I have been testing a lot of gluten free recipes on account of my friend having celiac disease and there are no places in town that offer gluten free cake. I am licensed and work out of a rented commercial kitchen space. I am only testing and have a lot of questions, so haven't offered anything gluten free yet.
My question is, if I want to offer gluten free cakes, is there some sort of certification I must get to say that the cakes are truly gluten free? I know that flour can be airborne so I must wait a day or so after baking a gluten cake to bake a gluten free cake, but it's difficult for me to follow this given that the kitchen space is shared. My pans and equipment are all aluminum and stainless steel (cleaned thoroughly after a gluten cake) and if they aren't, I don't use the same materials for the gluten free cakes.
So also, am I taking enough precaution to prevent cross contamination (I would hate causing a reaction in a customer)? And do I need to get some kind of extra insurance in case someone does have a reaction?
Thanks in advance for any advice!
There are currently no regulations in the US regarding "gluten-free" labeling, but the FDA is proposing a regulation limiting gluten-free foods to 20 ppm (parts per million) or less.
Commercial liability insurance should cover you in the case of a reaction, if you want more protection you can create an LLC to shield your personal assets.
I don't believe there's any certification for gluten free products... I use disposable paper pans for any GF product... It's hard enough to control one's own kitchen, but using a shared space makes it especially difficult. Be scrupulous! And I strongly suggest you have excellent insurance coverage.
I think that it is okay to advertise gluten free products, as long as you let the customer know what precautions you are taking to prevent cross contamination when they order. As a person with celiac I can tell you that we are very cautious. Because there are no regulations and most people dont understand the serious harm that gluten can do to a person with celiac, most people will still ask what your ingredients and procedures are. I thought the gluten free thing was a fad until I was diagnosed. Some people just dont take it seriously and that has made me skeptical when I ask about gluten free at restaurants. I would appreciate if someone told me a head of time about a shared workspace or other issues so that I could make an informed decision before I order a product, that way I can judge for myself the risk involved. I myself struggle often with gluten ingredients and have glutened myself unknowingly so I would never hold someone responsible for accidental cross contamination, but if you feel that someone may hold you liable what about preparing a disclosure that you have customers sign. Something to the affect of your business values celiac customers and has done thorough research to make sure none of your baking ingredients include gluten, however you work out of a shared kitchen space and the possibility of contamination (while remote) is still possible.