Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Gluten Free Warning- Alitalia Pizza in West Babylon

This was posted to the Celiac Listserv- and figured I would spread the word in case any of you eat at Alitalia Pizza in West Babylon- to make sure to ask them to be careful with preparing GF!!
“Eating at Alitalia pizza in West Babylon, one problem when we picked it up, we had ordered (which initially we thought) had included Gluten Free pasta, well whoever packed it put a half loaf of regular bread right on top of the pasta container! Crumbs everywhere! My husband called to let them no that they did something wrong, and who ever had answered says not everyone who works there, or handles the food, knows all about gluten free. He said whoever packed the pasta, someone else then put in the bread. The pizza was ok, but we feel slightly sick from it. We tried to explain they would need to take better precautions and they did not seam interested in hearing that. There was also someone else ordering GF Pizza and the one handling the regular pizza, also showed the lady the GF pizza with the same gloved hand that handled the regular pizza. In ending just be careful and be specific and check your order, we will not be going there again.”

It’s a shame that so many companies have now started offering GF options (good), without taking the proper precautions to ensure that they limit the cross-contamination risks, train ALL of their staff properly, and take a GF diet seriously (bad). The worst think about the Gluten-Free diet being referred to as a “fad diet” is the fact that then people who do know the seriousness of the disease and how it would affect someone with CD who does ingest gluten, does not realize that this is not a “choice diet” but a medically necessary one!

What we in the Celiac Community can start doing, is GO to all these places that have now started offering a GF menu, THANK them for doing so, and EDUCATE them on what it means to be, eat, prepare, serve Gluten Free. We can encourage them to join an organization such as GFRAP (the Gluten Free Restaurant Awareness Program http://www.glutenfreerestaurants.org/ ) sponsored by GIG, which will provide them with materials on preparing proper GF food -or- attend a Suffolk County Celiacs meeting (first Tuesday of every month (Except Jan this year) in West Islip) http://www.suffolkcountyceliacs.org/ -or- Contact one of the board members of the Suffolk County Celiacs who can come and HELP them to prepare their kitchens for proper GF food production- contact: SuffolkCountyCeliacs _at_ gmail.com)

Lets start getting the word out there that this is NOT a “fad” diet, but one that needs to be taken seriously, and that GF food CAN be made safely so that we will not get sick from it!


New Restaurants in Massapequa offering GF & Celiac Awareness Night tonight at CitiField!

Don’t forget, tonight is Celiac Awareness Day at CitiField!!! Go see the Mets take on the Phillis and eat a GF Hotdog, Hamburger, Fries, or Beer (well, drink it, not “eat” the beer)- the “benefit tickets” are no longer for sale- but I’m sure you can still buy your tickets at the ticket window for tonight’s game! For those of you who are coming with us (Suffolk County Celiacs or LI Celiac Meetup Group) We’ll see you there! :)

Also, from one of my AWESOME readers Phil, who keeps me up-to-date on all his Gluten-Free finds while driving around Long Island, I received the following:

I had the pizza and pasta at Fra Amichi in Massapequa this week. Let me just say that the pizza was so good, I had it two days in a row. I also went back and got the baked ziti. AWESOME! I couldn't tell it was GF. My wife had to take a bite and tell me it was. Fra Amichi tells me that they can make any pasta dish on their menu as a GF. They cook the GF pasta in the same kitchen, but cook in chicken broth, or a brown gravy that is made from corn starch. In addition, the GF pizza are cooked on a tinfoil pan, so the pizza does not make contact with the bottom of the oven. I am going to ask that my next pizza is cooked a bit more.. The dough was cooked, but was a little underdone to my likings.. I will have to send you a picture of my next pie.. they don't put a lot of toppings on, but they are HUGE pieces - and the pie is completely covered with cheese.. That is usually "extra cheese" amount of cheese at other locations.
I spoke with the owner of Fra Amichi, and he says he cooks all the GF dishes himself. Again, they don't have a dedicated kitchen, but my first "real dish" didn't kill me.

Also, With today's paper, I got a menu from Crostini Pizza (in Massapequa). More than half their menu is GF. I was going to go to Fra Amichi again tonight (I'm loving the baked ziti), but I might give Crostini a try since I have to pass there to get to Fra Amichi. Here is the link to Crostini :

I’m going to try to visit Fra Amichi and Crostini as soon as possible and then will report back- but figured (being that June is a busy month for me!) that I would get the word out there- so that you guys can visit as well and report back!


