Get email alerts Get Celiac.com E-mail Alerts  




Celiac.com Sponsor:
Celiac.com Sponsor:




Ads by Google:






   Get email alerts  Subscribe to FREE Celiac.com email alerts

Can't Trust So Called Gluten Free Menu Items Anymore
0

20 posts in this topic

It's my feeling that after eating at a spot that some Restaurants will say their food is Gluten Free even when it is not, just to appeal to more people.


The other day I had a 'gluten-free' poutine, that started causing me pain shortly after consuming and continued to have pain for about 2 day's after.  I don't know if the guy used the wrong gravy or what.   

I just can't trust it anymore.  I won't eat it unless I made it.  It's not worth the pain.  

 

Vegetables might be ok while out, but that's IT!

 

Your experiences?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Ads by Google:

Generally, it is not safe to eat out unless you personally know the cook. Some restaurants have high awareness of celiac. Others do not.

 

I've eaten out at steak houses before and have been okay.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Until there are laws and regulations, dining out will always be a risk.  But, once you know what you're doing and you make wise choices, there is no reason to deprive yourself of something that others enjoy.  :)

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just because they have a gluten free menu, it does NOT mean that the food is safe.  Lots of restaurants don't know what they're doing, and they just list gluten free to appeal to trendy dieters.  You don't have to know the chef personally, but you do need to talk to the chef or the manager and make sure they know what they're doing.  Ask if the food is made in a separate area of the kitchen.  Ask if they have different dishes and utensils.  Ask if they grill food on a separate, dedicated grill - or if they use a dedicated fryer for ONLY gluten free items.  You can't assume that they understand how to avoid cross-contamination.  If you have ANY doubts - don't eat the food. I or my husband always call new restaurants ahead of time and ask these questions, even if they have a gluten free menu.

 

My guess on the poutine?  Probably the ingredients were gluten free, but the fries for the poutine were made in a fryer that also handles breaded items - like onion rings or cheese sticks. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:

 

As far as people are concerned there are two definitions of gluten free.  One means that nobody purposely puts any gluten in.  The second means that it is processed in a separate facility than wheat.  I was warned at Jason's deli that, although they had a gluten free menu, it was not intended for celiacs.  Nice they were honest. 

 

 

From my super-sensitive perspective: 

 

 I can't imagine going into a regular pizza restaurant to eat.  Some are advertising gluten free, but check the back, there is flour everywhere.  Even if they put none in a cleaning mixing bowl, what about where they knead it.  Anyway for now I am not eating out and I was also told not to go into a restaurant.  But if I must go in, not to eat while I am there, even if it is my own food.

 

I am not saying everyone needs to use all of the precautions I do.  But if you need them: consider them.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites




I learned the hard way about health food restaurants. Apparently a gluten free diet is a trend. It's good for Celiacs in grocery stores (supply and demand) but you have to stress the importance of cross contamination and your disease when eating out.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had lunch with my family at Baker's Crust (yeah I know! :rolleyes: )  It's a nice restaurant and they have lots of options.  We had been there before, but I could not remember their frier situation.  I inquired and the waitress indicated that it was dedicated to unbreaded foods.  I ordered.  With a quick return, she corrects her statement and said that it was not "dedicated", and I could have a side salad in exchange. I was very impressed with her attention that she afforded me.  My only regret was that I did not get her name, as I should have spoken to her manager.

 

Yeah, she got an extra tip and a big thank you. :D

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I almost trust restaurants that have a "There may be cross contamination" disclaimer more. Because then I know they at least understand that cc is an issue. But I look at reviews of places (Find Me Gluten Free app) and only use the list and cautions from my local celiac support group. The support group also has descriptions on the varying levels of celiac's observances like "some items can be made gluten free" all the way to "one of the chef's has celiac's and has worked to make the restaurant somewhere safe for him to eat." Those little extra behind the scenes additions are helpful. 

 

I've also found that restaurants that cater to multiple diets/intolerances/religious observances are a lot better. But there is always a risk and that's just something we have to accept. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the case of the poutine, I'd be willing to bet that the fries were done in a shared fryer.  Or that whoever grabbed up the cheese had gluten on their hands.  But you might be right.  The gravy might not have been gluten-free.  For that matter, your plate could even have been glutened.

