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. This starts with the ingredients before they even leave the shelves of the grocery store. We need to make a list of all the ingredients we use and find brands that are certified gluten free so that we know the manufacturer takes it as seriously as we do. Then we need to work on or storage system, making sure that our gluten containing products are kept separately from everything else. Then our prep schedule needs to be made so that all gluten containing items that need to be prepped, are made on the same day and then the kitchen is thoroughly cleaned afterwards. The prep needs to be labels clearly and stored separately. The kitchen also needs to be re organized to group all of the high risk areas together. Eventually we’d love to have a seperate kitchen that is only used for making doughs and fresh pastas. We need to reorganize the buttons on the computer to make sure all the gluten free options are there and easy to find. Hands need to be thoroughly washed after every dish is made. We should also get a second chit printer so that the gluten free items get printed on a separate coloured paper. 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. Then we need to make sure that the plates are being scrubbed 100% before the go into the dishwasher so that there is no cross contamination happens in the dishwasher. Finally a food flow needs to be created for each item to identify any high risk areas for cross contamination. And an ingredient list per item.

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.