Gluten Free Certification for our Buisness!

Curious about the steps we take in insuring the safety of our customers? Looking to do the same? Read on! :)

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Though we have been doing a great job on our own so far, having them as a support, teacher and monitor is really going to help solidify our trust within the community.   

When we joined the program we were given the sheet that the auditor will use to evaluate our establishment. I've broken it down for you (and me) into a list of things we need to accomplished before we book the audit. I will be arranging all of the completed sections into a binder that is kept in the kitchen so that it's availible to the customers and staff when needed.


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This is what we are super excited about right now! We can't wait to getting going on our journey to Peace of Mind City! Getting certified means we have all the systems we need in place to make sure everyone and anyone who eats with us has a safe and rewarding experience. The Gluten Free Food Program is endorsed by the CCA, Canada's Celiac Association, and aims at regulating restaurants who claim to be gluten free through training and auditing. More information can be found about it here:


Step 1. Research Food and Safety legislative requirements and health canada’s regulations regarding gluten- free consumer claims.

Step 2. Create our Gluten Free System.


  1. We need to make a list of all the ingredients and what brand they are.

  2. Contact the companies and confirm that they are made in a gluten free facility

  3. For those that are not made in a gluten free facility we need to either find a different brand or come up with a recipe ourselves.

  4. Update the brand list.

  5. Turn each brand into an it individual blog posts so that we can help other people searching for the same thing.

  6. Add those blog posts to a directory.


  1. Identify which ingredients are purchased and then stored before use.

  2. Answer the following questions about each off the stored ingredients:

    1. How long are they stored?

    2. Where are they stored?

    3. What else is is stored around it?

    4. what is it stored in?

  3. Then we need to address any high risk stored ingredients and adjust it’s storage style to make it no risk.

  4. Label all of the storage areas so that things are always put in their proper place.


  1. Prep food flows, which are like maps of how the ingredients move from their storage place, around the kitchen and are how and where they are combined into a new product using which machines, need to be outlined for every recipe including those containing gluten. That way any cross contamination points can be addressed and then corrected.

  2. A prep schedule needs to be made so that the prep food flows of the gluten and gluten free products don’t intersect.

  3. Cleanings need to be put in place, between the gluten and gluten free days so that cross contamination doesn’t occur.

  4. Cleaning check lists to insure this need to be made.

  5. The prep needs to be labels clearly and stored separately.

  6. Storage map needs to be made and storage spots labeled.


  1. A guide on taking orders to ensure mistakes are not made on gluten free orders.

  2. We need to reorganize the buttons on the computer to make sure all the gluten free options are there and easy to find.

  3. Chits need to be printed properly so that it’s the easiest possible to read by the kitchen.

  4. We need to by new black cooking utensils and plates to serve the gluten free meals on so that we can tell the customers if you are gluten free and don’t receive a black plate, don’t touch it, let your server know right away.

  5. The gluten free identification tokens need to be enforced so that staff can identify who is gluten free at a table that isn’t theirs.


  1. The kitchen also needs to be re organized to group all of the high risk areas together.

  2. Surfaces need to be whipped down after each dish.

  3. Hands need to be thoroughly washed after every dish is made.


  1. All dished need to be scrubbed 100% before the go into the dishwasher so that there is no cross contamination happens inside.

  2. Plates need to be stored with covers during production of gluten foods.

Step 3. Prepare to staff our gluten free system: How many workers we need to implement the system? What steps can be automated? Who will be the GFFP coordinator and what will be their process of communicating changes made to system with the rest of the staff? Who is appointed to oversee the system per shift? The GFFP also provides training for the staff, so the new hires will need to be step up and then tested. A monthly staff exam should also be conducted on system updates and as a refresher.

Step 4. Write a statement outlining our commitment to the gluten free program. This we've actually already finished, and here it is: At La Dolce Vita we are committed to doing everything necessary to ensure a safe, free from cross contamination dining experience for all of our guests so that ultimately they can come to enjoy a safe, worry free, relaxed dining event each and every time. We commit to upholding strict purchasing, preparation, storage and delivery practices, keeping informed on any new information availabe in the Gluten free world and making the training of all staff the highest of priorities. Trying to find an ideal restaurant as an individual with gluten intolerance or celiac disease should not be a time consuming ordeal. We want to take care of the details so you can focus on enjoying your experience. At La Dolce Vita you can dine with a peace of mind!

Step 5. We need to include in the binder: printouts of our website’s gluten free menu and our skip the dishes gluten free menu, our current Gluten Free menu and the current version of the CCA’s pocket dictionary.

Step 6. The owners need to sign off on it and so do the staff after they have read it.

Step 7. We need to Create a calendar that includes: Employee testing, In house inspections and revision of the gluten free systems, 3 month date of when we can be eligible to receive our certification. And in this calendar we need to show how we plan to periodically review and update the document. Improvement lists: Corrective actions, customer feedback, management reviews, updates to our selections, and process improvements, testing.