 

But we learned the hard way that even though the offer a gluten-free menu does not mean that they won't still try to serve you gluten.  They often just don't get it.  Such as ordering gluten-free pasta but then they bring you the regular bread or breadsticks.  Or put croutons on your salad even though you ask for them to be left off.  And then when you mention it, they tell you that they'll just go pick them off for you.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Definitely talk it out with your waiter and do lots of research before you eat out. It's a risk, it's terrible to me that gluten-free has become a trendy diet to help you lose weight quickly. That's why a lot of restaurants just slap gluten-free on an item if there is no wheat product on it but may be lax with cross contamination and other things. I hope you feel better soon. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that whether or not you want to do it depends on how sick you might get if glutened, and how sensitive you are, or in other words how likely it is that you will get glutened.  It is an individual choice depending on those two factors, and maybe more, like do you have an important client meeting the next morning during which you don't want to be having to run to the bathroom, and how much you hate to cook.

 

I tried it several times and finally gave it up myself.  The disadvantage of possibly getting glutened outweighs the disadvantage of cooking everything myself in my case.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just recently went out to eat at a local chain restaurant with my family.  I spoke with my server about cross contamination and she was awesome and went to the manager and cook.  Both of which came to our table and made sure to let me know about a dedicated part of the grill and since they did not have a dedicated fryer, offered me a side salad (usually $$2 more) free.  You just need to be vigilant and ask the right questions. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have given up on restaurants completely, with the exception of two restaurants. I've noticed as everyone else on here has, that restaurants will really say anything to sell their food, but when I get home I'm the one in pain for days. I would love to find those people who told me the food is gluten-free and puts tons of aloe stems in their food--ha, who's sitting on the toilet now! Ha ha!

  No but seriously, only two restaurants never make me sick (both in NYC)--Risotteria and a raw, vegan, organic, gluten-free restaurant called Rockin' Raw. Bisou Chao macaron cookies seem to be safe as well (also in NYC). I know that Jennifer Esposito is an adamant Celiac and she just opened a bakery in Manhattan--it's called Jennifer's Way on 263 E. 10th St. I'm going there tomorrow with my husband to celebrate our anniversary.

  But it's just so sad and awful that most restaurants absolutely don't care for Celiacs and are just pandering to a trend of people who don't even need to be gluten-free. I also don't understand why gluten-free product labeling is not better regulated and standardized. That would make life easier for so many people.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also think being vigilant has never worked for me. I've had servers and restaurant managers lie right to my face and reassure me that the food is gluten-free and make promises, but when I got home each time I just got very sick. I tend to do my research ahead of time before even setting foot in a restaurant. I call them ahead of time and won't go unless they are an entirely gluten-free restaurant with no gluten on the premises or if the food is separated. I also ask about the sources of their ingredients to make sure they are not contaminated. It's near impossible, but I figure the more I call and ask companies and restaurants about this, the more they will realize that they have to cater to Celiacs. I think it changes things for all of us. Keep asking, keep questioning!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have given up on restaurants completely, with the exception of two restaurants. I've noticed as everyone else on here has, that restaurants will really say anything to sell their food, but when I get home I'm the one in pain for days. I would love to find those people who told me the food is gluten-free and puts tons of aloe stems in their food--ha, who's sitting on the toilet now! Ha ha!

  No but seriously, only two restaurants never make me sick (both in NYC)--Risotteria and a raw, vegan, organic, gluten-free restaurant called Rockin' Raw. Bisou Chao macaron cookies seem to be safe as well (also in NYC). I know that Jennifer Esposito is an adamant Celiac and she just opened a bakery in Manhattan--it's called Jennifer's Way on 263 E. 10th St. I'm going there tomorrow with my husband to celebrate our anniversary.

  But it's just so sad and awful that most restaurants absolutely don't care for Celiacs and are just pandering to a trend of people who don't even need to be gluten-free. I also don't understand why gluten-free product labeling is not better regulated and standardized. That would make life easier for so many people.