Friday, May 14, 2010

Proposed Revision of the GF Labeling in Canada

The FDA in Canada is proposing a new "labelling" law in Canada with regards to Gluten-Free products. It's interesting that under the current definition of Gluten-Free, that they do not allow un-contaminated, pure Oats in a "Gluten-Free" label. They mention below that they are considering a revision to that. The US is still working on their definition of what is/is not considered "Gluten-Free" and it will be interesting to see how both countries end up defining GF.

Health Canada Seeks Comments on Proposed Principles for the Revision of the Gluten-Free Labelling Regulations May 13, 2010 For immediate release

OTTAWA – Health Canada is seeking input from stakeholders and the Canadian public on the proposed principles that will guide the revision of the gluten-free labelling regulations.

The consultation, which will be posted on the Health Canada website and open for comments from May 13 until July 11, is intended to help inform the development of the proposed changes.

The Canadian Food and Drug Regulations currently states that: “No person shall label, package, sell or advertise a food in a manner likely to create an impression that it is a gluten-free food unless the food does not contain wheat, including spelt and kamut, or oats, barley, rye or triticale or any part thereof.” In addition, “gluten-free” is not permitted on packaged food products containing oats; even if the oats are pure and uncontaminated with other cereals.

Until recently, oats were thought to cause adverse effects in individuals with celiac disease. However, Health Canada’s recent review of the safety of consuming pure oats indicates that the majority of people with celiac disease can tolerate moderate amounts of oats that are pure and uncontaminated with other cereals. Current scientific knowledge also suggests that pure oats can be beneficial to those individuals with celiac disease who tolerate it, and its palatability and nutritional benefits may increase compliance with a gluten-free diet. For these reasons, Health Canada recognizes the importance in revising the gluten-free labelling requirements in order to provide better information to consumers with celiac disease.

Celiac disease is an inherited medical condition where the surface of the small intestine is damaged by gluten, a group of proteins found in grains such as wheat, rye, and barley. This damage causes the body to be unable to absorb nutrients such as protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, which are necessary for good health. Currently, the only treatment for celiac disease is to follow a strict gluten-free diet.

Health Canada will continue to update Canadians on the progress of this issue once the consultation period has concluded. Please visit the Health Canada website for more information on the proposed principles that will guide the revision of the gluten-free labelling regulations in Canada (
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/consultation/init/gluten2010/index-eng.php ).

To increase awareness of celiac disease in Canada, Health Canada, in collaboration with the Canadian Celiac Association (CCA) and the Fondation Québécoise de la Maladie Coeliaque(FQMC), has published a pamphlet entitled: Celiac Disease – The Gluten Connection (
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/pubs/securit/gluten_conn-lien_gluten-eng.php ).

For further information, please visit Health Canada’s webpage on celiac disease ( http://www.healthcanada.gc.ca/celiac ).

Note: Comments may be submitted by email: bfpi@hc-sc.gc.ca, mail or courier to:

Bureau of Food Policy and Science Integration, Room E202

251 Sir Frederick Banting Driveway
Tunney's Pasture, Health Canada
Address Locator: 2202E
Ottawa, ON K1A 0K9

The feedback received through this consultation will be considered by Health Canada as it moves forward with developing options for potential revisions to Canada's gluten-free labelling policy. Health Canada will undertake further consultation with stakeholders once potential options have been developed.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Gluten Free Nature Valley Roasted Nut Crunch "Almond Crunch" bars NOW in Supermarkets!!

I know I already blogged about this but I was SO excited to actually see it in the supermarket I felt I HAD to report again…

I found the Nature Valley Roasted Nut Crunch “Almond Crunch” bars by General Mills At Stop and Shop!!! There were only 3 left on the shelf- 2 had the new “Gluten Free” in blue on the front- the last one didn’t. So I bought both that were Gluten Free! The rest of the Nature Valley products were fully stocked- so I’m sure a fellow Celiac came in before me and cleared them almost out- which is good to see so that it’s making an impact that people ARE buying new Gluten Free products! Make sure to look for ones that do say “Gluten Free” like the one pictured above- because as you all know- while the old product is phasing out, the new product coming in, they can both be on the shelves at the same time!

