Coeliac UK updates online training to meet the needs of growing gluten-free market

By Gill Hyslop contact

- Last updated on GMT

The number of people afflicted with coeliac disease is on the rise, making it essential the food industry knows how the deal with the demand for gluten-free products. Pic: GettyImages/JoyImage
The number of people afflicted with coeliac disease is on the rise, making it essential the food industry knows how the deal with the demand for gluten-free products. Pic: GettyImages/JoyImage

Related tags: Coeliac uk, Coeliac disease, gluten free diet, online learning

The UK expert and consumer watchdog is inviting caterers and other industry professionals to take advantage of its 50 years of insight into all things gluten free through its updated online training course.

Coeliac UK has updated its online training course, specifically tailored for the catering industry, but open to all professionals who want to know more about catering to the growing gluten-free consumer base.

According to the charity, the number of people diagnosed with coeliac disease is on the rise.

“Research shows that people with coeliac disease – and the family and friends they eat out with – are currently worth a potential £100 million a year to venues that can cater for them,” ​said Hilary Croft, CEO of Coeliac UK.

“We expect the demand for safe gluten free catering to increase as more people are diagnosed with coeliac disease.”

Since the charity first launched its interactive online course in 2014, nearly 7,000 people working across a wide range of sectors of the food industry have completed it.

The charity decided to upgrade the course to improve usability to enhance the learning experience, as well as to allow participants to track progress against each module and enable companies to be more in control of their staff training.

The course – which costs £70 per individual and takes approximately 1½ hours to complete – is suitable for all food industry professionals in both the private and public sectors and provides indepth training on:

  • Understanding coeliac disease and the gluten free diet
  • The law on gluten free
  • Choosing the right ingredients and gluten free storage
  • Preparing and cooking gluten free food
  • Cleaning and personal hygiene
  • Communicating with staff and customers
  • Monitoring gluten free procedures

On successful completion, a personalised certificate from Coeliac UK can be downloaded to be displayed or added to training records.

Coeliac disease is not an allergy nor an intolerance but an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system reacts to gluten – a protein found in wheat, barley and rye – making the body attack itself.

There is no cure or medication for the disease; the only treatment is to follow a strict gluten free diet for life.

Currently, one in 100 Brits has coeliac disease but only 30% of those with the condition have been diagnosed. It is estimated that there are actually half a million Brits who have it, but don’t yet know it.

This year, Coeliac UK is campaigning to get parents talking about coeliac disease in children.

The charity’s Awareness Week 2020 – taking place from May 11-17 – calls for the need for earlier diagnosis of coeliac disease in children, raising awareness of the main symptoms and encouraging concerned parents to take its online assessment.

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