 There is no gluten in aloe stems.  I am not saying you do not react to aloe, but if you do it is not to gluten.  Gluten is only found in wheat products, barley, rye and foods contaminated with gluten, like oats.  ActualIy some people react to even cerified gluten free oats.  I cannot imagine aloe being processed anywhere near wheat.  Aloe is, in fact, a calmant of the gut for most people.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 There is no gluten in aloe stems.  I am not saying you do not react to aloe, but if you do it is not to gluten.  Gluten is only found in wheat products, barley, rye and foods contaminated with gluten, like oats.  ActualIy some people react to even cerified gluten free oats.  I cannot imagine aloe being processed anywhere near wheat.  Aloe is, in fact, a calmant of the gut for most people.

Mushroom, you need to re read the post.  She didn't say that there was gluten in aloe stems.  She said that she would put aloe stems in their food to make them have to run to the toilet LOL.  I did a google search, apparently the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center says that ingesting aloe can cause diarrhea.

 

It was just a joke.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the quote mushroom made, the poster had this sentence below and  grammatically, if you read it carefully, it sounds like she meant

the people who told me the food is gluten-free and puts tons of aloe stems in their food...... See?

 

"Puts" makes it confusing. She meant to write "put"----as in she would put them in THEIR food so they would end up in the potty. see? Easily misunderstood! :)

 

The sentence she quoted was:

 

"I would love to find those people who told me the food is gluten-free and puts tons of aloe stems in their food-"

 

 

 

Do you see why this is confusing? the people are doing the action of  "told and puts". (a simple addition of the s on that verb can change the meaning so easily.)

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw that it was confusing.  That's why I tried to explain it.  Typos happen.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw that it was confusing.  That's why I tried to explain it.  Typos happen.

more than we'd like sometimes  :D  good thing there's an edit button.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have given up on restaurants completely, with the exception of two restaurants. I've noticed as everyone else on here has, that restaurants will really say anything to sell their food, but when I get home I'm the one in pain for days. I would love to find those people who told me the food is gluten-free and puts tons of aloe stems in their food--ha, who's sitting on the toilet now! Ha ha!

  No but seriously, only two restaurants never make me sick (both in NYC)--Risotteria and a raw, vegan, organic, gluten-free restaurant called Rockin' Raw. Bisou Chao macaron cookies seem to be safe as well (also in NYC). I know that Jennifer Esposito is an adamant Celiac and she just opened a bakery in Manhattan--it's called Jennifer's Way on 263 E. 10th St. I'm going there tomorrow with my husband to celebrate our anniversary.

  But it's just so sad and awful that most restaurants absolutely don't care for Celiacs and are just pandering to a trend of people who don't even need to be gluten-free. I also don't understand why gluten-free product labeling is not better regulated and standardized. That would make life easier for so many people.

 Maybe it's the area you live in but I am in Boston and I have to say that most restaurants go out of their way to make sure I have a safe meal. Why would anyone lie to a celiac and not care?  Do you think they really want to sabotage their business and get a bad name?  There are many places that offer up gluten-free meals now and, from my limited experience because I do not dine out as much as some Celiacs do, I rarely take a hit at a restaurant.  I am insanely sensitive also and react badly to crumbs so it would not be possible for me to eat out if everyone were that careless.  I know there are areas where people have no access to quality restaurants that know how to do gluten-free meals correctly but if you live near a big city, there are usually options to fall back on and you won't get sick.  I just think your statement that most do not care is way off. Gluten free meals in restaurants will not expand if everyone keeps trashing their attempts to cater to us.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
0

  • Forum Statistics

    • Total Topics
      104,703
    • Total Posts
      921,801
  • Topics

  • Posts

    • Hi everyone, I've been reading this forum sporadically and have some questions of my own. I'm in my 40s and was diagnosed with celiac last December by biopsy and blood work after months of tests by my primary and then a gastro. My husband, around the same age as me, was dx'd with stage 4 cancer a month later, so admittedly it's took me longer than I'd have liked to learn about celiac. Now I feel pretty on top of my diet. I mostly make my own food - proteins and veggies, with some certified gluten-free snacks in the mix - and am pretty strict about what I will/won't eat at friend's houses or in restaurants (I prefer to go to dedicated gluten-free kitchens whenever possible). I'm doing okay on the diet, but still getting glutened every so often, usually when I let me guard down outside the home. I also periodically see my primary and a naturopath (who happens to have celiac!), but still, I have many questions if anyone would care to answer:

