Allergen training

EU HACCP Templates

Video Recipe Tutorials

Help line


Providing gluten free training to the catering industry

Our training video – ‘Catering for a gluten free diet’ provides guidance and practical solutions to enable you to implement ‘best practice’ procedures, which are designed to make diners feel comfortable and confident about eating out.

The video is broken down into bite size chunks, and is easy to access for all your staff.

The training will get your staff up to speed quickly and can be watched on-line as often as you like or on DVD. The content is clear and concise and accessible to all your team including: part-time, seasonal and temporary members of staff….it’s also a useful refresher.

For just £20 per month you gain immediate access to all training materials and documentation including:

The Catering for a gluten free diet video on DVD and on-line.

Best practice HACCP Templates for all recognised EU allergens and accompanying Factsheets.

A guide to allergen labelling / declaration laws plus two reference manuals which are designed to help you comply with the law.

Monthly gluten free recipes and video tutorials, covering starters, mains, desserts and more….., using seasonal ingredients to create gluten free dishes suitable for all your diners.

A telephone / email Help Line, so that you can talk through best practice implementation, menu ideas, sourcing ingredients, etc.

How ‘Catering for a gluten free diet’ started

In 2010 we identified a need to develop training for catering establishments that had a desire to cater for coeliacs and those people who are intolerant or sensitive to wheat and / or dairy. The training was designed to provide guidance on how to implement effective process management in the work place. We realised we could do this by providing you and your staff the necessary tools to easily communicate to diners that you have fully understood their condition and that you have adopted best practice to ensure the risk of cross contamination is kept to an absolute minimum.

“….provides guidance and practical solutions to enable businesses to implement ‘best practice’ procedures.”


What does the training look like today?

After the success of our face-to-face seminars we developed the training so that it can be easily accessed nationwide.  Staff throughout your operation can now undertake the training anytime, anywhere and at their own pace.

Click below to watch an explanatory video:


The benefits of training

The benefts of training

Effectively manage allergens

The training equips your staff with the necessary critical knowledge and awareness to be able to develop menus and to create an environment that can safely cater for a gluten free diet. It also provides you with best practice templates for all the EU recognised allergens, including guidance and reference documentation in respect of labelling.

Win new customers

Coeliac diners do not dine alone – they eat out with friends and family.

If you understand the needs of your gluten free diners they will return with their entourage time and time again. So, you’re actually winning several new customers – not just the coeliac.

Implement best practice

Train your staff so that they are as knowledgeable as you, so that the whole organisation ‘sings from the same song sheet’. This ensures a consistent approach to allergen management thus minimising risks and mistakes.

Confidence stems from knowledge which leads to excellence in customer service and allows your establishment to stand out from the crowd.

Comply with current legislation

The training includes two reference manuals which are designed to help you comply with the allergen labelling / declaration laws which came into effect on December 13th 2014. The first can be easily overwritten to produce your own allergen reference manual. The second is designed with dynamic menus in mind. Dynamic in this instance refers to menus that change from week to week or even on a daily basis.

Along with the reference manuals there is a practical guide to allergen labelling and declarations as detailed in the Food Information for Consumers Regulation (EU 1169/2011) with real-world solutions that result in compliance.

Protect your business with a fully compliant document trail

In January 2012 EU legislation came into effect to address claims you can and cannot make in respect of gluten free options on your menu.

We work closely with our local Environmental Health department, Trading Standards and the Food Standards Agency to ensure compliance with the law. We regularly review and update our training materials so if there are any updates or amendments to the law we will inform you as they happen.

On-site training for all your staff

Critically, the course makes it possible for the front of house, restaurant and kitchen staff to all undergo training without having to leave the workplace.  Your staff will effectively manage your GLUTEN FREE offering. The course content is informative and easy to follow.

“…understanding the needs of your gluten free diners will win you several new customers”

 There are many employees working within the catering sector who are unaware of gluten, where it appears in food and the effects of its ingestion on coeliacs.

The training will help you and your staff analyse current procedures and highlight measures to prevent cross contamination. It offers guidance and practical solutions, which you can implement directly to ensure safe working practices that your customers can trust. Ultimately, you want your diners to feel comfortable about eating out and have confidence in the eatery they have chosen.

Monthly gluten free recipes and video tutorials

Having been a manufacturer, we have supplied many of the top food establishments in the country with our gluten, wheat and dairy free range of baked goods. We will share our trade secrets in the recipes, the best ingredients to use and the necessary know how to provide you with an outstanding gluten free offering – no more long life mass produced pap – really set yourselves apart.

Each month we will present at least three gluten free recipes in the form of YouTube tutorials. Covering starters, mains, desserts and afternoon tea goodies, we will show you how you can make tasty dishes that are suitable for all your diners, with minimal disruption to the kitchen. We will endeavour to use easy-to-come-by ingredients including seasonal produce wherever possible.

