Coeliac Awareness Week

May 10, 2010

From the 10th to the 16th of May it is Coeliac UK’s Coeliac Awareness Week. This year’s event has a different focus to previous years as UK laws around gluten-free labelling have recently changed and may impact the ability of coeliac sufferers to identify gluten-free foods when eating out.

The new law states that foods must contain less than 20 parts gluten per million to be sold as gluten-free. This will be near impossible for restaurants and caterers to achieve meaning that few menu items will continue to be labelled as gluten-free. Coeliac UK are using this Awareness Week to voice the concerns of coeliac sufferers about how this new law will impact their dining habits.

If you have coeliac disease or follow a gluten-free diet please spread the word about gluten-free eating this week. This may be with the chef at a local restaurant or your staff cafe at work, or by hosting a gluten-free event with friends.

Coeliac UK are also gathering evidence of eating out gluten-free. If you have any examples of great restaurants in the UK that make the effort to provide GF dishes make sure you enter Coeliac UK’s competition. The prize is a weekend at a National Trust cottage.

You can also sign Coeliac UK’s petition to the FSA “to ask the FSA to recognise the need for easy and simple signposting on menus and open dialogue with caterers to identify which foods are suitable for people on a gluten-free diet”.

If you live in the UK, I implore you to take part in some of the activities of this Awareness Week. Please consider signing the petition too. Losing gluten-free labelling on menus would be very sad for everyone in the UK who follows a gluten-free diet and already finds it an uphill battle to find adequately labelled food when dining outside their homes.


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