Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Dear Chef, Is This Gluten-Free?

To Whom It May Concern,

I don't know why for over 17 years I still have to ask this question, "Is this gluten-free?" The truth is, we all do, because contamination exists everywhere despite the trending growth of gluten-free food products, restaurants and bakeries adapting the concept, but not the kitchen safety pre-cautions. Further, I've seen many menus and website on the front page claiming that you are "gluten-free" but you make products in a contaminated facility with a wheat partner... so how is this a valid gluten-free claim?

Let's end the question, "Is this gluten-free" and all get on the same page on what it is to be gluten-free and not kinda gluten-free.

It's important as a respectable culinary leader that you have a reputable establishment that understands food process, ingredients and good service to make a living. In order to have a gluten-free establishment and make gluten-free claims all staff and consumers should trust that (A) all ingredients must be sourced gluten-free (B) no contamination exists in the prep and baking process or delivery of said gluten-free product to the end consumer ... or you are losing credibility in this world as an expert and a business establishment.  The public trusts very easily, regardless of the level of intolerance, if you can't support the simplicity of this  claim then you're unable to produce a safe product and the phrase can't exist on your menu, online or on your label respectively.

Do you test each batch for <5ppm gluten (CSA) or <20 ppm (FDA) to ensure it's gluten-free? If so, please share these results and be more transparent with your consumers and your promises with third party or home ELISA testing procedures to build a trustworthy company.

If not, you should know better that you're simply not gluten-free and that you can't claim, promise, tease or mention "gluten-free" anywhere in your company mission statement or advertising... as your'e product is not gluten-free and Celiacs and other gluten sensitive consumers indeed will get sick. Regardless if someone is on a bandwagon gluten-free diet, which doesn't make any real sense (simply because contaminated gluten at any ppm level is still gluten in the body) resulting in obvious symptoms or internal atrophy and auto-immune issues despite the gluten source and/or diagnosis.

Protect yourself and consumers and please be much more socially responsible for the growth of the gluten-free movement and from a potential lawsuit. Immediately remove all mentions or implications that you're offering a safe, gluten-free product. This applies to any restaurant, bakery, food or beverage. Know the facts and contribute to the world in a positive manner.

Thank you,
+Craig F

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