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Victoria University's Residence Dining Halls Receive New Zealand's First Gluten-Free Celiac Certification

New Zealand's Victoria University receives the country's first gluten-free, celiac certification for its dining halls


Photo: CC--Gruyere

Celiac.com 11/29/2017 - Wellington's Victoria University is the first institution of its kind in New Zealand to receive a full Celiac accreditation for its residence dining halls.

Under a new partnership between Coeliac NZ and Compass, the company that provides food and support services to the six residence Halls at Victoria, the university achieved gluten-free accreditation through independent auditing company SGS in August 2017.

Compass caters to resident university students with a range of food allergies and intolerances. The company already has a robust allergen management system in place, but wanted to do more to improve their gluten management practices. As part of its Dining Out program, Coeliac NZ helped Compass to further sharpen their focus on gluten management.

"Providing safe food for residents is essential for [student] wellbeing and the success of their studies. The program has given us added confidence around managing safe gluten-free food service throughout our kitchens and dining halls," says Compass Group Dietitian Margaret Thorson.

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As part of the program, the entire Compass team, everyone from dietitians and site managers, to front-of-house workers, conducted an intensive review of entire process of gluten-free food preparation and practices.This included delivery, storage, food preparation, cleaning, service and communication. Compass staff also completed the Coeliac NZ online training focusing on gluten management.

Coeliac New Zealand General Manager, Dana Alexander, says the organization is incredibly proud of the work done with Compass to offer safe gluten-free dining at Victoria University Halls of Residence, which helps take away one of the biggest challenges for people living with coeliac disease – eating meals they haven't prepared themselves.

"Our Dining Out Programme provides the food service industry with the knowledge and skills to prepare safe gluten-free food, free from the risk of cross-contamination via utensils or food-prep surfaces. They can confidently tell customers they're delivering a reliably excellent gluten-free dining experience," she says.

Read more at: scoop.co.nz 

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