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NFCA Ditches AMBER designation for restaurants not up to par

May 18, 2012 by  
Filed under News

Thanks to an organized gluten free community and initiative led by 1 in 133 founders Jules Shepard and John Forberger – and all of you who signed last week’s petition, the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness has ditched the Amber designation for restaurants who are NOT meeting safe gluten free standards. (This in no way affects Domino’s offering of their new gluten free crust product.)

NFCA continues to hand out their GREEN certification for well-trained and educated restaurants who have processes in place to avoid cross contamination. Here’s their current list of “Great” restaurants.

Read my post on the back story here.

See their press release below:

NFCA to Conduct Further Study on Amber Designation

(Press Release 5/18/2012)The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) launched its Tiered Credentialing system in April 2012 in response to a growing concern in the restaurant industry around cross contamination. While the NFCA recognizes the importance of alerting consumers to cross-contamination risks, the community response has prompted NFCA to reconsider the Amber Designation and related product labeling as an effective method to communicate these risks.

Given that public response and recent developments in this field, NFCA is suspending use of the “Amber” designation to describe a restaurant or food services establishment. We will conduct a review to determine the most effective and clearest way to warn the community of the risk of cross-contamination and the use of the phrase “Gluten Free.”

While we regret that confusion may have occurred in relation to the Amber Designation, we do welcome and appreciate the attention this important issue of gluten sensitivity and celiac disease has received through this dialogue.  We note that the education of the public, healthcare providers, the restaurant and foodservice industry, and those who are affected by gluten-related disorders has been enhanced by this recent media coverage concerning these designation and labeling issues, as have the interests of those maintaining a medically necessary gluten-free diet.


8 Responses to “NFCA Ditches AMBER designation for restaurants not up to par”
  1. How do I find out which restaurants or food service establishments have the green certification ??


  2. Lori Burritt says:

    Great news….. but what does this phrase mean? —– (This in no way affects Domino’s offering of their new gluten free crust product.)

  3. Tasha says:

    Lori, click on the link above that says, “Read my post on the back story here.” It will clarify the Domino’s comment.

  4. Neil Tessier says:

    This is a step, but more needs to be done. If a restaurant can’t assure best steps are taken to assure there is minimal to! Zero cross contamination, they should not be allowed to say “gluten free” . We are trying to get the FDA to!tighten the tolerance for GF foods in a grocery store, we would be self defeatests if we accepted this “suspension” of Amber”

  5. Nancy says:

    Hey Paul – I added the link to NFCA’s list of “Great” kitchens – that are up to a good gluten free standard of education and cross contamination precautions. Here it is as well –

  6. Scott Adams says:

    Are you sure you “led” this initiative…my article appeared on 5/8, yours on 5/14…but thanks for jumping on the band wagon!

  7. Nancy says:

    Scott- I did not lead any initiative, nor did I claim to. 1 in 133 was the group that contacted me with their petition and Jules Shepard has been in on it since the beginning including hosting Alice Bast on her radio show on May 10. If you reread this post, I didn’t claim any credit, however, I see it as a group effort. We all worked together and need to continue to do so.

    Jules spent hours communicating with the NFCA, and kept me up to date on all of that – some of which I communicated with my readers.

    The first sentence of this post gives credit to:
    1)an organized gluten free community
    2)and initiative led by 1 in 133 founders Jules Shepard and John Forberger – 3)and all of you who signed last week’s petition

    (My first post on the Domino’s stuff was May 7 on my FB page, not that it matters. I kind of think we’re on the same team, aren’t we?)


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  1. [...] announced that in response to the public’s overwhelming uproar, it is suspending use of its “amber” credential.  According to their press release, they will “conduct a review to determine [...]

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