Gluten Free?….No problem!
The words Gluten Free have become popular within the Fish and Chip industry with more and more shops & restaurants offering gluten free fish & chips to make sure no-one has to miss out on the nations number 1 dish.
Gluten is a protein that is found in the cereals wheat, barley and rye. Coeliac disease (pronounced see-liac) is a life-long disease caused by the immune system reacting to Gluten. If a Coeliac disease sufferer eats gluten, their immune system reacts by damaging the lining of the small intestine. There is no cure for Coeliac disease, the only treatment is to stick to a gluten free diet for life.
You would expect Fish & Chips to be one to avoid with products being battered, breaded and cooked in the same oil however many Fish & Chip shop & restaurant owners are making the national dish available as a gluten free option. This isn’t as simple as it sounds. It is in fact a very big responsibility for the business owners and staff to ensure everything is done correctly, after all, it is their customers health at risk!
Every business offering gluten free food must make sure that pans are cleaned thoroughly or some businesses choose to fry in a completely separate pan. Separate clean oil needs to be used to fry chips and/or gluten free battered fish. Mixing equipment must be thoroughly cleaned before using gluten free mixes to make sure that wheat flour does not contaminate the gluten free batter. Hot boxes storing standard product must not be draining over the pan where gluten free product is cooking. Separate tongs/serving equipment need to be used to avoid contamination. Food needs to be landed and drained in a gluten free area. Staff need to be trained to ensure that they follow all of the relevant guidelines thoroughly. So as you can see, there is a lot of work involved. Coeliac UK offer training courses to provide owners and staff with the knowledge they require.
Despite all of the actions that need to be undertaken, more and more fish & chip shops and restaurants now offer gluten free Fish & Chips and with Coeliac UK being an Associate Member of the National Federation of Fish Friers (NFFF), there is plenty of help and support on offer for the industry. You can find more details at www.coeliac.org.uk
There are a few online guides to finding gluten free fish & chips for Coeliac sufferers. The NFFF offer a list www.federationoffishfriers.co.uk/gluten-free-directory and also Friars pride www.friarspride.com/gluten-free-map
We know, as a leading range manufacturer, we are producing frying ranges with gluten free pans more than ever before and it’s great to see our wonderful industry putting the health of their customers first and not letting anyone miss out on the nations favourite dish of Fish & Chips.