AUBURN, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The nonprofit Gluten Intolerance Group’s Gluten-Free Food Service (GFFS), an industry leader in the validation of gluten-free food services, announces that Mayo Clinic joins its roster of Validated Gluten Free Safe Spots. Mayo Clinic, considered one of the top hospitals in the nation, expands on its commitment to the highest quality in patient care by becoming a Validated Gluten Free Safe Spot. The Validation stands for the independent verification of quality, integrity and purity of food service establishments serving gluten-free food. Food establishments on Mayo Clinic’s sprawling Rochester, Minnesota Campus—the original and largest Mayo Clinic center—are now validated by GFFS to provide safe, gluten-free foods to patients, staff and visitors throughout the campus.
To serve gluten-free foods, Mayo Clinic opened one central, dedicated gluten-free kitchen in partnership with Compass Group, its foodservice management provider. It’s the first of its kind for any medical center nationally and was built to help advance Mayo Clinic’s celiac disease research program. Celiac disease causes an immune system response to the ingestion of gluten, damaging the small intestine, leading to malabsorption of nutrients and related health issues.
The GFFS team audited the kitchen and met with its staff to ensure it meets high standards for avoiding cross-contact with gluten-containing foods, as even trace amounts of gluten can cause health problems for those with gluten intolerance.
“It’s very exciting to award gluten-free validation to a hospital dedicated to supporting the study and treatment of celiac disease and the potential to help millions of people in the U.S. and globally affected by celiac,” said Lindsey Yeakle, GFFS program manager. “Mayo Clinic has demonstrated a strong commitment to the gluten-free community by taking a leadership role in the study of celiac and building this kitchen to make safe gluten-free meals possible to support that commitment.”
The dedicated gluten-free kitchen, which opened in July 2020, provides gluten-free meals to both inpatients and outpatients, visitors and staff. Inpatients can order meals from a dedicated gluten-free menu a day in advance, while outpatients, staff and visitors can find cafeteria meals and grab-and-go offerings available throughout the campus across 18 locations, all delivered from this one central kitchen.
About the Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG)
The Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit association funded by private donations, sponsorship opportunities and food safety programs. It relies on tax-deductible contributions to support its many innovative industry, service, social and awareness programs. GIG has been a highly respected leader in the gluten-free community since it was founded in 1974. In addition to more than 90 local support groups across the United States, GIG has increased its presence internationally to 47 countries. GIG empowers the gluten-free community through consumer support, advocacy and education. The Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO), a program of GIG, is a leader in the verification of quality, integrity and purity of gluten-free products. The Gluten-Free Food Service (GFFS) program is a proven model of established best practices for food service facilities offering gluten-free options. GIG is committed to ongoing food safety research to assure customers and consumers the highest level of excellence in its gluten-free programs and services. For information, visit www.gluten.org.