Does your chip shop serve gluten-free fish and chips?

May 30, 2018 7:14 am Published by Leave your thoughts

If you’ve popped into your local chip shop recently, you might well have seen a sign announcing that they now serve ‘gluten-free fish and chips’. Some chip shops do this continually – others at a particular time of day or on one or two days a week (my local chip shop is gluten-free from 4.30pm every day.) You might be wondering why they’re bothering – what’s all the fuss about?

Do you need gluten-free fish and chips?

Gluten-free fish and chips? What’s it all about?

Well, it’s really about making sure that as many people as possible can eat the food being served. Fried fish covered in batter or breadcrumbs usually contains gluten, and as the same oil and equipment is generally used for all frying purposes, chips will register for gluten too. Even a very small amount of gluten provokes a serious reaction in coeliacs, meaning that for many, many years, those suffering from gluten-intolerance were unable to enjoy the Nation’s Favourite Takeaway.

And they missed it! Surveys found that ‘fish and chips’ was the meal most yearned after by coeliacs. Around one in 100 people are thought by Coeliac UK to have the condition – and in recent years an increasing number of people have begun to try out a gluten-free diet even when they’re not coeliac, feeling that it improves their health in all manner of other ways. It’s all these customers that the fish and chip shops want to get through their doors.

Coeliac UK provides training and accreditation services to fish and chip shops to help them comply with the laws on allergens, including gluten. Here’s their basic guidance:

  • Use separate, clean oil to fry chips and gluten-free battered fish. A separate fryer for this purpose is ideal: it’s not sufficient simply to filter the oil.
  • Use separate tongs and serving spoons to serve gluten-free products, to avoid cross-contamination.
  • Check your ketchup, sauces, baked beans and other dressings to see if they’re suitable for coeliacs. Salt and vinegar should be fine: although barley malt vinegar is made from barley, the protein element (and therefore the gluten) is removed during processing.
  • Make sure you’ve got a gluten-free batter mix and that it’s clearly labelled to avoid confusion.
  • When mixing batter, use a dedicated gluten-free mixer or thoroughly clean the mixing equipment.

    We've got the Middleton Food's range of gluten-free catering mixes.

    Middleton Food’s chippies’ choice gluten-free gravy mix: perfect!

If this guidance is followed, any gluten-free food bought from the venue should be suitable for coeliacs. Look out for the accredited gluten-free logo from Coeliac UK to be sure you’re in a safe place.

If you’re a fish and chip shop owner looking for the best gluten-free products, then check out our Middleton’s fish and chip shop range here. We’ve got gluten-free batter mix in both bulk and 1kg packs, as well as gluten-free curry sauce and gravy mixes.

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This post was written by Yzanne

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