Telephone / email help line

Our help line is open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday. You can reach us by either telephone and/or email. If we are not available immediately, we promise to respond to you within 24 hours.


Course materials

Module One – What is gluten?

Module one is designed to take the fear out of catering for a gluten free diet. After completing this Module you will have a clear understanding of what gluten is, what it does and why it’s so harmful to a coeliac.

Module Two – Gluten and the law, which foods contain gluten and food labelling laws

Module two looks at what the law has to say on the matter; foods that do, foods that don’t and foods that may contain gluten; and the positive impact a gluten free offering can have on your business.  This module also looks at labelling and the law, which has made it so much easier in lots of ways to identify gluten.

Module Three – Communication, procurement and cross contamination

Module three is arguably the most critical and looks at how you communicate with your customers, from the initial contact to the point of serving, procurement and the risks you’re most likely to encounter when preparing gluten free meals.  Each risk of cross contamination is assessed in turn and potential solutions are presented to effectively manage the risk.

How long is the training?

The training video is made up of three bite size modules and lasts approximately one hour.

After completing the video there is a short quiz to test your understanding. The quiz is comprised of 30 questions and should only take a few minutes to complete. In order to pass the test, you must answer at least 25 questions correctly. If you don’t pass first time, you will have an opportunity to re-sit the test. Upon successful completion you will be issued a certificate.

Taking the test

Since the training is sold on a ‘per establishment’ basis, for the purposes of accreditation and certification you will be asked to nominate an individual who will take the test on behalf of the establishment. If this individual passes, the Certificate will be issued in their name on behalf of the establishment in question.

Personalised staff certificates

If you would like all members of staff to take the test, we can help you monitor their progress and understanding. They can sit the test on line and we will mark their answers.  If they pass we will create and issue personalised certificates in PDF format, which are non-esablishment specific, for a nominal fee of £5.00 + VAT per certificate. If they fail the test, we will keep you informed and they will have an opportunity to resit the test at no extra cost.


Jocelyn and Ferenc Droppa ran a gluten, wheat and dairy free bakery from April 2005 until July 2015. All the ingredients they used were inherently gluten free or contained less than 10 parts per million gluten. With this in mind, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to say that they are extremely aux fait with making gluten, wheat and dairy free foods; and also very well placed to offer practical advice and support to the food service industry in respect of catering for coeliacs and those who are intolerant to wheat and / or dairy.

Jocelyn was diagnosed a coeliac in 1995. She is one of those super-sensitive types that can’t even look at a crumb of normal bread without getting stomach cramps! This presents a real problem as she’s a ‘foody’ who loves to eat out. Inevitably, she ends up eating in the same places and ordering the plainest food where there can’t possibly be any gluten involved in the cooking process. Sadly, even then she is often ill, which can only come about as a result of cross contamination.

As a coeliac, Jocelyn monitors and actively contributes to on-line forums on a daily basis. This enables her to keep up-to-date with developments in the gluten free marketplace; as well as offering an insight into how fellow coeliacs, both old and new manage their gluten free diets.

Both Jocelyn and Ferenc are acutely aware of the measures required to ensure cross contamination does not occur in the preparation and cooking of free from foods.


The Runnymede~on~Thames Hotel & Spa

A 4-star hotel in Egham, Surrey nestling on the banks of the River Thames. The hotel started buying gluten, wheat and dairy free food from Droppa & Droppa back in 2009. Glenn Masson has always been acutely aware that it is not just about having a gluten free option on your menu – it’s about how you manage that option. It’s not enough to just serve a gluten free sandwich anymore. In today’s world diners expect all staff in catering establishments to have a clear understanding of the issues faced by someone following a gluten free diet. The staff must be fully aware of the risk of cross contamination associated with storage, plating and serving and should empathise with diners, so they do not feel that they are being awkward or difficult in their menu choice.

The Runnymede~on~Thames Hotel & Spa

Glenn Masson, Head Pastry Chef, The Runnymede~on~Thames Hotel & Spa

When Droppa & Droppa informed Mr Masson that it had a product that he could use to train all the hotel staff in gluten free procedures, he immediately discussed the opportunity with other colleagues throughout the business. How much better, that everyone who comes into contact with the diner, can help put them at ease; or leave them running for the door if they feel that there is a lack of understanding; or worse still nonchalance. Mr Masson said:

“Although we have always been able to offer gluten free options on our menu, continuity in training new and seasonal staff has consistently proved to be a challenge. Our training has not been as proactive as we would have liked with many staff ‘learning about gluten free on the job’. Learning on the job is fine up to a point, but a ‘knowledge gap’ can leave a business exposed. With this easy to follow DVD, we have trained our staff to the highest standard and we feel very confident about how we manage our gluten free offering, not only in the kitchen, but throughout the hotel. Legal knowledge, practical advice and helpful common-sense tips have ensured that diners are very comfortable about eating here, knowing that every step has been taken to ensure that their gluten free meal is exactly what they expect from us. I would highly recommend this product to anyone who deals in catering, whatever their position.”


