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Foodie Friday: "I'm always looking out for gluten free places to eat!"

Friday, April 28, 2017

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Today at Kafoodle we are celebrating Allergy Awareness Week: an important 7 days where individuals up and down the country work together to help raise awareness of what living with an allergy is really like. The cause aims to shed light on the needs and experiences of those affected, whilst delivering crucial and potentially life saving information to the wider community. Naturally, this is something that we are wholeheartedly behind, and cannot stress enough how important providing food transparency and safe dining is, particularly for allergy sufferers.

We thought this would be a great time for us to start sharing some of the personal experiences that we hear about at Kafoodle, so are launching a weekly interview series with fellow foodies affected by allergies, food intolerance, and other specific dietary requirements. We hope that in doing so, we can provide some crucial insight into how these diners may perceive eating out; an important concern that those involved in the food industry need to consider.So, to kick things off we would like to introduce Jess to you. Jess is a 26 year old Speech and Language therapy student who lives in Leeds and, at the age of 24, she discovered she had Coeliac Disease.Coeliac disease is a common digestive disorder where the small intestine becomes inflamed and is unable to absorb nutrients. This is caused by an adverse reaction to gluten, which is a dietary protein found in wheat, barley and rye.Under the FIR legislation it is mandated that Gluten should be listed and highlighted on a food product or menu as an allergen. Although this is a great step in the right direction, issues and mistakes can still (and do!) occur.There’s some great information available from the NHS about Coeliac disease which you can access here. When we caught up with Jess, who is ‘always on the lookout for gluten free places to eat!’, she was kind enough to share her thoughts and opinions on how the hospitality sector could improve their response to allergen compliance, and how a safer dining experience for those affected could be implemented.Over to you, Jess…

How many times a week do you eat out and roughly how much do you spend?I roughly eat out about once a week. It is normally an evening meal and I would spend around £20 - £30. What foods can you not eat or wish to avoid?I have coeliac disease so I cannot eat any food that contains gluten or any food that has not been prepared safely away from other foods that do contain gluten. How do you decide where to eat?If I am not going to one of my usual restaurants that I know, I look up the menu online and normally ring ahead to discuss if the restaurant can accommodate my needs or not. What would make eating out easier for you and allow you to #eatwithconfidence?If every restaurant trained their staff so that all staff knew what was on their allergen menu. It can often feel as though a waiter/waitress is telling me that something is gluten free without being 100% sure because they are in a rush and want to move onto the next table. Increased awareness of coeliac disease and the risk of cross contamination among chefs/waiters/waitresses would be great. Often a waiter/waitress will tell me a dish is gluten free but then I find out it is cooked in the same pan as something that does contain gluten and I therefore can't eat it. If all restaurants put their allergen menu online and described how they minimise cross contamination on their website. This would save a lot of phone calls before I eat out and hassle when ordering. Tell us your favourite restaurant?Niche on Rosebery Ave in Islington, London. Everything on the menu is gluten free so there is no worry about being given the wrong dish or a dish containing a hidden gluten containing ingredient. All the dishes are so tasty and the staff are lovely and very knowledgeable about their menu.Kafoodle's software works to help people like Jess #eatwithconfidence.Our cloud-based kitchen management system connects chefs to the customer and everyone else in between. We ensure that all parties can successfully and compliantly access the nutritional and allergen information of your menu.You can find out more about what Kafoodle can do for you here or by contacting us directly at: info@kafoodle.com or on 020 3371 0450We'd love to hear from you!

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