Curtin Student Guild has supported a motion to increase the number of gluten free options in Guild cafes across campus.
Issues regarding the university’s lack of gluten free options were discussed at the Annual Guild Meeting last Wednesday.
Guild President Dylan Botica says concerns regarding gluten free food have been an ongoing issue.
“The gluten free issue had been raised before and it’s something that the Guild reps were really keen to get moving on a little more,” Botica says.
“We’ve been at a really challenging commercial state over the last couple of years where a lot of the outlets have been struggling to stay open … so we haven’t had the ability to improve in areas like dietary restrictions.”
Although many food outlets around campus already offer a variety of gluten free food options, Boitca says many products are not labelled properly.
“We [Guild] went through with the head chef and we identified there’s a whole range of gluten free options, we just never properly label them and never properly make students aware of what is gluten free and what is not,” he says.
“Towards the end of the year we really want to have it where you can go somewhere and have a good meal even if you are coeliac.”
Curtin journalism student Orla Latawski is gluten intolerant and says she rarely buys food on campus due to the lack of gluten free choices that are ‘filling and healthy.’
“When you’re attending classes all day you want something substantial to eat and often those types of items aren’t gluten free,” Latawski says.
“On the rare occasions that I’ve forgotten my packed lunch, I’ve walked across to the food court at Karawara as I know there are takeaway places there that cater for my dietary requirements.”
Guild also discussed how improvements could be made to ensure there was no cross-contamination of gluten when cafe staff handled food.
“It’s so important people serving food understand cross-contamination and the risks that it can carry for people with coeliac disease or gluten intolerance,” Latawski says.
“For some people, eating just a crumb of bread could be enough to give them a horrible adverse reaction … I would love to see the Guild doing more to educate cafe staff about cross contamination when handling food.”
Latawski says she would be more likely to buy food from campus if the Guild provided ‘coeliac safe gluten free options.’
“It’d be great to be able to catch up with friends on campus and share lunch without having to bring a Tupperware box along from home,” she says.
“It’d be fantastic to enjoy lunch between classes without worrying about your health being compromised.”