NFCA Amber Designation Suspended
NFCA's GREAT Kitchens Program Amber Designation
Amber in Suspension
In April 2012, the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) in the United States of America introduced an "Amber" designation for use at restaurants where "kitchen practices may vary". This has quickly become very unpopular amongst celiacs and gluten sensitive people alike, especially when the first food service outlet, Domino's Pizza, two weeks ago was accredited this particular designation.
Thank you for listening, NFCA
It is great to see that this has happened. As I am based in Australia, I wouldn't have known about it, except that The Gluten Dude pointed it out earlier today.
The petition had thousands of signatures of those with coeliac disease from all over the country, thoroughly enraged that the NFCA did such a thing. In my opinion, this aspect of the GREAT Kitchens Programme was a complete joke and set to fail.
As most of us know, Domino's in the USA started offering "gluten free crust pizzas" to a market of people who choose to follow a gluten free diet. It was clear that the product wasn't suitable for those with celiac disease yet the National Foundation for CELIAC Awareness endorsed something that wasn't even suitable for celiacs?! How bizarre.
Well, thankfully they have heeded the advice of those of us who complained. I wish we had such a strong support network here in Australia when Domino's began the gluten free pizza offering in late 2009; after the Coeliac Australia (formerly the Coeliac Society of Australia) basically said "when you drive a car, you risk dying in a car accident". I was infuriated with this "she'll be right" sort of statement coming from an organisation that is supposed to be supporting the needs of their members (and yes Coeliac Australia is still lobbying for a 20ppm tolerance for gluten instead of the current 'zero tolerance' regulation that is currently in place (one of the strictest in the world)).
Where to now?
As for the NFCA GREAT Kitchens Program Amber designation... Not only does it need to be suspended; it needs to be expelled, forever! While we're definitely headed in the right direction, It is not until this has been done that I, or many of us, will be satisfied.