There are so many healthy eating options available these days, however one person’s dietary choice can be a complete necessity for another.
Deciding to follow a vegetarian, pescatarian or vegan diet is generally down a well-informed choice, but gluten and dairy free diets can be due to allergy intolerances and have quite serious consequences if cross contamination occurs.
We have offered a range of gluten free cakes along side our normal range for over 5 years. I am pleased to report that we have never had any issues. This is down to our production methods. Many packed ingredients can state ‘not suitable for wheat intolerances due to our production methods’. To be honest, I do find my self then questioning what their production methods are to be so vague, but they are merely covering themselves against a possible risk of cross contamination.
Crumblicious HQ was an empty commercial unit when I took it on in February 2016. There was no kitchen, so the design was done to meet the needs of the business, this included a separate area for our gluten free baking, with its own designated storage for all the gluten free ingredients well away from those containing gluten to minimise any possible risk of cross contamination.
All our staff undergo allergen training and inhouse training for our baking methods. This includes the use of multipurpose ingredients, like sugar, have a new packet for gluten free baking. This may then be used after in the normal production area but may not return. All our gluten free cakes are baked in the top of our ovens, and generally in our left-hand oven unless we are extremely busy. We have a separate mixer that is only used for gluten free baking. The cakes are also cooled and packaged separately. I have assessed every area of possible contamination to reduce the risks to as minimal as possible, the only thing we can’t prevent is air born dust, but this is as much a risk within our premises as it is everywhere else.
The side effects that can occur if you are a coeliac are unpleasant. The demand for gluten free products is continuing to be increasing in demand, just look at the growing ‘free from’ isles in the supermarkets, but the quality and variety still frustrate many, with the price of gluten free flour more than triple that of standard flours it also makes it a costly intolerance.
We have found that being transparent about our production methods allows our gluten free customers to make and educated and confident decision, which is reflected by the continued increase in our sales of gluten free cakes and cake boxes available at www.crumblicious.co.uk/shop.
For more information about Coeliac and Gluten Free diets visit: www.coeliac.org.uk