A pub in Basingstoke has become the first in the UK to be accredited as gluten-free.
Bartons Mill, in Old Basing, received its official accreditation from Coeliac UK.
Manager Ray Turnbull decided to offer customers a gluten free menu after his sister died from complications caused by coeliac disease five years ago. Susan Turnbull was just 45-year-old when she passed away in hospital.
Mr Turnbull said: “Two or three years before going to hospital she had gastric problems and it wasn’t picked up on. The research wasn’t developed significantly. By the time she got to hospital her ability to absorb food had gone. She was in hospital for a year and the disease had taken hold that there was no recovery.”
Mr Turnbull decided to offer gluten free options on the menu at Bartons Mill, before taking this one step further and applying to become completely gluten free. This means that all options on the menu can be made without gluten, offering those with coeliac disease somewhere safe to dine.
Mr Turnbull said: “We had an audit and passed. They had to see us cook a meal and we had to train our staff prior to that. We are the first pub company to get the accreditation.
“We have so many people with the condition coming in so we decided as a company to go forward for accreditation. It’s very difficult to achieve because of the cross contamination. We have bought new equipment, it was a process that was a year in the making.”
He added: “Receiving a Grade A accreditation by Coeliac UK is hugely important to us. We are serious about providing the best quality menu, taking care to not compromise on taste and wanted it to be more than just following the current trend by taking it across a full menu.”
The menu was developed with the assistance of Wadworth food development manager Scott Ferguson, who said: “This is something that we have wanted to trial and working with Ray and his team has produced a great menu.”
Bartons Mill is part of the Wadworth group, which hopes to roll out the gluten free menu at its other pubs.
Source: Basingstoke Gazette.