November 19, 2016

Ottawa Senators To Host Celiac Disease Awareness Night


The Canadian Celiac  Association has teamed up with the Ottawa Senators to host a Celiac Awareness night


 When I received an email from the Canadian Celiac Association (CCA) advising of this event, I was thrilled! As a Celiac and a hockey fan, this is a double win. I have emailed an inquiry as to whether or not there will be any Celiac safe food at the event and will post an update once a response is received.


     When:
     Saturday, March 4th 2017

     Where:
     The Canadian Tire Centre
     1000 Palladium Drive Ottawa, 
       Ontario K2V 1A5



       How to purchase tickets:

Please visit this page to ensure that part of your ticket price will be donated to the CCA. 

You NEED to use the promo code CELIAC when you complete checkout.
Not a hockey fan, but know someone who is? Senators tickets make a great Christmas or birthday gift! Plus you will also be helping fellow Celiac's - A portion of ticket proceeds will support important awareness, research, and restaurant training programs. All brought to you by the CCA.                  
 

For more information, kindly email cca.communications@celiac.ca with your inquiry.


October 31, 2016

Review: Uncle Steve’s Italian Specialties




We enjoy a lot of pasta in my home. It's a simple, quick and cost-effective meal. You can't beat the versatility of it - a comforting hot dish in the winter, and a refreshing salad in the summer. Seriously, you've got to appreciate that.


When I was offered the chance to review some gluten-free pasta sauces, I jumped at the opportunity. I'm always eager to try new products and I love sharing reviews with you guys! So what am I reviewing today?


Uncle Steve’s Italian Specialties- Marinara, Tomato Basil, and Arribiata.



Trio of Uncle Steve's Italian Specialties



Who Is Uncle Steve?


Uncle Steve aka Steve Schirripa is an Actor, Host, and NYT Best Selling Author. The name sounds familiar, right? You probably know him from Sopranos fame and you can see him currently on Blue Bloods. Full disclosure - I haven't seen either of these shows.

Information About the Sauces


Made with imported Italian organic tomatoes
Gluten Free 
Non-GMO 
Kosher Certified
Dairy Free
Vegan
Paleo Approved
No Added Sugar

How did the Sauces do?


I made a separate meal for each sauce.

  • Tomato Basil Sauce: Vegetarian Penne Rigate
  • Marinara Sauce: Chicken & Rice Stuffed Tomatoes 
  • Arrabiata Sauce: Spicey Meatball Subs

 All 3 sauces smell spectacular!


The Tomato Basil Sauce is thinner than what I'm accustomed to.That being said, the sauce packs some vibrantly impressive flavour. It's nicely tart and slightly sweet, without being too sweet. Overall, I could get used to the delicateness of this sauce as it turns what could be a heavy pasta dish, into lighter fare. Really tasty!
The Arrabiata Sauce is for fans of heat. In fact, "spicy" is very clearly displayed on the label. If you're not a fan of spicy foods, I can't really recommend this particular sauce to you. If you do enjoy some fire in your life, you will appreciate the kick of spice and zest. It has a nice bite that is not at all overpowering, but it does linger on the tongue. I'd like to try this with nachos in the future.
The Marinara Sauce is conveniently versatile! While I used it to fancy up my stuffed tomatoes, the dish ideas are endless. If I had an Italian Nona, this is what she would make. The presence of fresh tomatoes is abundant in the flavour. I love how rich in flavour and hearty this sauce is! I plan on baking some cheese smothered chicken with it in the future.



Where To Find Uncle Steve's Specialties


Fellow Canadians, you can purchase Uncle Steve's products online and they can be shipped anywhere.

For my American friends, the sauces are available in stores across the US. You can find it in major supermarkets such as Whole Foods, Albertsons, Stop and Shop, Shop Rite, health food stores, and mom and pop shops. Plus, you can shop online through Uncle Steve's website through the above link as well.



Visit Uncle Steve's website to learn more. You can also keep up to date by following  along on Twitter @StevenSchirripa @UncleStevesNY 


Disclosure - Samples of the product were provided to me free of charge for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

September 22, 2016

Reporting Gluten-Free Issues In Canada

Gluten-Free Standards



In Canada, a gluten-free manufacturer is expected to ensure that no gluten containing grains are present as an ingredient and that all ingredients used in the manufacture of a gluten-free product are indeed gluten-free and have not been cross contaminated in any way. Meaning gluten-free equals gluten-free. Not maybe, or almost, but entirely gluten-free.


What Can You Report?


  • Foods containing gluten, being sold as gluten-free 
  • An adverse reaction you've had following the consumption of gluten-free food
  • Restaurants/bakeries which market gluten containing items as gluten-free
  • Food falsely advertised in print as gluten-free

How To Report Your Concerns


Please report your concerns to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). They are responsible for enforcing the labelling regulations that are set by Health Canada. Once they have your complaint, they will investigate further. 

Contact your local CFIA regional office or call the following toll-free number 1-800-442-2342.

You can also use this online form to report your food safety or labelling concern.


What Will Happen


When you make a complaint, the CFIA will open a case file and launch a food safety investigation. A representative from the agency will contact you and may visit your home. A home visit is necessary for retrieval of leftover food in question. A sample will then be sent to a lab to be analysed. They may also visit the store which you purchased the item in question at to collect more samples.

You will be asked for 



  • Brand Name Of Product 
  • Size, Universal Product Code (UPC), Best Before Date 
  • Name and Address Of The Store where product Was Purchased At 
  • Purchase Date(s) 
  • Home Address (ensures your inquiry reaches the correct CFIA regional office) 
  • Daytime Phone Number so an inspector can reach you


Please keep any remaining product as a sample may be needed for investigation

You're Making A Difference


Speaking up and voicing your concerns is priceless. I cannot stress enough how important this is. Every complaint is taken seriously and thoroughly investigated.

 Thanks to our help, the CFIA is able to:

- Issue Food Recalls
- Implement Label Updates
- Provide Allergen Safety Alerts
- Prevent Companies From Engaging In Misleading Advertising
- Notify Manufactures About Allergen Protocol



Did you know that you can sign up for food recall warnings via email? There's also a handy web application  which you can download free of charge, to stay up to date as well.

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