National Culinary Review highlights GREAT Foodservice Training Program
Ambler, PA (July 28th, 2009)- The National Culinary Review features the Gluten-Free Resource Education Awareness Training (GREAT) program developed by the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) in its August 2009 issue.
In an article entitled, ‘Can Gluten-Free Heat Up Your Business’, culinary writer Ginny Marcin looks at the rapidly growing gluten-free market fueled by the increasing number of Americans diagnosed with celiac disease.
Quoted in ‘Can Gluten-Free Heat Up Your Business’ is NFCA Director of Education and gluten-free industry expert Nancy Baker, who sees tremendous opportunity for those in the industry who have the ability to accommodate those on a gluten-free diet safely.
“When there’s a person with special dietary needs in the group, the group goes where that person can eat happily. So a single gluten-free diner can bring a whole table of new business.”
Three million Americans suffer from celiac disease and an additional 10 million people live diagnosed with gluten-intolerance. The dietary needs of this exponentially growing community have driven the expansion and development of the gluten-free food market, which is expected to reach $2.6 billion by 2012.
Both Baker and Marcin recommend foodservice industry professionals seek educational resources such as NFCA’s GREAT program, which can assist chefs and restaurants in learning vital protocols and best practices about gluten-free food preparation that increase both staff and customer confidence.
Baker says it’s easier to respond to the celiac market than some people might think. “It’s not a matter of having a complete gluten-free menu,” she says. “It’s a matter of having options. “
Launched by NFCA in 2008, the GREAT program addresses the entire spectrum of preparing and serving gluten-free foods. GREAT offers a systematic approach to using gluten-free ingredients and preventing cross-contamination that will allow kitchens to serve gluten-free diners. The GREAT program trains chefs and kitchens, and equips restaurants and other food service establishments with the knowledge and training to create and develop gluten-free menus.
The multi-media GREAT program includes teaching manuals, online lessons, a web-based examination, an instructional bilingual DVD, and tailored presentation materials used in house to educate all kitchen staff members at every level of the organization. GREAT is a credentialed that provides continuing education credits for members of the American Culinary Federation and the American Dietetic Association.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune digestive disease that damages the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food. It is triggered by consumption of the protein called gluten, which is found in wheat, barley and rye. Left untreated, people with celiac disease can develop further complications such as other autoimmune diseases, osteoporosis, thyroid disease, and some cancers.
The National Institute of Health estimates that 1 in 133 people in the United States have celiac disease, but an astounding 95% live undiagnosed. The only known treatment for celiac disease is a life long adherence to a gluten- free diet.
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