The bar was very good! I was hoping it was going to be more of a “granola” type bar when I first heard they were coming out- but it was still delicious!!! And I’m so excited that they will be readily available at most major supermarkets!!

BRAVO again to General Mills! I still love you!


Friday, May 7, 2010

Long Islands First 100% Gluten Free Bakery and Cafe opening in Bellmore

I am so excited to announce this! I can not wait for Bare Naked Bakery to open up in June! Dubbed the "Panera Bread" for Gluten-Free people, Bare Naked Bakery & Cafe, which will be a 100% dedicated GF Facility, will have Breads, Cakes, Muffins, Pannini's, Pizza and Soups!

I sampled some of the pizza the other night, and it was outstanding!

I will keep you posted as soon as it is open for business!
2572 Merrick Rd. Bellmore, NY 11710
For Immediate Release

Long Islands First 100% Gluten Free Bakery and Cafe opening in Bellmore.

Bellmore - Opened June 2010 - Nassau County residents no longer have to settle for prepackaged or frozen gluten free bakery products. Fresh gluten free baked goods and sandwiches will soon be available at Bare Naked Bakery & Cafe, a 100% dedicated gluten free facility.

"We're excited about our new bakery offering fresh gluten free products here on Long Island," says Bridget Brennan, owner of Bare Naked Bakery & Cafe. "People with celiac disease or gluten allergies can enjoy the flavor of fresh baked goods again in a safe environment - they don't have to get something that's processed or worry about cross contamination. We're looking forward to providing our customers with a tasty, yet safe and convenient experience for their gluten free needs."

Bare Naked Bakery is dedicated providing superior gluten free breads, bagels, cakes and muffins, without compromising the taste, texture and quality of the products. The bakery,which started on one of the last organic farms in Nassau County - Friendly Farms in East Meadow - will continue to use farm-fresh fruits to bake its pies and muffins, ensuring that only the freshest ingredients are packed into every product made. “The products are so delicious and the consistency is so fluffy that even people who don’t need to eat gluten free love them”, says Bridget.

The bakers at Bare Naked Bakery are dedicated to offering a gluten alternative to eating out without compromising the taste, consistency and safety of their products. Their mission is to bring the experience of crunchy and fluffy, fresh-baked goods back to the community of gluten free people who never thought they could experience those tastes again especially while dining out.

"My grandmother told me when she was growing up, foods were unaltered and so abundant
with flavor - you couldn't finish the whole thing" says Bridget. "Now, most gluten free products are mass-produced, engineered, and over-processed. The breads lose not just their flavor, but their integrity as well. In addition, even though more restaurants may offer gluten free options now, cross contamination is still a very real threat to sufferers. At Bare Naked Bakery & Cafe, we're committed to restoring the faith in dining out for the gluten free community by providing top quality products in a 100% dedicated gluten free facility."

Bare Naked Bakery is scheduled to open June 2010. Visit
http://www.barenakedbakery.com/ for the most recent updates and details.

Bare Naked Bakery 2572 Merrick Rd. Bellmore, NY 11710
Contact:Bridget Brennan. (516) 809-7370 or email info@barenakedbakery.com

**For Updates on Bare Naked's opening and reviews:

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Special Celiac Disease Report in USA Today this Friday, May 7th.

Media Planet publishing Inc. will release a special celiac disease report this Friday May 7, 2010 in USA TODAY.

This comprehensive supplement seeks to raise awareness of the disease and the gluten-free diet, promoting resources available to help the suffering gain a diagnosis, and patients and families with celiac restore their health and reclaim their life!

Sarah Jane Smith, LPGA star and NFCA Athletes for Awareness spokeswoman, graces the cover of this special magazine insert. Smith, along with fellow NFCA Athlete for Awareness AJ Clemens, are profiled in the ‘stories of inspiration’ section which can be seen on pages 4 and 5. In addition, NFCA founder and president Alice Bast is a featured expert on the subject of celiac disease and infertility.

The latest celiac disease report published by Media Planet for USA TODAY will reach over one million readers nationwide, distributing over 442,000 printed copies nationwide.

Find out where you can pick up a copy of this special insert here:


Can’t get the insert in print?

For those unable to get the May 7th, 2010 USA Today Celiac Disease special
report in print, it is now available for download online here: