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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

      This Celiac.com FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc.   Subscribe to FREE Celiac.com email alerts What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease? - list blood tests, endo with biopsy, genetic test and enterolab (not diagnostic) Celiac Disease Screening Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results Can I be tested even though I am eating gluten free? How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful? The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free Is celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic Testing Is there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and Disorders Is there a list of gluten foods to avoid? Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients) Is there a list of gluten free foods? Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients) Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages Distilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free? Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free Diet Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes Where can I buy gluten-free stuff? Support this site by shopping at The Celiac.com Store.

Still Not Taken Seriously?
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25 posts in this topic

What I would appreciate more than anything, is to not be looked at like I had three heads when I ask for a gluten-free menu.  It amazes me, even at many high-end establishments, that I cannot get a gluten-free menu.  When I do get a gluten-free menu there won't even be a handful of items on it. Or I get told I can eat salad. While traveling recently I had salad seven meals in a row because I had no other options. I ended up getting horribly ill from that.  My stomach was a mess for days (I also have lettuce issues).

 

I recently went to one local restaurant and asked for a gluten-free menu.  This was a nice family-style restaurant. Not upscale but not low-end either.  I promise you with all that is holy in this world, the owner/manager came out and curtly asked our table, "Who asked for the G** D*mn gluten-free menu?"  Yes, I promise that's exactly how that went down.  Obviously, I got up and left.  Sadly, this was my son's birthday and he had requested to eat there.

 

All I want is to be taken seriously and not to be treated rudely because I have a disorder that may be inconvenient for them.

 

 

I was impressed by the large, varied selection of items at California Dreamin'.

Bonefish has a nice Gluten Free menu.  So far no cross contamination issues.  

 

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I can relate. I rarely eat out. Now we travel in an RV and meals are a lesser concern. We still travel via air and we always purchase a nice chest and make sure hotel rooms have frigs. At home, we keep Go Picnics with us and other foods in a ice chest. We just order drinks and tailgate out in the parking lot if we were not able to eat before going to the restaurant.

I try to google restaurants and read the reviews written by celiacs. Just having a gluten-free menu means nothing.

Best just to be prepared.

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Wow. Was the restaurant part of a chain? If so you should make a complaint. If not, I would talk to the chamber of commerce in that town and file a complaint with them. I would also write a letter to the editor in that town. They probably wouldn't print it if you named the restaurant, but if you described it well enough, people could figure it out.

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That is totally unacceptable! I would definitely file some sort of a complaint. Sorry that you got that treatment!

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What I would appreciate more than anything, is to not be looked at like I had three heads when I ask for a gluten-free menu.  It amazes me, even at many high-end establishments, that I cannot get a gluten-free menu.  When I do get a gluten-free menu there won't even be a handful of items on it. Or I get told I can eat salad. While traveling recently I had salad seven meals in a row because I had no other options. I ended up getting horribly ill from that.  My stomach was a mess for days (I also have lettuce issues).

 

I recently went to one local restaurant and asked for a gluten-free menu.  This was a nice family-style restaurant. Not upscale but not low-end either.  I promise you with all that is holy in this world, the owner/manager came out and curtly asked our table, "Who asked for the G** D*mn gluten-free menu?"  Yes, I promise that's exactly how that went down.  Obviously, I got up and left.  Sadly, this was my son's birthday and he had requested to eat there.

 

All I want is to be taken seriously and not to be treated rudely because I have a disorder that may be inconvenient for them.

 

 

I was impressed by the large, varied selection of items at California Dreamin'.

Bonefish has a nice Gluten Free menu.  So far no cross contamination issues.  

 

Don't hold back. Please name the restaurant with the evil manager. That is entirely unacceptable.

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Make that another vote for HOLY CRAP, BATMAN. Definitely tell us who that was. And all the other stuff

everyone said, too!

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I went to "Fish Bones" With my kids yesterday. My kids picked it because they went on line and they had a gluten-free menu and a Vegen menu. My other kids are Vegen. Any hoo I asked for a gluten-free menu, the waitress said " Ohh we don't have one for lunch. We just started gluten-free this last week so we don't do it at lunch time. Me: Ohh ok umm I will "Eat a salad" lol and so I ordered a Hamburger with no bun I asked if the fries had a separate fryer she kinda himmed and hawwed and finally said well stuff that had flour on it has been cooked in there before but we cook at 400º I said no thank you then. She said is this an allergy or just a diet change?  I kinda just stared at her . I said an ALLERGY I will take a side salad.  She said It's cooked at 400º I said the 400º does not kill Gluten! She said ohh our salad dressings are gluten-free I said well I am also Corn intolerant so No dressing. So yea she brought dressing out. Lucky it was in a separate dish. I wanted to reach out and kinda choke her! They need to be taught what gluten-free and Celiac is! 

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Just because a restaurant has no gluten free menu, does not mean they cannot accommodate you. Many can and will do just that.  I don't know where you all live but my experience has been the total opposite, especially with high end restaurants.....and they manage to get it right all of the time.  The only places I have had less than stellar experiences with are those with a chef who has no formal culinary training and waitstaff who have no nutrition or food knowledge.  They are used to serving people who will eat anything, without giving a thought to ingredients....which is a large percentage of the population.  I am not excusing the behavior outlined here but restaurants are not obligated to offer us anything so I am usually very appreciative when they do and get it right.

 

This is also a reminder that the more you eat out, the bigger the chance you will sustain repeated gluten hits.  Whether you like it or not, Celiac's have to limit their eating out experiences or suffer the consequences. Even on vacation, I limit my restaurant visits more than most people do and save it for the places I know will do it right. I don't ever go to chains or fast food places, either. You just cannot blame people for their lack of food knowledge....apparently, this is not taught in school anymore.  Just like the people who cannot make change at the register, they know a whole lot of nothing.  :(

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sorry I have not posted before now. I have been on vacation and it's been a hassle to reach the site.

the restaurant in question is McCoys off old pineville Road in Charlotte North Carolina.

I rarely eat out anymore like others have suggested. I stopped eating out right after my diagnosis. But sometimes you just need to eat out and there's not a lot of choices.

I don't expect restaurants to cater to my special needs. But they don't have to be rude either.

thank you to everyone for your support.

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Just because a restaurant has no gluten free menu, does not mean they cannot accommodate you. Many can and will do just that.  I don't know where you all live but my experience has been the total opposite, especially with high end restaurants.....and they manage to get it right all of the time.  The only places I have had less than stellar experiences with are those with a chef who has no formal culinary training and waitstaff who have no nutrition or food knowledge.  They are used to serving people who will eat anything, without giving a thought to ingredients....which is a large percentage of the population.  I am not excusing the behavior outlined here but restaurants are not obligated to offer us anything so I am usually very appreciative when they do and get it right.

 

This is also a reminder that the more you eat out, the bigger the chance you will sustain repeated gluten hits.  Whether you like it or not, Celiac's have to limit their eating out experiences or suffer the consequences. Even on vacation, I limit my restaurant visits more than most people do and save it for the places I know will do it right. I don't ever go to chains or fast food places, either. You just cannot blame people for their lack of food knowledge....apparently, this is not taught in school anymore.  Just like the people who cannot make change at the register, they know a whole lot of nothing.  :(

Yes I realize they can still accommodate even tho they don't have a menu. But I think in that restaurant they need to be educated! It was in Grand Rapids Mi. Andon line they advertise a great gluten-free menu. But saying not for lunch? I figured must be a different cook! Then her saying yes there has been stuff cooked in the deep fryer that has been breaded but we cook it at 400º is just absolutely Crazy! So if they are going to advertise gluten-free they need to train their w8 staff! Grand Rapids has alot of gluten-free restaurants it is a collage town very diverse people there. I was really amazed. Getting a hamburger without a bun and no condiment is gluten-free :) I had no reaction! :) 

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w8in4dave - I am in Grand Rapids too!

I think a lot of places around here still have lots of learning to do. I'm not going to eat out for a couple more months, then will be very selective if I do. You probably already know this, but I was surprised to find out a lot of places add bread/crumbs to their hamburgers to make them moist and softer. I went to a Christmas party downtown at Stella's and asked if a burger without a bun was gluten free and he said nope - we add gluten to the meat to make it taste better! I don't know how common that is, but I never would have imagined that.

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Don't let them kid you. They add bread to the meat because bread is cheaper than meat! Any restaurant that does that will cut corners in other ways too.

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Personally, I would get up and walk out of any restaurant that was rude or made huge mistakes before I even got the meal.  It's akin to seeing an idiot doctor who says stupid things about Celiac Disease.  Not everyone is going to do a stellar job at this so in those cases, Elvis needs to leave the building!  ;) 

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sorry I have not posted before now. I have been on vacation and it's been a hassle to reach the site.

the restaurant in question is McCoys off old pineville Road in Charlotte North Carolina.

I rarely eat out anymore like others have suggested. I stopped eating out right after my diagnosis. But sometimes you just need to eat out and there's not a lot of choices.

I don't expect restaurants to cater to my special needs. But they don't have to be rude either.

thank you to everyone for your support.

Please post a review to Yelp about them so that any other celiacs looking for restaurants will avoid the place!

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As a waitress and fellow celiac, I'm kind of scared by everyone saying they get salads when they go out. Salads are some of the most likely things to be contaminated! In every restaurant I've worked the station that the salads are made is the same place they make wraps, appetizers, and possibly sandwiches. And when they're busy their hands that have touched flour tortillas and fried food go right in the lettuce and other veggies. It depends on the restaurant, of course, but I see enough that I'd never eat a salad at any place I've worked.

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As a waitress and fellow celiac, I'm kind of scared by everyone saying they get salads when they go out. Salads are some of the most likely things to be contaminated! In every restaurant I've worked the station that the salads are made is the same place they make wraps, appetizers, and possibly sandwiches. And when they're busy their hands that have touched flour tortillas and fried food go right in the lettuce and other veggies. It depends on the restaurant, of course, but I see enough that I'd never eat a salad at any place I've worked.

I have mentioned the same thing a few times. I worked in restaurants for years and I never saw a salad station I would trust.

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As a waitress and fellow celiac, I'm kind of scared by everyone saying they get salads when they go out. Salads are some of the most likely things to be contaminated! In every restaurant I've worked the station that the salads are made is the same place they make wraps, appetizers, and possibly sandwiches. And when they're busy their hands that have touched flour tortillas and fried food go right in the lettuce and other veggies. It depends on the restaurant, of course, but I see enough that I'd never eat a salad at any place I've worked.

  

I have mentioned the same thing a few times. I worked in restaurants for years and I never saw a salad station I would trust.

Oh my! Thank you both for that info, I had no idea.

I am wondering -Since you both have worked in restaurants and have an idea of what goes on behind the scenes, what would you suggest that people order when eating out?

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I think instead of wondering what you should order, more attention should be paid to the type of restaurant you eat out in.  I have never been glutened by a salad in 9 years gluten-free but I eat at restaurants that are much higher end places, where the chef has been to culinary school and had an education in cc and everything that goes along with it.  I do not eat out that often at all because the higher end places cost more money so eating out is a real treat.  If the employees are line cooks only, then they have experience but usually are not graduates of a culinary school.  If that is the case, then no matter what you order will have a higher chance of being cc'd.

 

The other criteria I follow with success are restaurants that have Celiac in the family so they are more aware of the dangers of cc. I know some parts of the country are not as Celiac aware and that can be part of the problem too.  I never eat fast food and there is only one chain I trust that has been GIG trained.  The others either have crappy food or I don't trust them to get it right.  There are websites that list and review (from fellow Celiac's) menu's so you can always look at those and see what other people are saying.

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I worked in a hotel that had a restaurant and a major catering operation for the

meeting space in the hotel. I worked with a whole lot of culinary school graduates

who wouldn't know the word 'gluten' if it were the million dollar question on a game

show. Just sayin'. :rolleyes:  Frustrating that we need such long list of 'parameters' for

where we can eat out, I know.

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I usually do better in high end restaurants - but not always. I ate at a very high end local restaurant and got extremely ill from cross contamination.    I was sick for about 16 hours.  It was horrible.  But generally speaking, high end restaurants are much safer than cheaper restaurants.  

 

But  a nearby moderately priced pizza joint that offers gluten free pizza always does well.  The owner has twin boys with celiacs.  So they are very couple there.

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I worked in a hotel that had a restaurant and a major catering operation for the

meeting space in the hotel. I worked with a whole lot of culinary school graduates

who wouldn't know the word 'gluten' if it were the million dollar question on a game

show. Just sayin'. :rolleyes:  Frustrating that we need such long list of 'parameters' for

where we can eat out, I know.

They must not have been paying attention while in class. Around here, we have graduates from the CIA and Johnson & Wales school in Rhode Island and they both have courses in gluten-free cooking. I believe that Johnson & Wales actually has a course of study for Celiac's so they can do the pastry/bread portion without being cc'd. They are taking Celiac Disease very seriously at these places and it shows when they graduate and get jobs. I have spoken at length with graduates from these 2 schools and they are very impressive with their knowledge.

I have also visited the CIA campus in NY and eaten at their restaurants there......great experience. Makes for a good vacation destination because it's a pretty area, rich in history.

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Wow. He sounds like a bully and obviously ignorant of the situation. I've been glutened in a lot of restaurants and prepare my food at home. I keep hoping that, through time, I won't be so sensitive but that doesn't sound like the case for some of the veterans. Some people seem to be able to cut down the odds of restaurant glutenings after much experience. Wondering if there's a restaurant inquiry checklist on here that we can use when calling ahead.

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They must not have been paying attention while in class. Around here, we have graduates from the CIA and Johnson & Wales school in Rhode Island and they both have courses in gluten-free cooking. I believe that Johnson & Wales actually has a course of study for Celiac's so they can do the pastry/bread portion without being cc'd. They are taking Celiac Disease very seriously at these places and it shows when they graduate and get jobs. I have spoken at length with graduates from these 2 schools and they are very impressive with their knowledge.

I have also visited the CIA campus in NY and eaten at their restaurants there......great experience. Makes for a good vacation destination because it's a pretty area, rich in history.

That's good to hear! The Johnson and Wales graduates I worked with were, frankly, terrifying. That was ten years ago at this point, and I was working with people who were a long time out of school, so the changes in recent years are very promising.

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Just because a restaurant has no gluten free menu, does not mean they cannot accommodate you. Many can and will do just that.  I don't know where you all live but my experience has been the total opposite, especially with high end restaurants.....and they manage to get it right all of the time.  The only places I have had less than stellar experiences with are those with a chef who has no formal culinary training and waitstaff who have no nutrition or food knowledge.  They are used to serving people who will eat anything, without giving a thought to ingredients....which is a large percentage of the population.  I am not excusing the behavior outlined here but restaurants are not obligated to offer us anything so I am usually very appreciative when they do and get it right.

 

This is also a reminder that the more you eat out, the bigger the chance you will sustain repeated gluten hits.  Whether you like it or not, Celiac's have to limit their eating out experiences or suffer the consequences. Even on vacation, I limit my restaurant visits more than most people do and save it for the places I know will do it right. I don't ever go to chains or fast food places, either. You just cannot blame people for their lack of food knowledge....apparently, this is not taught in school anymore.  Just like the people who cannot make change at the register, they know a whole lot of nothing.  :(

I agree with this! We have found some reliable restaurants near home, some with gluten free menus and some without (but thoughtful and careful, know what gluten is). Away from home, its a complete unknown. Getting to the point of knowing the trusted places near home took a lot of glutenings (at places we won't eat at anymore) to find the good ones. It took time. Out and about, reviews can help some, but I am not usually in a position that being glutened would work out so well (does it ever?) in the travel so now try to avoid it as I can. In the end, near home or away, restaurant visits are now much more limited, always more risky than homemade. 

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Gemini, I agree with you. I have had great experiences eating out in little ol' backwater Jackson, MS. The more upscale the restaurant, in general, the more cooperative and understanding they are.

 

Another plan:Pick a restaurant you like and talk to the owner/manager/chef or whoever is in charge. Go when they are not busy and explain your situation. Tell him/her that you would like to be a regular customer if they can work with you. This works especially well at "Mom and Pop" type places. That way you will have a safe place to suggest with a group. Added bonus: Don't be surprised if they take you under a wing and treat you like royalty. 

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