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Majority of Restaurateurs and Chefs Fail Basic Celiac Test
Celiac.com 07/02/2012 - Dismal results on a simple, four-question quiz show that most chefs and restaurateurs lack the most fundamental knowledge of gluten-free facts and protocols; a reality that could leave many gluten-free diners at risk of gluten contamination.
The quiz was administrated at the National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago by the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA), a non-profit organization that promotes awareness of celiac disease and gluten sensitivity.
Even though a large number of chefs and restaurateurs said they offered gluten-free options at their restaurants, less than 4 percent responded correctly to the gluten questionnaire.
People with celiac disease or gluten-intolerance must avoid gluten from wheat, rye and barley, but fewer than half of the chefs could name a grain, other than wheat, that contained harmful gluten.
The results showed that the chefs were both poorly informed, and unaware, said Alice Bast, founder and president of NFCA.
In addition to asking chefs to name all three grains that trigger a reaction in people with celiac disease, the quiz asked what kind of oats are safe for those people. There were two other questions, one that asked chefs to identify a possible gluten-containing product (Worchestershire sauce) from a short list of foods and products, and another that asked if it was true that celiac disease was triggered by glucose (false).
The results point to the need for more celiac disease and gluten-sensitivity training and awareness in the food industry, especially since the number of establishments seeking to offer gluten-free options for their patrons continues to grow.
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Jefferson Adams is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. His poems, essays and photographs have appeared in Antioch Review, Blue Mesa Review, CALIBAN, Hayden's Ferry Review, Huffington Post, the Mississippi Review, and Slate among others.
He is a member of both the National Writers Union, the International Federation of Journalists, and covers San Francisco Health News for Examiner.com.View all articles by Jefferson Adams