While in New York recently, as mentioned in previous posts, we were super excited to see that some of the restaurants we visited were participants in the Gluten Free Restaurant Awareness Program. Each restaurant that was a participant in this program had a standard sticker for their menu and windows to indicate that they are members/participants in this program. We had multiple conversations during our trip and we both agreed that something like this would be awesome if available and instated in Edmonton and other cities.
Based on information found on the gluten free restaurant awareness program website:
The Gluten-Free Restaurant Awareness Program (GFRAP) facilitates a relationship between individuals with celiac disease and other forms of gluten intolerance, and restaurants. The relationship builds a win-win opportunity for restaurants to provide service to people following a gluten-free diet, and to gain increased patronage. Participating restaurants are able to provide gluten-free meals from their regular meals. GFRAP is a program of the Gluten Intolerance Group of North America.
Participating GFRAP restaurants enthusiastically welcome gluten-free diners. On this site you will find links, directions and other valuable information about each participating GFRAP restaurant.
By working together, using consistent guidelines and listing participating restaurants on one website, we are creating a growing network that allows those following a gluten-free diet to socialize and travel with more confidence in dining away from home.
If you look at the bottom of the page you will see the copyright information and notice that this program was "originally a program developed by Westchester Celiac Sprue Support Group (NY)". While I do not want to put us (and other bloggers out there) out of commission, I think that it would be great if there were an organized program such as this one available for restaurants to participate in and for those with celiac as well.
Everyone enjoys eating out in restaurants. No one wants to have to eat at home all the time and potentially miss out on the social aspect associated with eating in a restaurant. So....wouldn't it be awesome if there were a program similar to this one to help?
A program like this could help further raise awareness about gluten free eating, cross contamination and the simple fact that there are many of us out there who, just like everyone else, need to feel safe when eating out in restaurants. Such a program offers a little more piece of mind to both the restaurant as well as the patron because there is more teaching and learning around how to prepare foods that are safe for those of us with celiac.
Gluten Free Edmonton - A Celiac guide and resource for gluten free information in Edmonton, Alberta