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Saying It's Gluten Free When It's Not! Is This Legal?
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I live in Great Falls, Montana. This is Montana so there isn’t


a Lot of option when going to a restaurant  but there are still several advertising gluten free options
including 2 restaurants that do have fantastic gluten free options (Boston’s
and Jaker’s) but both of those options are rather pricey and more sit down.
When I heard a local pizza place (The Pizza Baron) advertising gluten free
pasta and pizza I was excited. I mean they deliver. Its been years since I had
food delivered. So I called them up to check…. They cook their noodles in the
same pot. Same water. Same strainer…


These people are advertising gluten free food but have no
clue what that even means and are poisoning any celiac and gluten sensitive’s
that take their claim at face value and trust them enough to eat it. I know
they are doing this to jump on the gluten free band wagon (hello Dominoes all
over again) but the pressure put on Dominoes led them to add warnings that the
food was not safe for celiacs.


Now after that long rant here’s my question: Is this legal? Is
it legal to advertise something as gluten free when it is not. Is there really
no system for this, no mandatory anything? People can just call whatever they
want gluten free? I don’t know very much about laws but it just doesn’t seem
right. Isn’t this at the very least false advertising?  I can’t be alone on this sentiment. 

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That's not gluten free if they are cooking the pasta in the same pot as the regular stuff.  A lot of restaurants are clueless. As for being legal, it probably is because I don't think they have to declare gluten in foods.  But it sure isn't a very nice thing to do.  I was watching one of those restaurant shows where they secretly film the employees to see if they are doing right.  They set up a situation where a woman brought in gluten-free pasta and asked them to cook it for her.  They did but...  They didn't show how it was done.  I have had far too many mishaps in restaurants by clueless but well meaning people.

 

I now even wonder about Garlic Jim's pizza!  I never actually watched closely as they made ours.  They do advertise that the flour they use for slapping the dough is gluten-free.  But...  Are they slapping that gluten-free dough on a surface where wheat dough was just slapped?  I don't know.  Are they taking it out of the oven on a piel that held wheat dough?  Dunno. 

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I sort of wonder if this would fall under false advertising.  I highly doubt you'd get anywhere without paying an awful lot of money.

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I've always wondered the same thing. We were out of town, and had checked on the internet before going about places who offered gluten free food. I checked one of them out, and they stated on their menu something about that their food was not for Celiacs due to the chance of cross contact due to prep and cooking, but that it was only for those who wish to avoid eating gluten free - not because of a medical issue. I was very thankful they were upfront and honest. So many people don't eat gluten for so many reason that have nothing to do with Celiac, or intolerances or allergies.  I wish more restaurants would be up front about it so those of us who truly need gluten-free could make informed decisions. 

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I had a meal in a pretty fancy restaurant (can't remember the name) and many of the offerings were listed as gluten free. I asked them specifically, as they had several fried things, if their french fries... which were listed as gluten-free... were fried in the same oil as the other fried things they offered and they told me they were. I told them that they needed to take the listing that their fries were gluten-free OFF the menu as they were NOT gluten-free. As far as I know, they never did.

 

I did go to a local online review site and tell my story so that maybe other celiacs would see it!

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Always assume that there aren't designated prep areas and designated friers unless they actually specify otherwise. Better safe than sorry, and the truth of the matter is, most places either don't care or they just aren't actually taught how to make things safe. Unfortunately, most places only say it's gluten free to get those who are doing it as a fad diet to eat at their place.

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I posted on their facebook and even posted this link http://blog.swipely.com/loyalty/gluten-free-diners-restaurant-guide which has some good information. I wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt, maybe they really don't know, they are a pretty small pizza place after all. so far no response but they haven't deleted my post either, maybe they haven't seen it yet who knows. but it's just so frustrating to never know if a restaurant is being honest when they say gluten free.  I try to not be a jerk about my disease but sometimes it just gets upsetting how few options there are. I almost wish I lived somewhere a bit more gluten free friendly.

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I had a meal in a pretty fancy restaurant (can't remember the name) and many of the offerings were listed as gluten free. I asked them specifically, as they had several fried things, if their french fries... which were listed as gluten-free... were fried in the same oil as the other fried things they offered and they told me they were. I told them that they needed to take the listing that their fries were gluten-free OFF the menu as they were NOT gluten-free. As far as I know, they never did.

 

I did go to a local online review site and tell my story so that maybe other celiacs would see it!

We ate at a steak house once.  I didn't ask about the steak because I can't digest steak.  I did ask about a hamburger patty and asked what all else we could have.  Just a salad with no dressing and a plain baked potato.  Woo hoo!

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A lot of restaurants are labeling themselves "gluten-free friendly" on sites like Urbanspoon to cash in on the gluten-free craze and get more customers in the door. I went through the list of gluten-free friendly restaurants on that site (it's a separate category if you've never looked at it), and was shocked by the number of restaurants that I know aren't gluten-free friendly at all. There were a couple of Italian restaurants on the list that I wasn't familiar with, but I went through their menu and there wasn't a single gluten-free option offered, nor was there a note on their websites about how to order something without gluten. Just a scam.

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We have a piazza place by us, and they totally understand and do the gluten free right!  So a HUGE shout out for Momma Maria's in Brandon/Ortonville, Michigan. :wub:

 

I have even heard the owner talk to his employee about NEVER putting a boxed gluten free pizza in the same warming/wait station with the normal pizzas. :D

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