Robert Ogden School

Based in Rotherham, the school specialises in Autism. The school’s aim is “….to teach autistic children the skills they need to learn confidently and live as independently as possible in the future.”

Debbie Shelton, The Catering Co-ordinator for the school approached D&D in October 2014 to train the internal catering staff in how to effectively manage the department’s gluten free offering. Three staff (including Debbie) undertook the training and all passed with flying colours.

Robert Ogden School

Picture shows from left to right, Gaynor Cooper, Debbie Shelton (Catering
Co-ordinator), and Annette Goddard.

This is what Ms Shelton had to say about the training:

“I’d like to thank you for producing an excellent and easy to follow ‘Gluten Free Diet’ DVD, this has effectively helped us manage and cater for a gluten free diet. We’ve used the template you provided to implement our ‘best practice’ procedure which has been incorporated into our HACCP. This will also be available for easy access for our local Environmental Health Officer to prove we’ve successfully implemented a ‘best practice’ procedure.

Two of our catering team have also completed the course which they thought was very helpful and helped to expand their knowledge. Their certificates are in full view for all staff and pupils to see, which they are very proud of.”

A few months down the line D&D asked Ms Shelton how the training was working for them post-implementation and this is what she said:

“Having implemented the training in the school itself, we subsequently rolled out the training to both the Residential Unit and The Respite Unit, so that all areas were knowledgeable and consistent. We carry out regular internal refreshers re: the training and procedures, so that good practice is continuously re-enforced. In the last Ofsted report, Debbie and the Catering team received a “Good”, which they are absolutely delighted about.”


Marwood Hill Gardens

A 20 acre private garden with three lakes, set in a valley, tucked away in North Devon. Created by Dr Jimmy Smart VMH in the late 1950’s the gardens are a haven in which to relax and enjoy an impressive collection of plants, shrubs and trees and experience wonderful views and a peaceful atmosphere.

At the beginning of 2012 Patricia Stout, along with a colleague of hers, attended one of D&D’s face-to-face training Seminars. On their return to work they carefully analysed their procedures both in the kitchen and also in the dining area. They then made the necessary adjustments to ensure the risk of cross contamination was kept to an absolute minimum and that all staff were fully conversant with providing a safe gluten free meal from the kitchen right through to the point of serving. The procedures they adopted are robust and continue to serve them well today.

Marwood Hill Gardens

Patricia Stout, Property Manager,
Marwood Hill Gardens

Mrs Stout said of the training:

“It has provided our Tearoom staff with the necessary tools to easily communicate to its diners that their dietary needs are fully understood. Consequently, the Tearoom has been able to create an environment that safely caters for a gluten free diet. Ultimately, the aim was to make diners feel comfortable and confident about eating out and it’s certainly achieved that.”


The Red Lion Hotel, Clovelly.

Red Lion Hotel, Clovelly

Red Lion Hotel, Clovelly. Picture courtesy of Clovelly Estates

Sous chef, Dave Chapman said:

“I am a chef and had very little knowledge about Gluten free, now I have taken your course, I feel I have learnt a lot about preparing foods using gluten free ingredients in a safe environment, as well as laws, legislation and some good old common sense!!  Thank you for a great course.”

Even before the guidance and support material had been fully implemented across the business, Mr Chapman’s exposure to the training had made an impact on his ability to confidently and safely cater for coeliac diners.  Once again, in Mr Chapman’s own words:

“I had my first customers in last night with a child who is quite a severe coeliac.  Our front of house staff immediately told them I had just completed my Gluten Free Training, which gave them the confidence to eat with us (a family of four, one coeliac). I discussed with the parents a menu for the child – they were over the moon with the service. The child was a very fussy eater without taking into account the gluten free side of things.  Once again, a big thank you, for your training and support. Many thanks, Dave Chapman.”

Mr Chapman also said:

“Along with my Head Chef and Hotel Manager, I have adapted our usual Menu.  When it comes to preparing food we’re attempting to make foods that are similar to our usual menu, but with gluten free ingredients in a safe
environment, i.e. making our pie fillings gluten free and having gluten free pastry lids available.  It really doesn’t have to be difficult or complicated it’s about going back to basics with recipes and adjusting them accordingly. I will be keeping an eye on your blog because it’s so true!! Dave.”