The Validated Gluten Free Safe Spot logo stands for
the independent verification of quality, integrity, and
purity of restaurants and businesses serving gluten-free
food. Our validation is designed to establish trust with
gluten-free patrons in the ability of a restaurant or facility
to provide a safe gluten-free food.
11 Jul 2022
OVER THE PAST 10 YEARS, the availability of gluten-free products has skyrocketed due to people adopting this diet for health and lifestyle reasons. According to our research at Gluten Intolerance Group, an estimated 23 percent of U.S. adult shoppers reported gluten avoidance in their households, although only 1 percent of the population has celiac disease and only about half of these have been diagnosed. In addition, up to 13 percent of the population may have non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS). With this percentage of consumers wanting gluten-free options, it should come as no surprise that from senior living communities to university dining halls, most foodservice programs have recognized the need for gluten-free options and now offer at least some appropriate menu items.
17 Dec 2021
While labor and supply chain issues from COVID-19 have slowed recovery for many businesses, restaurants are returning to standard operations in hopes of bringing business back to normal, and the upcoming holiday season provides a perfect opportunity to do this. One strategy for attracting more business is for restaurants that already offer safe, gluten-free dishes to find creative ways to showcase their expertise in preparing gluten-free dishes to attract new customers and turn them into loyal patrons year-round.
27 May 2021
Lindsey Yeakle is the Gluten-Free Food Service (GFFS) Program Manager, Food Safety, for the nonprofit Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG). Yeakle has a culinary history working at 4-star and 4-diamond rated restaurants. A celiac disease diagnosis encouraged her to attend culinary school at Indiana University of Pennsylvania Academy of Culinary Arts. In June 2016, Yeakle decided to use her background and education to help the gluten-free community by working with GIG.
26 Mar 2021
Ask restaurateurs which foods contain gluten, and most will probably point to the usual suspects—pasta, bread, and other ingredients containing wheat, barley or rye. However, even seasoned professionals can miss gluten in common ingredients that appear to be gluten-free, either because a gluten-containing source is added to improve consistency or texture, or because of cross-contact during preparation. Restaurateurs can head off potential problems by knowing which ingredients are likely to contain unexpected sources of gluten and following best practices for preparing gluten-free dishes.
22 Mar 2021
With the increasing interest in nutrition over the past few years, it’s no surprise that more and more people are examining the effects that their diets have on their health and well-being. This current trend has made dining in senior living communities one of the top items on the checklist for older adults when choosing their new home, especially as coronavirus-related restrictions in communities loosen up.
Today’s senior living residents care about what they eat and want to ensure that, wherever they choose to live, they are able to follow a specific diet or eating pattern that include options such as vegetarian, vegan, lactose-free, gluten-free and others. Operators are being challenged to do more in the way of customized dining. The top providers in the industry are setting themselves apart with broader menu options that focus on these nutrition choices.
04 Nov 2020
Gluten-free desserts can boost your check averages and turn your pizza restaurant into a local mecca for consumers with celiac disease and related issues.
By Lindsey Yeakle, Gluten-Free Food Service (GFFS) Program Manager, Food Safety
For the estimated 3 million Americans with celiac disease and their loved ones, finding restaurants that serve gluten-free desserts can feel like searching for a needle in the proverbial haystack. As the restaurant industry continues to grapple with the economic fallout from COVID-19, gluten-free diners represent an underserved market for desserts, especially with the holidays right around the corner.
08 Oct 2020
THE RECENT SLOWDOWN IN DINE-IN MAKES THIS A GOOD TIME TO REVAMP YOUR MENU TO INCLUDE GLUTEN-FREE OPTIONS.
OCTOBER 2020 LINDSEY YEAKLE AND LAURA K. ALLRED
With COVID-19 continuing to impact retail operations, restaurants are looking for creative ways to remain financially viable. Adding menu items to serve populations with dietary restrictions is just one strategy restaurants can use to add new revenue streams. For diners who have adopted a gluten-free diet, eating at a restaurant that has introduced gluten-free dishes can provide some much-needed variety after months of shelter-at-home orders. While serving the gluten-free market can increase sales, restaurants must nevertheless take care to source ingredients properly and take the appropriate precautions in preparing gluten-free dishes.
13 Aug 2020
Due to COVID-19, students with celiac disease or gluten sensitivities may rely more on campus dining. Here's a look at dining program initiatives that will help keep them safe.
By: Lindsey Yeakle | August 11, 2020
While the COVID-19 pandemic remains an issue across the country, most universities able to resume in-person classes have already made appropriate arrangements for their dining halls. Apart from determining seating arrangements and related social distancing and hygiene concerns, special attention might also be in order for students who require a gluten-free (GF) diet.
24 Jun 2020
Cornering the Gluten-Free Pizza Market
Are you considering adding gluten-free pizza to your menu? Already offering gluten alternatives but wondering if you’re serving everything correctly? If a diner with celiac disease sent a salad with croutons back to the kitchen, would your staff know what to do? Questions like these are common for restaurants who want in on the growing gluten-free market but aren’t sure how to safely prepare and serve dishes without gluten.
10 Jun 2020
Beyond Pizza: Adding Delicious Gluten-free Italian Dishes to Your Menu
With outbreaks of COVID-19 on the rise again in many states and many restaurants struggling to reopen, food takeout and delivery are more popular than ever, and pizza is a perennial favorite. However, pizza isn’t always the best option for people with gluten sensitivity, and even the most dedicated pizza fan wants a change of pace every now and then. Fortunately, pizzerias have a lot of options when it comes to serving gluten-free Italian food, provided they use the right ingredients and follow best practices to avoid cross-contamination.
