We at GREENBEAN BARISTA TRAINING SCHOOL & COFFEE SHOP in Banbridge have been asked on more than one occasion to provide gluten free foods for those unfortunate people who must diligently manage their Coeliac Disease. We have given the matter a lot of thought and have with regret made the decision to offer absolutely no special dietary options at all. Our thinking here is that if our customers know that everything on our menu is exactly as it seems then there is absolutely no possibility of anyone making a mistake and consuming any foods that might make them ill. This has not been well received by some people and in fact one lady was very vocal in her condemnation of our decision. I am making the below submission to hopefully go some way in explaining our reasons. Is consists of material published in last Sunday’s “The Sunday Times”. www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/news

Safefood (a state funded agency in The republic of Ireland) surveyed 260 restaurants in Ireland and found that ONE IN TEN (10%!) which claimed to be gluten free actually contained some of the protein with 14 samples containing levels of +1,000mg per kilo – a very high level. According to the Coeliac Society of Ireland just one grain of gluten can lead to diarrhoea & abdominal pain. Such low levels make mistakes so very easy to make. Gluten is found in wheat, barley and rye, and is usually found in bread, biscuits, cakes, pasta, beer, soups, sauces, snacks & confectionery.

GREENBEAN’S expertise is in roasting and serving high quality speciality coffees. We offer snacks because who ever heard of a coffee shop without some food! But we are not experts in special dietary requirements and this, rather than an unwillingness to serve, is the sole reason we do not offer gluten free foods – we simply do not know enough about it.