Coeliac UK, the largest independent charity for people living gluten free, is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

During this year’s Awareness Week from 14 – 20 May the charity will be raising awareness of the symptoms of coeliac disease and the importance of early diagnosis and sticking to a GF diet to prevent complications of the disease. These include anaemia, osteoporosis, neurological conditions and although rare, there’s an increased risk of small bowel cancer.

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It is estimated that the hospitality industry is missing out on an estimated £100 million worth of gluten free business a year.

Over 3300 venues have gained Coeliac UK’s GF accreditation since 2012. These caterers are seeing the business benefits associated with the scheme because it’s the people with coeliac disease who decide where to eat out with friends and family, so by catering for the person who doesn’t eat gluten the business case speaks for itself.

Many manufacturers, retailers and caterers are supporting Coeliac UK’s Awareness Week this year including Côte brasseries who have developed a special Prestige Gluten Free menu, offering two courses for £15.95 and three courses for £18.95, available at all their restaurants with a wide range of menu options. Indigo restaurant at One Aldwych, The Strand, is offering a special three course menu which includes a complimentary glass of Lallinger champagne. Other offers include “2 for 1” on fish and chips at Scotts Fish and Chips sites near York.

Rupi Zani, quality and safety director, PizzaExpress, commented: “Since gaining GF accreditation in 2012, we have been delighted with the success of our gluten free menu. Customer feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and business levels have exceeded our expectations – so much so that we opened our own manufacturing site to make our own gluten free pizza bases.”

Alongside GF accreditation, Coeliac UK offers an online interactive catering training module which takes only an hour and a half to complete and doesn’t have to be completed in one session. Readers can take advantage of a special discounted price of £25+VAT per log-in compared with the usual price of £35+VAT until the end of May 2018. Please go to: click “private sector” on the left hand side and then register using “MAMay2018”