04 May 2020
5 Ways to Serve Gluten-Free Customers During COVID-19
With COVID-19 making delivery and curbside pickup often the only way to connect with customers, restaurant operators must continue to do everything in their power to enhance loyalty with all customers, including those with dietary restrictions such as celiac disease and non-celiac gluten intolerance. However, the desire to tap into the demand for gluten-free dishes is often accompanied by trepidation over whether the foodservice can safely meet the needs of patrons wanting gluten-free options in an economically viable and safe way.
01 Nov 2019
4 Tips for Serving a Gluten-Free Holiday Menu
As October gives way to November and peppermint mochas replace pumpkin spice lattes, the holiday season gets into full swing. This is the time of year when thoughts turn to favorite seasonal dishes and meals with loved ones. However, people with celiac disease and other forms of gluten sensitivity often struggle to find gluten-free dishes that serve up festive holiday flavors, particularly at Thanksgiving when pies, dressing, and gravy thickened with flour rule the day.
09 Oct 2019
Gluten-Free Dining Comes of Age: Meeting Demand in a Changing Market
When the FDA released its standard for gluten-free food products in 2013, it ushered in a golden age for gluten-free eating. Consumers looking to lose weight or emulate their favorite celebrity adopted the diet as a lifestyle choice, joining the more than three million Americans who eat gluten-free out of medical necessity.
01 Oct 2019
How to Keep Your Gluten-Free Pizza Truly Gluten-Free
From its Neopolitan origins, pizza has become a true slice of Americana, offering friends and family a chance to share savory pies topped with sauce, cheese and a head-spinning array of toppings. While traditional pies feature unleavened wheat, more pizzerias are offering gluten-free pizza options to meet growing demand. According to one estimate, approximately 3.1 million Americans have cut gluten from their diet out of medical necessity or as part of a healthy lifestyle.
01 Aug 2019
How to Deliver a Safe Gluten-Free Dining Experience
Finding experienced, talented restaurant staff is a tall order in the best of times, but today’s tight job market makes finding reliable help particularly challenging. For restaurants that offer gluten-free dishes—an important option in Italian concepts especially—high turnover and vacancies can place added pressure on management, who must ensure that even inexperienced employees follow safe food-handling procedures.
02 Jan 2019
Offering Gluten-free Options - A Differentiator for Senior Living Communities
With dining listed as one of the most important experiences for older adults living in senior living communities, paying close attention to dietary restrictions often can be a differentiator when it comes to potential residents and families choosing a community that best meets the needs of the older adult.
24 Nov 2018
Earn Lasting Loyalty from College Students by Offering Gluten-free Options
Each fall, the start of school transforms sleepy college towns into swirling meccas of activity as returning students and incoming freshmen converge on campuses and surrounding neighborhoods. For the quick-service restaurants that cater to these students, this annual rite of passage is a welcome end to the slow offseason and an opportunity to win new business.
06 Nov 2018
Sanitization and Gluten-Free Dining: Fact versus Fiction
Given the fact approximately 1 percent of the U.S. population has been diagnosed with celiac disease and up to 6 percent of Americans have some form of gluten sensitivity, the demand for gluten-free dining options has never been higher.
10 Aug 2018
Gluten-Free Dining: A Smart Choice for College Communities
Living with celiac disease and other forms of gluten sensitivity can be difficult for teens and college students. A simple activity like ordering a pizza with friends is fraught with peril and can even create conflict with peers.
03 Jul 2018
Ensuring the Safety of Gluten-Free Menu Items with Written Documentation
While standards such as Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points as well as local and state regulations outline the procedures for safe food handling for restaurants and other foodservice establishments, these standards do not include guidance for producing the gluten-free food offerings that appear on restaurant menus.
27 Mar 2018
The Importance of Documenting Your Restaurant’s Gluten-Free Practices and Procedures
It’s simply a fact that restaurants are busy places. Getting good food out and serving customers promptly and attentively is the recipe for success, whether your establishment is a large franchise chain or a single location restaurant.
09 Dec 2021
AUBURN, Wash. (December 2, 2021)—The nonprofit Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG), the industry leader in the certification of gluten-free products and foodservices, announced today that its Gluten-Free Food Service (GFFS) organization has designated seven hospitals owned and operated by a subsidiary of Universal Health Services, Inc. (UHS) as Validated Gluten Free Safe Spots. UHS is one Read More
11 Sep 2020
Premier Medical Center Builds Gluten-free Kitchen to Support the World-class Celiac Disease Research Program in Rochester, Minnesota AUBURN, Wash. (September 10, 2020)—The nonprofit Gluten Intolerance Group’s Gluten-Free Food Service (GFFS), an industry leader in the validation of gluten-free food services, announces that Mayo Clinic joins its roster of Validated Gluten Free Safe Spots. Mayo Clinic, considered Read More
12 Aug 2020
AUBURN, Wash. (August 12, 2020)—The Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG), an industry leader in the certification of gluten-free products and food services, is enhancing the branding of its Gluten-Free Food Service (GFFS). GFFS, which audits and validates restaurants and food businesses that serve gluten-free food, is launching a newly designed logo and signage that designates Read More