A recent study by the New England Celiac Organization (NECO), found that many students with celiac disease would not recommend their college due to the fact that they found it hard to find genuinely gluten-free food on campus.
So that we are all on the same page, celiac disease is an intestinal disease that often causes abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, fatigue, even joint pain. It is often triggered by consuming food with gluten in it.
Some of the reasons why the students may be unable to find truly gluten-free food offerings on campus include:
Cross contamination. In this case, we are not talking about germs or bacteria, but gluten, which may be found on cooking utensils and cooking equipment. Food items intended to be gluten-free may become contaminated through utensils used in their preparation that have come in contact with gluten.
Untrained staff. Some food service workers in school cafeterias were not adequately trained as to what gluten is, the health risks it poses for those on a gluten-free diet, and how to ensure gluten does not find its way into food items directly or inadvertently.
No food analysis. Technologies or systems used to determine if gluten is in a food item served to students may be complicated or cumbersome to use, may not be available in the cafeteria or food service outlets preparing food, or simply may not be accurate or dependable.
This last point, as we will discuss later, is critical. In some cases, menus or labels on food items note they are “gluten-free” but later testing found that not to be the case.
So how can this be rectified? How can college campuses assure students with celiac disease that the gluten-free food they are eating is indeed free of gluten? By implementing the following suggestions, campus food service operations can offer truly gluten-free food options:
1.Expert training. It is usually best to have a third-party training program. In some cases, this may involve bringing nutritionists into the school or food manufacturing facility. But very often this can be accomplished using training videos developed by food experts. These training videos should be designed to identify how severe celiac disease can be; to teach staff to recognize ingredients that may contain gluten; and to address other topics such as how to prevent cross contamination during food preparation.
2.Savvy purchasing. An excellent way to ensure food items are gluten-free is by selecting ingredients labeled as such. However, this requires being very food savvy. For instance, oats are inherently gluten-free, but may become contaminated with gluten during harvesting, transport, or processing. Don’t assume a food item is gluten-free; check the label to be sure.
3.Gluten-free for everyone. Some school chefs and nutritionists suggest that the easiest way to ensure food items are gluten-free is to serve gluten-free items to everyone. In some schools, those students asking for gluten-free food items feel singled out, requiring special treatment. Having everything gluten-free eliminates this problem.
4.Select a recipe analysis system. Kitchen automation systems such as DayMark’s menu management system powered by Nutritics can quickly, easily, inexpensively, and dependably analyze recipes to ensure they are truly gluten-free. Some of these systems can perform a complete nutrition analysis of food items and also help food staff identify any of the FDA's eight major allergens as well as gluten.
Find out more about our menu management system by clicking here.
Unless you are—or have been—a competition bodybuilder, you may not know what it’s like to get the physical appearance and degree of muscularity necessary to compete in a bodybuilding contest, especially during the two to three months before the show. Along with the daily ritual of resistance training and cardiovascular exercises, many competitors start “manipulating hydration,” as it is referred [...]
The 2018 budget recently passed by Congress calls for increasing the size of the military by about 26,000 people by October 2019, and up to 53,000 by 2023. However, increasing it by more than 50,000 troopers may prove more difficult than many suspect—and for a surprising reason.The problem is that there are just too many overweight—if not obese—people in [...]
In 2017, when it was announced that Amazon.com had purchased Whole Foods, many believed it would revolutionize the grocery store industry, ultimately benefiting the consumer. While few experts are willing to question the business savvy of Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon.com and now the wealthiest person in the world, some are saying the move may not pay [...]
Ask the DayMark Expert: What is the best system to use for developing menus and gathering nutritional data?
When it comes to systems that help prepare menus and provide nutritional data, you have many factors to consider and many options to select from. Our expert, Jill Carte, Category Manager of Kitchen Automation, answers this question in today’s post.Industry. The first thing we need to know is what industry you are in, such as sports, health care, food [...]
According to a survey taken by ABC Radio and released on March 28, 2018, only about 27 percent of Americans get behind a stove every day to cook a meal. And while many do go out to restaurants, most are having restaurants, grocery stores, and other types of food outlets deliver food to them.Convenient? Yes. Fast and friendly? [...]
DayMark Safety Systems has developed a new kitchen automation system designed to transform the way restaurants, quick-service retailers and non-commercial kitchens safely prepare the food they serve consumers.“These platforms help operators run their businesses more efficiently and safely,” says Jill Carte, Category Manager of Kitchen Automation for DayMark. DayMark’s solution is totally secure, server-independent and eliminates concerns presented by traditional [...]
Often the first thing – and many times the only thing – consumers look at when reading a food label is how many calories the item has. This is a disservice to the many other items listed on the label. It can be just as important, and many times more important, to also know the amount of [...]
A study released by Rural Healthy People 2020 finds that rural communities in the United States are facing far more significant health challenges today than when the organization was first formedRural Healthy People focuses on the healthcare needs of those living considerable distances from towns or metropolitan areas as well as many miles from hospitals or medical facilities of any kind. And the [...]
If you check the label on virtually any food item, you’re going to see the RACC at the very top. RACC is an acronym developed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and it stands for Reference Amount Customarily Consumed.Usually, on the food label it is listed as “servings per container.” But how do they determine the servings per [...]