CHICAGO — The University of Chicago has received certification from the Gluten Intolerance Group’s Gluten-Free Food Service (GFFS) Accreditation Program for its medical center and campus food service operations. The designation makes UChicago one of three medical centers in the United States to carry the accreditation, and the only academic institution to do so for both its hospital and campus facilities.
The GFFS designation, the leading such program in the world, certifies that University of Chicago Dining Services staff are equipped to safely prepare and serve gluten-free meals and food items to inpatients in the Center for Care and Discovery, Mitchell Hospital and Comer
Children’s Hospital; visitors at the Duchossois Center for Advanced Medicine (DCAM) outpatient clinic; and students and visitors at the Cathey Dining Commons.
The effort was spearheaded by the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center, which is an international center of excellence that conducts research and provides comprehensive treatment, diagnosis, and education for both adult and pediatric patients with celiac disease. Celiac is an autoimmune disease that results in damage to the lining of the small intestine when someone eats foods containing gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley.
“Our Center has long been known for its expertise and leadership in research and diagnosis of celiac disease, but just as important is being able to walk the walk when it comes to its treatment: the gluten-free diet,” said Carol Shilson, Executive Director of the Celiac Disease Center. “We are thrilled that the campus has now followed the hospital’s lead in providing best-in-class, tasty, safe and reliable food for those with celiac disease.”
University of Chicago Medicine Dining Services, provided by Aramark, began the certification process when Aramark took over as the medical center’s food service provider in April 2014. Gluten-free meals for the medical center’s three inpatient