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Belfast to host first dedicated Gluten Free Food Fair

Pictured are husband and wife Derek and Christina Thompson with their son Michael, founders of Gluten Free Ireland.

Pictured are husband and wife Derek and Christina Thompson with their son Michael, founders of Gluten Free Ireland.

Pictured are husband and wife Derek and Christina Thompson with their son Michael, founders of Gluten Free Ireland.

Pictured are husband and wife Derek and Christina Thompson with their son Michael, founders of Gluten Free Ireland.

Gluten Free Ireland is to host its first exclusively gluten free food fair in Belfast on September 17 in the Crumlin Road Gaol, with over 1,500 people already taking to Facebook to express an interest.

Now in its sixth year, the Gluten Free Ireland Food Fairs are a miniature food expo for sufferers of Coeliac disease and those on a gluten free diet. Attracting visitors from around the country, the family event showcases local and international gluten free food producers as well providing advice and support on living gluten free.

Previous fairs have been held in Ballycastle, Omagh, Enniskillen, Ballymena and Randalstown.

“People have travelled from Dublin and Donegal to attend our events in the past and we’re incredibly excited to be coming to Belfast,” said Michael Thompson, marketing director at Gluten Free Ireland. “The Crumlin Road Gaol is an amazing tourist attraction and fitted our criteria for free parking and easy access perfectly. Sourcing and buying gluten free food can be expensive enough so we aim to make the day as stress free as possible.”

The doors are open from 12 noon until 5pm and visitors can chat with producers, suppliers and agencies involved in gluten free food production and distribution, as well as buying gluten free foods and enjoying a range of special offers.

Tickets for the event are £2 for over 16s and visitors are advised to book online for fast track entry at www.glutenfreeireland.com. Ticket holders will also receive £2 off the cost of a tour of the Crumlin Road Gaol.

With Coeliac disease affecting one out of every hundred people in Ireland, the need for gluten free options in catering venues is paramount. Finding those venues and getting peace of mind can mean the difference between enjoying a day out and simply not leaving the house in fear of debilitating reactions to gluten intolerance.

While the after effects of eating food containing gluten varies from a painful rash to full blown sickness and joint pain, many people not diagnosed with Coeliac disease choose to lead a gluten free lifestyle to ease similar symptoms they experience.

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