Gluten-free offerings have increased in demand in recent years. Some consumers have embraced gluten-free or gluten-reduced diets because they believe it’s beneficial to their health. However, there is a segment of the population that suffers from a serious autoimmune disorder known as celiac disease, a condition that can cause severe damage to the small intestine if gluten is consumed. People with severe cases of celiac disease must take extra precautions when dining out. Many food distribution companies are working to increase the number of gluten-free items they offer in an effort to accommodate customers with gluten sensitivities.

For restaurants and catering companies committed to offering more gluten-free dishes, choosing the right food service company is crucial. There is a huge difference between gluten-reduced foods and those that are truly gluten-free. A trustworthy vendor will have standards set in place to ensure that an item not only contains no trace amounts of gluten but was never at risk of exposure to gluten during processing. A food vendor that is experienced in providing truly gluten-free options should be able to explain how they safeguard their products against cross-contamination. If your vendor can’t make such guarantees, you have no way of ensuring that your dish is truly gluten-free.

It’s important that kitchen staff is trained to segregate gluten-free foods upon delivery to avoid any cross-contamination. Gluten-free supplies should have a dedicated space within a kitchen and should be clearly labeled. Keep in mind that your vendor may offer both gluten-free and non-gluten-free selections for the same item. If your kitchen orders both varieties, it’s important that the two are stored in different places. Precautions should also be taken by kitchen staff to avoid cross-contamination by setting aside pans, cutting boards, and other tools specifically designated for cooking gluten-free meals. For a customer with a severe case of celiac disease, even the smallest trace of gluten can be detrimental to their health.

Having a reputation for offering quality gluten-free options can give you a major advantage over your competitors. With a strong set of best practices for product sourcing and handling supplies, you can serve your gluten-free dishes with confidence. Source1 Purchasing has partnered with a number of trusted suppliers of gluten-free and gluten-reduced foods. Connecting with our network of quality food distributors and other vendors can help you optimize your supply chain while cutting your overall costs.

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