PAOLI, Pa. (CBS) - As many as two million Americans suffer from celiac disease — they’re unable to digest gluten, which is found in bread, pasta, beer, and other common foods.
Now, a Chester County supermarket is spearheading a new effort to make shopping a little easier for them, and for their families.
Three gleaming meat-and-cheese slicers in a special deli section at the Amce supermarket, at Routes 30 and 252 in Paoli, will never cut a product that has the offending protein.
Behind the counter, Acme’s Dennis Clark says workers change gloves and shift to the specially marked section whenever a gluten-free item is ordered.
“There’s a lot of training that we’ve done with our associates,” he tells KYW Newsradio. “The product has to be handled separately, the equipment has to be cleaned and sanitized separately.”
Dietz & Watson, the lunchmeat company, is stocking the gluten-free deli case. President Louis Eni says they make hundreds of products that have always been gluten-free.
“It’s just another component to a healthy lifestyle and to a healthy deli section,” he says.
And, there’s a selection of approved breads and condiments right below to help construct a sandwich that’s as mouth-watering as it is digestible for those with celiac disease.
Dennis Clark, with Acme parent company Supervalu, expects the idea to take off at more supermarkets.
“Right now, this is a big need for a lot of individuals that there’s no solution out there. Our goal is to be that solution — provide for them the food they want, the taste they want, at a price that’s affordable for them,” he said today.
Reported by Ian Bush, KYW Newsradio 1060