Turkish schools to offer gluten-free meals
Meltem Özgenç – ANKARA
Turkey’s Health Ministry and Education Ministry are set to cooperate for students who are gluten-intolerant, ordering schools across Turkey to offer gluten-free meals for pupils with the celiac disease.
Students will be asked when applying to schools if they have gluten-intolerance. If they do, the school will be obligated to offer a gluten-free diet during lunches.
School managements will make sure canteens offer gluten-free products, too, among other products.
The canteen owners and personnel will be given a training regarding celiac disease.
To avoid cross contamination, it will be a must for the canteen personnel to have separate cooking tools such as sandwich toasters, deep frying pans, and grilles for gluten-free use.
When teachers conduct various activities involving food, they will consider the special menu diets of their students and show the necessary sensitivity for those with celiac diets to not feel “excluded.”
Parents will also be notified about gluten-free diets if they are to cook for school occasions involving other students.
The Health Ministry has announced that there are about 700,000 people with celiac disease in Turkey, forming a committee in a bid to undertake what should be done to help those with the disease.
The ministry accordingly approached the Education Ministry to bring the issue forth, preparing a guidebook for the school personnel and informing them about the disease and gluten-free products.