      -FATIGUE. I'm still so tired, fatigued so much of the time. My doctors blame this on the stress of my husband's diagnosis and my periodic trouble sleeping. But even during weeks where I'm sleeping enough (8-10 hrs a day), eating right, exercising as I can, trying to keep stress at bay, I'm still so bleeping tired. Maybe not when I wake up, but by late afternoon. Often my legs even feel weak/wooden. Has anyone else experienced greater fatigue early on after being diagnosed? This will pass, yes? I know I could cut out the sweets and that could help, but also, being a caregiver is hard and sometimes it's nice to eat your feelings between therapy sessions.  

      -SYMPTOMS CAUSED BY FATIGUE? Sometimes I'll have other "feels like I've been glutened" symptoms if I haven't gotten enough sleep, though I'm trying so hard to sleep at least 8 hours a night these days. Hasn't happened in a while thankfully, but there was a point this summer where my insomnia was bad and my arms were achy and I had some crazy flank/back pain I'd never experienced before. For weeks. Doctor ordered me to sleep sleep sleep, taking Benedryl if needed. I did, and the symptoms went away, but weird, yes? Has this happened to you? I ask because I want to make sure I'm getting all strange pains tested to the full extent if there's a chance it's something other than celiac. I do sometimes still feel that strange side stitch after a CC incident.

      -SKIN PROBLEMS. I have had a smidge of eczema since I was a teen and it - and the dermatitis herpetiformis I've acquired with my dx - are out of control right now. I recognize the connection with stress, but also, has anyone found any great natural remedies for DH to stop the itching? I've tried so many useless ointments and medicated creams, a number of them given to my by a dermo months ago. I see my naturopath this week, but thought I'd ask here too.

      -MOSTLY gluten-free KITCHEN GOOD ENOUGH? My husband is supportive of my diet and mostly eats gluten free meals with me, but we still keep a gluten-y toaster for him and the gluten-y dog food in a corner of the kitchen and he still makes the occasional meal with gluten for himself on his own cookware (ravioli, pizza, mac n cheese, etc). Or sometimes I make eggs/toast and the like for him when he's too sick to move. Otherwise, we're militant about how we cook, which cookware we use, etc. He even has a kitchen nook off our den where he makes sandwiches. But sometimes I wonder if having two separate sponges in our shared-ish main kitchen is enough and I should just banish all gluten whatsoever from the kitchen. I can't be the only one with a mixed kitchen, right? How do you do it if you have a mixed-eating family?

      Thank you so much!  
    • Hang in there!  Count your blessings.  Do something you like to do and relax. I know that is hard to do as a young mother (as I sit here in the kitchen sipping coffee quietly as my teenager is sleeping in after a late football game last night where she marched in 90 degree plus weather in full uniform).   But seriously, take a few minutes to relax!  
    • Meredith, this is very true. A colonoscopy is for diagnosis of the lower intestine, endoscopy for the upper intestine.  How did your doctor interpret the tests? I suggest you read the link Cycling Lady gave you because it contains a lot of good information. 
    • Sorry, but this product (supplement) is not even certified gluten free.   Seems odd that a product geared to Non-Celiac Gluten Intolerance would not take the extra step of getting certified.   I guess I am a Nervous Nellie, especially after the reports that several probiotics were contaminated with gluten.   https://celiac.org/blog/2015/06/probiotics-your-friend-or-foe/
    • Thank you for posting that. I've had a lot of that bloodwork done and everything is normal. At the peak of this belly bug I had blood work done and my white count was fine. I think it's just my health anxiety scaring me into thinking this is something scarier (to me) than celiac. Maybe the anxiety will subside once I go gluten-free. The anxiety is brutal.
  • Upcoming Events

  • Blog Entries

  • Recent Status Updates

  • Who's Online (See full list)

  • Member Statistics

    • Total Members
      61,705
    • Most Online
      3,093

    Newest Member
    imissdonuts
    Joined