluten exposure in restaurants, but are unsure of the role they can play in protecting their health.
  • Gluten-free diners base much of their comfort (or lack of comfort) on the attitude and knowledge of the front-of-house staff.

NFCA will address these themes and other concerns in the upcoming educational session, which will feature a panel of third party industry experts, including both foodservice and healthcare professionals. The session will be presented online and will focus on three core goals: education, empowerment and advocacy, which are the cornerstones of NFCA’s mission. The session is expected to run 60 minutes, with an additional 15 minutes for Q&A.

Session highlights include:

  • Identifying the three areas where cross-contamination can occur (case studies included)
  • The role of disclaimers and how to interpret those warnings
  • 5 questions to ask every restaurant
  • How to make your comment or complaint most effective

The expert panelists are:

  • Ken Schelper, Vice President of Davanni’s; Board of Directors for Minnesota Restaurant Association
  • Amy Jones, MS, RD, LD, Chief Clinical Dietitian and Celiac Support Group Facilitator, Mary Rutan Hospital
  • Pam Cureton, RD, LDN, Clinical and Research Dietitian, Center for Celiac Research, University of Maryland

For more information: See the event listing on

To register: Visit the registration page

*Thank you to those who sent in their comments and concerns. NFCA Staff was impressed with the amount of feedback submitted and we are grateful for the community’s willingness to share their experiences.