With many Australians going gluten-free for lifestyle or allergy reasons, customers now expect gluten-free options as a choice on all menus. By not offering gluten-free meal options, there is a risk of alienating a large portion of your customer base.
Offering gluten-free meal options comes with further responsibilities in the cooking process, for example using a fryer that has also been used to cook a flour battered product could risk cross-contamination.
So what exactly do you need to do to prepare your kitchen for cooking gluten-free products? We’ve outlined what we see as the most important points below.
1. The first step is to replace common gluten ingredients with alternatives to cater to these customers. Here are some easy switches for kitchen staples.
Regular flour – cornflour
Pasta – rice
Bread – corn tortillas
Bread crumbs – cornflour and gluten-free potato chips
2. Identify the gluten-containing ingredients in your kitchen and isolate them. It is also important to separate items in your storage and walk-ins to make sure there is no cross-contamination.
3. Dedicate a section on your line only to gluten-free food preparation. That way, your line cooks can prepare gluten-free items without worrying about cross-contamination.
4. Dedicate equipment to be used for gluten-free menu items and keep the kitchen sanitized at all times.
5. Educate and train staff on the procedures in place and the dangers of gluten contamination.