I will be heading to France & Spain in a few short weeks and am looking forward to all of the naturally gluten free food I will get to eat while abroad... seafood, cheeses, chocolates... and wine! But, I must say, this bit of news kind of makes me want to pay a visit to good 'ole McDonald's while we are in Spain.
Please note: I am not condoning eating McDonald's on a regular basis if you should travel to Spain, or here in the States. For me, this would be a one time taste test should I find myself in a food predicament.
Update: I had the burger & bun in Barcelona. More bun than burger but was a fun experience, nonetheless.
p>In collaboration with the Spanish Federation of Celiac Associations (FACE), McDonald's has added gluten free buns/bread to their menu! So would I be so wrong to indulge in a gluten free Big Mac while abroad?? p>
Roughly translated, the official release from McDonald's says:
Madrid, May 24, 2011. - McDonald's Spain, a leader in the catering sector, is now offering in all its restaurants in Spain gluten-free bread suitable for coeliacs. This is a bet the company responsible for nutrition and for offering products tailored to the specific needs of all consumers.
According to the Celiac Federation of Spain (FACE), there are about 450,000 coeliacs in our country and about 90% of cases undiagnosed.
In this sense, the Federation calls for greater control in the labeling of all products to celiacs and the inclusion of specific gluten-free menus in restaurants and cafes. This has led to McDonald's, in close collaboration with the CFE to provide a type of bread that satisfies the needs of those suffering from gluten intolerance.
Patricia Abril, President and CEO of McDonald's Spain: "McDonald's has a strong commitment to responsible nutrition and in this sense have always worked to tailor our products to the tastes and nutritional needs of our consumers. With the launch of bread suitable for people with gluten intolerance we take a further step in our commitment to responsible nutrition and hope that celiac patients not only found in McDonald's a restaurant in which to enjoy and eat with total security and confidence, but thereby also contribute to increasing their options of leisure "
Gluten-free bread that is served today in the 414 McDonald's restaurants in Spain, is produced in the factory Berlys Group of Pamplona (Navarra). The product, which is developed taking into account numerous safety measures and specific machinery is supplied to restaurants in a special bag that can be roasted and handled directly in the container, avoiding contamination of the product. Also, included in its labeling the certification mark 'Controlled by FACE', which guarantees that the entity establishes requirements regarding processes and maximum levels of gluten.
Celiac disease is a permanent intolerance to gluten in wheat, barley, rye, buckwheat, kamut, triticale and possibly oats and their derivatives. Chronic intestinal disease is more common in Spain and the only treatment is to get gluten-free diet throughout life, so you get the clinical and functional normalization of the disease.
According to M ª Luz Ciriano, President of FACE: "In Spain there are many people with gluten intolerance, which are limited in many of their leisure activities outside the home, such as eating out, dinner or snack in a restaurant. Initiatives such as McDonald's to launch a pan suitable for celiac enables these people to normalize the entertainment outside the home and do it safely, since from FACE have supported the whole process of manufacture of this product "
Innovation is a top priority for McDonald's and, therefore, the company is constantly working to offer different and varied products that allow customers to choose those that best meet their needs.
In this regard, in addition to gluten-free bread, McDonald's expanded its range of products continuously, and over the past years has introduced a variety of salads, gazpacho, five new varieties of coffee, hamburger 1955 or the new McWrap.
Also, recently, McDonald's has expanded the supply of fruits and vegetables in your children's menu Happy Meal, adding pineapple and carrots to the cherry tomatoes and apples that were already available, and now half of the dessert options are fruit and Half of the supplements are vegetables.
McDonald's and nutrition
McDonald's has always had a strong commitment to promote balanced lifestyles and to this end, developed many initiatives based on three pillars: offering a variety of menu with different products that include ingredients of the six food groups, encourage the promotion of physical activity and, thirdly, to provide nutritional information based on guideline daily amounts (GDA) through the webwww.mcdonaldsmenu.info and the inclusion of nutrition labeling on packages as well as posters and reverse the tablecloth, an initiative in which McDonald's was a pioneer in the hospitality sector in Spain.
McDonald's Spain ended 2010 with a turnover of 851 million euros, representing an increase of 6.2% over the previous year. At the end of last year, the company had 414 restaurants scattered throughout the country and a workforce of about 20,700 employees.
The Federation of Celiac Spain (FACE) was legally established in June 1994 with state scope, nonprofit organization. FACE is composed of 17 federations / associations of celiac autonomous. The fundamental objective of FACE is to coordinate the effort and the work of member associations to defend their rights with a view to the unity of action and to better achieve common goals.
Berlys is one of the leading Spanish food group specialized in the production and marketing of cooked and frozen bakery and pastry. His commitment to healthy eating, healthy diet and functional products, has led to the launch of bread and pastries without gluten. Specialty products has applied the most advanced production processes in Europe, subject to strict quality control and guaranteedFACE brand.
And if you can understand Spanish, check out this video: