Restaurants that serve gluten-free dishes have a tremendous responsibility in the kitchen. They must commit to safe food handling practices to prevent cross contamination in their plates. Cross contamination can lead to small amounts of gluten finding their way into a gluten-free dish. This is a disastrous scenario for customers with celiac disease, who will experience painful symptoms for weeks if they consume gluten. Cross contaminating gluten-free dishes will damage your restaurant’s reputation and likely lead to a decrease in sales.
To prevent this, restaurants must be diligent as they train employees on proper food preparation techniques. The high turnover rate within the restaurant industry forces restaurants to constantly train new employees on these practices. Some operators are not willing to invest the time and labor to thoroughly train new employees. While proper training takes some additional time, it is a much better option than potentially serving your customers cross contaminated food.
FSR Magazine highlighted several strategies that will help your restaurant efficiently train employees on preparing gluten-free meals:
- Have a new employee shadow an experienced employee as they prepare a gluten-free dish. This will show them the necessary steps as well as display the importance of separating kitchen equipment used for gluten-free foods.
- Create written documentation of proper handling procedures for gluten-free food preparation. If an experienced employee leaves, your kitchen will still have a collection of knowledge that can be a useful reference for new employees.
- Obtain certification from a third-party source. This is extremely useful for gluten-free food handling, which is not included in HACCP. These third-party companies can help review safe food preparation steps and create written instructions for your staff.
Implementing these tips will promote proper food handling throughout your kitchen. This will lead to satisfied customers and a strong reputation as a safe provider of gluten-free food.
For more information about how to safely serve gluten-free meals, please read on at FSR Magazine.