Is Gluten Intolerance Having an Impact on the Foodservice Industry?

25 Jan 23

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past few years, you will have noticed the swift rise in awareness surrounding gluten-intolerance, and like us, you may find yourself wondering what kind of impact this is having on the foodservice industry.

It is estimated that at least 1 in 100 people in the UK and Europe are sensitive or intolerant to gluten; and this must undoubtedly have a knock-on effect on the foodservice industry, as although foodservice establishments are not required to cater for these needs, most establishment owners understand the importance of doing so.

Pubs, restaurants, takeaways and other foodservice establishments can adapt to these changing circumstances and demands in various ways; for example expanding menu offerings to ensure those requiring gluten-free food aren’t limited, and extra training for staff to ensure that they can properly prepare high quality gluten-free food, and are aware of the measures that need to be taken to avoid cross-contamination.

However, the questions on our lips are as follows; does catering for the needs of those with allergies or intolerances to gluten mean that you need to re-work your commercial kitchen? Should you be doubling up on some of your equipment to prevent cross contamination, or will a regular and thorough cleaning regimen suffice?

It’s safe to say that in order to cater for those with any sort of intolerance to gluten, a commercial kitchen does not need to be ‘copied and pasted’, as most commercial catering equipment can be sufficiently cleaned between uses. Nonetheless, it is worth considering that some equipment may need to be duplicated. For example, for equipment such as fryers it would be extremely difficult to avoid using separate equipment, as the fryer’s oil would need to be filtered/cleaned each time you switch between cooking gluten-containing and gluten-free food.

Furthermore, it may be necessary to look at changing certain preparation equipment such as mixers, as a lot of standard mixers aren’t sufficiently equipped to handle gluten-free doughs and batters, as they tend to require a lot more care and attention.

Luckily, at Middleby UK we have an extensive range of commercial kitchen equipment, to meet the ever-changing and growing demands of consumers. Get in touch with our fantastic sales team today, to discuss expanding or re-working your kitchen to cater for those with gluten intolerances and allergies, here.