May 15, 2015

McDonald's Australia Offering Certified Gluten-Free Menu

McDonald's Australia seeks to offer a certified gluten-free menu that's safe for people with celiac disease (also spelled coeliac) at three of the chain's McCafe outlets.

Unlike here in the U.S., in certain countries, including Australia, McDonald's uses the McCafe moniker to signify their in-restaurant coffee shop concept with a standalone counter that offers an expanded menu of the espresso-based drinks and pastries that we're used to here.

The McCafe concept was actually first launched in Australia in 1993 and currently enjoys a strong presence internationally spanning Asia, the Americas, Europe, and Africa.

The McCafe outlets in Rutherford, Singleton, and Greta are participating in the inaugural trial for the Coeliac Australia Gluten Free Accreditation Program and currently offer a gluten-free menu that includes Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, as well as All-Day options.

Lunch and dinner options include the following four sandwiches:

The Chicken Pesto Focaccia features gluten-free sun-dried tomato focaccia, roasted chicken, pesto mayonnaise, tomato, and baby spinach and goes for $7.95 AUS (~$6.39 US).

The Ham & Cheese Focaccia consists of gluten-free focaccia, ham, cheese, and chunky tomato relish and costs $6.25 AUS (~$5.02 US).

The Chicken Hawaii Focaccia includes roasted chicken, mayonnaise, pineapple, red onion, and cheese inside of the gluten-free focaccia for $6.45 AUS (~$5.18 US).

The Sweet Chili Chicken Focaccia comes with roasted chicken, sweet chili sauce, tartar sauce, and baby spinach between gluten-free focaccia and sells for $6.45 AUS (~5.18 US).

Breakfast and all-day options include a variety of sweet and savory gluten-free pastries, including a good amount muffins, a brownie, and toast, ranging between $1.50 AUS (~$1.50 US) and $4.95 AUS (~$3.98 US) in cost.

Coeliac Australia is a national organization that seeks to support and educate individuals diagnosed with celiac disease and related disorders requiring a gluten-free diet. The organization works with the Australian government and industries to standardize allergen labeling through the Coeliac Australia Endorsement Program for gluten-free products and the new Coeliac Australia Gluten Free Accreditation Program.

According to the organization, the "Coeliac Australia Gluten Free Accreditation Program establishes a ‘gold standard’ for gluten free food preparation to ensure all gluten free consumers can eat with confidence outside the home at accredited businesses." The accreditation program evaluates compliance in all stages of food preparation, from the sourcing of ingredients to cross-contamination training to the actual serving of the gluten-free meal.

The three McCafe outlets are the first food service business in Australia eligible to use the Coeliac Australia Gluten Free trademark on gluten-free menu options.

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