There is a link at the end of this post to sign a petition to “Help Ditch NFCA’s Amber Designation!” Please consider signing it.
Question 1: When you see an amber traffic light, what’s your first reaction? CAUTION
Question 2: When you see that a restaurant is endorsed by the NFCA, what’s your first thought? MUST BE SAFE FOR A CELIAC
Question 3: Why would the NFCA have an Amber Designation as part of their GREAT Kitchens program when Amber means it’s not safe for celiacs??
I am not here to attack the NFCA. At all.
They do a lot of wonderful things to raise celiac awareness and are a great organization to have in our corner.
But I, and A LOT of others in the gluten-free community, feel that they have simply dropped the ball on this one in a major, major way, and we are asking for your help in having the NFCA drop their Amber Designation.
Here is a quick recap of what is going on…
To promote a greater level of food safety for those with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity, the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) introduced a tiered credentialing system for restaurants that will enable gluten-free consumers to understand restaurant practices through a voluntary and transparent disclosure process.
As part of the program, they have two designations.
1) GREEN. This means the NFCA has approved them for the following: Ingredient Verification, Comprehensive Training, Strict Cross-Contamination Controls
And here is the stamp of approval for the Green Designation:
Ok…so far, so good.
2) AMBER. And here is where we run into trouble. Amber means the NFCA approves them for the following: Ingredient Verification and Basic Server Training, but Kitchen practices may vary widely
And here is the stamp for the Amber Designation:
What words jump out at you? GLUTEN FREE
I look at that and it’s all I see.
And when somebody sees gluten-free, what do they think? That’s it’s safe for celiacs.
So my question to the NFCA is this?
Why would you ever have any kind of designation that says Gluten Free when it’s not safe for celiacs or people with gluten issues?
I’m not saying they have ulterior motives, but I cannot think of one single explanation for this.
And of course, this all came to a boil when they endorsed Domino’s new gluten-free pizza, which is as far from safe for celiacs as you can get. And despite the clamor from our community, they have refused to budge and seem to be burying themselves deeper and deeper.
I’ve said this before and I’ll keep saying it until I’m blue in the face: Gluten-free should mean gluten-free. Period. Not kind of gluten-free. Not mostly gluten-free. Not gluten-free, but with a warning.
Why is this so difficult to comprehend and more importantly, why is it so difficult to enforce?
So please help all of those who need to be gluten-free for health reasons.
Sign the petition below and help us ditch NFCA’s confusing, potentially dangerous, Amber Designation.