Restaurants are recognising the need to cater for people with a gluten allergy but there are concerns that a lack of awareness about cross-contamination between gluten-free ingredients and food containing gluten could cause harmful reactions.

But gluten-free dining options had increased across WA in the past year and Coeliac WA members could choose from about 300 restaurants that catered for their dietary needs, member services officer Nikki Watson said.

“You’d be pretty hard-pressed now to go to a restaurant that wouldn’t have at least one gluten-free option on its menu, ” she said.

“There’s still that level of not quite understanding cross-contamination and making sure that if an item is made gluten-free, that it’s kept separate.”

Strange Grains Gluten Free Bakery owner Jenny Holten was diagnosed with coeliac disease 20 years ago. Her Leederville bakery makes baked goods in a “dedicated gluten-free environment” for many of Perth’s top restaurants and hotels and orders have grown “massively”.

“Demand in WA is absolutely huge, ” Ms Holten said. “We can’t keep up with it, we’re expanding like mad at the moment.”

Gluten-related health problems prompted Victoria Park vet Martine van Boeijen to share her tips on gluten-free dining on her food and travel blog Chompchomp.

“There are some amazing places that do it really well and there are others that have tried to jump on the bandwagon but don’t have the full understanding of cross-contamination, which is really crucial, ” she said.


© The West Australian

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