Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Celiac Awareness Month Starts Tomorrow

Pierre training for a cycling race in June.
He is an Athlete For Awareness.
Celiac Awareness Month starts tomorrow and we are ready to spread the word!!

Ultimately, it is up to you to look out for you and your loved ones.  Education is our greatest tool for leading a truly gluten free lifestyle. 

So, go ahead and take the time to do the research.  If it means calling the company of a gluten free product, go ahead and do so.  Yes, I have stopped in the middle of the supermarket to make a call to a company while holding a "gluten free" product.  I ask a few key questions while doing my own research to make sure my loved ones are eating truly safe, gluten free food.

Here are a few questions that I like to ask:

1. Is your product certified gluten free?
2. If so, how is it certified?
3. What part per million (ppm) does your company test for?
4. Is the product manufactured in a gluten free facility?
5. Is the product made on shared equipment with other products?

Do you like to eat out on occasion but you're unsure if a restaurant's gluten free menu is truly gluten free?

Here are a few questions that I like to ask restaurants:

1. Have they completed The National Foundation For Celiac Awareness's GREAT Kitchens Course and, if so, have they have achieved "GREAT Kitchens Status?"

2. What is the brand name of the gluten free item?  For example, they're using a gluten free bread or gluten free pasta in a meal, is the particular item certified gluten free?

3. How do you prevent cross contamination in your kitchen with gluten containing ingredients versus gluten free ingredients?

4. Does the restaurant have a separate gluten free area in their kitchen such as a dedicated gluten free prep area, a gluten free toaster, gluten free fryer, etc?

5. Does the establishment have airborne gluten containing flour in their kitchen daily?  If so, is this area or room sealed off from where the gluten free menu items are prepared?  This is a huge question to ask as flour can remain airborne within a room for 24-plus hours. 

If you take the time to educate yourself, your friends, and your loved ones, you can live an amazing gluten free lifestyle. Stay optimistic!  There are many fabulous options to incorporate into your everyday life.

For more information about Celiac Awareness Month, please visit The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness website: celiaccentral.org.

Happy Research!  Happy Education!  Happy Celiac Awareness Month!

Warmest Regards & Happy Cooking,

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