Hundreds expected to flock to gluten free food festival in Leeds

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Gluten free fare is set to attract hundreds of people to a Leeds food festival tomorrow.

More than 25 manufacturers and suppliers of gluten free food will attend the annual Leeds Gluten Free Food Fair at Pudsey Civic Hall from 2pm to 4pm.

The event, organised by the Leeds volunteer group of the Coeliac UK charity, will also feature a gluten free cafe, raffle prizes and children’s activities.

A gluten free diet is the essential daily antidote to coeliac disease, an autoimmune disease with no known cure. Untreated it is linked to osteoporosis and cancer of the small bowel.

Coeliac disease is an intolerance to gluten and affects at least one in 100 people in the UK.

Many people who aren’t officially diagnosed as coeliac also choose to cut gluten, which is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley, from their diets.

Pamela Atack, a Leeds Coeliac UK volunteer who helped to organise the fair, said: “The fair is a great way of raising awareness of gluten free food and why it’s important, certainly for people diagnosed as coeliac who need to stick to that lifestyle.

“You don’t have to be coeliac to come and those people who choose not to eat gluten are very much welcome.”

Last year around 400 people attended the event. Entry to the Leeds Gluten Free Food Fair 2016 costs £1 for adults and is free for under 16s.

Publicity around gluten free diets in recent years has led to a spike in awareness of coeliac disease.

Leeds’ first gluten free restaurant 2 Oxford Place was opened by coeliac Victoria Hall in 2014.

The Leeds Coeliac Group has more than 1,000 members. For further information visit www.coeliac.org.uk/leeds.