Should You Offer Gluten-Free Food at Your Event?

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Celiac disease and gluten intolerance have become much more widely recognized in recent years--which is also bringing to light just how common these conditions are. If you’re planning a special event, it’s important to recognize that gluten can cause a serious reaction in those with celiac disease, so it’s important to provide gluten-free options for these individuals.

How Common Is Celiac Disease?

If you’re hosting a large event, odds are that at least one of your guests will be gluten-intolerant. Celiac disease affects as many as 1 in every 100 people, but gluten sensitivity is even more common. On top of that, there are many other people who avoid gluten for other reasons--like people who live with a family member who has celiac disease.

More Choices Than You Think

The good news is, you can still have a tasty meal for your guests with or without gluten products. There are lots of options out there for you to choose from: rice, beans, and potatoes, for example, make excellent side dishes. You can even find an increasing number of gluten-free breads and pasta.

When serving your food, you have 2 choices. You can either have guests order their meal ahead of time and make a note if they have any dietary restrictions. Or you can serve your food in a buffet-style and include plenty of gluten-free options that are clearly marked as such.

Other Precautions

One of the risks faced by those with celiac disease is cross-contamination. This occurs when someone unwittingly uses a utensil such as a spoon in a dish with gluten and then uses it in a gluten-free dish. Even these small traces of gluten are enough to trigger a reaction, so be sure anyone preparing or serving the food is aware of the risks and takes steps to prevent cross-contamination.

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