Monday, February 2, 2009

NFCA's GREAT Program - Gluten-Free Resource Education Awareness Training

I recently wrote about the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness here. I mentioned in that post that I would be going into more detail about the GREAT program. The GREAT program offers a certification/validation program for restaurants and dietitians so that they can safely deal with Celiac Disease patients. Gluten Free consumers can easily recognize GREAT program participants and feel comfortable utilizing these resources knowing the NFCA has had a hand in their training.

GREAT Program Description
The Gluten-Free Resource Education Awareness Training (GREAT) program is a comprehensive tool offered by the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) to educate chefs, dietitians, cafeteria workers and other hospitality industry professionals about Celiac disease and the gluten-free diet.

GREAT offers a systematic approach to using gluten-free ingredients and preventing cross contamination. Through a few simple lessons, GREAT provides professionals with a protocol that can be applied to any kitchen or gluten-free meal plan. GREAT addresses the entire spectrum of preparing and serving gluten-free foods by simply looking at ABC. Awareness, Bringing in Supplies and Cross Contamination Caution. The training includes a manual, online lessons and a web-based examination.

In addition, the NFCA's team of GREAT Guides can aid in every detail of the implementation of a gluten-free protocol from staff training and logistics consultation to menu creation and product referrals. GREAT is a full service program created by a multidisciplinary team - all dedicated to getting a gluten-free process into the hands of those intending to serve gluten-free products.

There are 2 distinct areas to the GREAT program - one for Kitchens and another for Dietitians.

GREAT Kitchens
The GREAT Kitchens program will equip restaurants with the knowledge to safely provide customers with gluten-free meal options, as well as to create a gluten-free menu. Your kitchen will receive long-term support from the NFCA staff to help with menu updates or with training your entire staff. Upon completion of program, your kitchen will be added to a public registry of gluten-free certified establishments and members of the American Culinary Federation are eligible to for up to 6.0 continuing education hours. This program can be used for Chefs, Restaurants and Cafeterias.
Cost per kitchen: $150 (Sliding scale for chains)

GREAT for Dietitians
GREAT for Dietitians will prepare registered dietitians and dietetic technicians to help patients manage a gluten-free diet in the home, at work and in all other places someone might encounter food. Dietitians will learn how to find gluten-free food items, how to properly read ingredient labels and how to adjust recipes to be gluten-free. GREAT for Dietitians is a Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Accredited provider with the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR).
Cost per dietitian: $100

GREAT Guides
GREAT Guides are hand-selected leaders in the gluten-free community who are cooperating with the NFCA to provide widespread, consistent and supported educational materials to the public. Guides are professional consultants that can aid kitchens to implement gluten-free protocols. There are currently only a dozen or so GREAT Guides in the entire US.

For more information, please see the GREAT Program Web site.


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