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How To Deal With Servers Who Don't Think Celiac Is Real

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29 replies to this topic

#16 MsQuel

 
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Posted 11 June 2014 - 12:31 PM

Hi, I just wanted to chime in.

 

I think it's BS that so many restaurants either try to sell themselves as having "gluten free" options (but we can't trust their spatulas, their re-used pans/griddles/knives)OR they know they can't and they try to disclaim liability as in Domino's Pizza (they cannot promise you a gluten-free experience because they know they do not have separate cutting boards, for example, so they sell you a gluten-free pizza that's been cross contaminated and that's supposed to be disclaimed or waived away).

 

Restaurants CANNOT maintain the same degree of control AGAINST cross-contamination you can at home.  You've surely started to look at ingredients now and maybe have thrown out your old spatulas and wooden spoons and tried your best to sanitize and clarify all your cuttings boards, knifes/forks, cookware... have those restaurants?  

 

Also, have you ever looked at the ingredients of a commercial hamburger (such as those served in your local hospitals and cafeterias and found they were full of "malt extract" or "caramel color" or "yeast extract" or "modified food starch" and realized you'd get sick?

 

Someone said you just got diagnosed, you should be 100% focused on getting your gut better.  That is true.  What happened to me was I failed my blood testing (serology) very badly and then after getting my FULL diagnosis (after pathology and genetics) I had to go back after 3 months post dx.  I AGAIN failed the serology!  WHY?  My doctor told me, because I didn't try harder not to cross contaminate, and she knew I had shared a toaster with my family (I have a toaster oven and use a separate shelf for my own toast than the rack they throw their toast on.

 

I do NOT buy any regular pasta.  I only buy gluten-free pasta but I rough it on their bread... I do not insist my family switch to gluten-free so I don't have to deal with the cross contamination, so I have to remember not to taint the cheese and knives and cutting board but I let them use a plate for their bread and HOPE LIKE HELL the washer cycle removes gluten to less than 20 ppm...

 

DO YOU THINK A RESTAURANT WOULD GO TO THE TROUBLE?  I have to say the LEAST of your concerns is a waiter that dismisses you.  The kitchen staff will not be able to accommodate you UNLESS they are gluten-free and they KNOW HOW TO DO THIS IN A COMMERCIAL KITCHEN.  If anyone disagrees with me who works in the kitchen or chef business I would challenge them to say they are not in the >0.000001% of the population who gives a rat's ass about YOUR medical needs.

 

So yeah, the chips may be 100% corn and good for you for asking but they probably do not specially reserve their oil or their friers for your gluten-free needs.  If ONE wheat-coated onion ring or fish N chip is fried in their, you will FLUNK your next serology check (and your doc should be on you like stink on a monkey and follow up with you on your bloodwork to make sure you're clean).


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4/94 Got IBS Dx---

10/13 Hospitalized for GI bleeding --

10/13 Flunked serology (badly, like 500x over normal for self antibody) --

11/13 failed visual endoscopy but passed serology (WTF) started eating gluten-free--

12/13 flunked Genetics and got Dx --

04/14 flunked serology by 50% over limit, and got a talking to by the Doc saying I need to stop cross-contamination!


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#17 kareng

 
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Posted 11 June 2014 - 12:39 PM

Hi, I just wanted to chime in.


So yeah, the chips may be 100% corn and good for you for asking but they probably do not specially reserve their oil or their friers for your gluten-free needs. If ONE wheat-coated onion ring or fish N chip is fried in their, you will FLUNK your next serology check (and your doc should be on you like stink on a monkey and follow up with you on your bloodwork to make sure you're clean).



While I do appreciate your enthusiasm, one instance of gluten should not cause you to " flunk your next serology". It can take months or a year to get your antibody levels all the way down. 1 instance of glutening should not be enough to raise your blood antibodies if you are otherwise gluten-free.
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#18 BlessedMommy

 
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Posted 11 June 2014 - 01:22 PM

^I agree. If one glutening caused your antibody levels to raise that much, then nobody would need to do a 12 week gluten challenge for diagnosis.

 

Lots of good points about cross contamination though. That is exactly why the more aware I get, the less I eat out. 


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#19 IrishHeart

 
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Posted 11 June 2014 - 03:34 PM

.

 

Restaurants CANNOT maintain the same degree of control AGAINST cross-contamination you can at home.  

 

YOU RAISED MANY POINTS SO MY REPLIES ARE IN CAPS AND UNDERLINED. HOPE YOU CAN FOLLOW IT OK.

THIS IS NOT EXACTLY TRUE. MANY PEOPLE CO-EXIST WITH GLUTEN EATERS AT HOME

AND MANY RESTAURANTS DO AN EXCELLENT JOB AT FOLLOWING THE GIG KITCHEN SAFETY PROTOCOL. 

 

Also, have you ever looked at the ingredients of a commercial hamburger (such as those served in your local hospitals and cafeterias and found they were full of "malt extract" or "caramel color" or "yeast extract" or "modified food starch" and realized you'd get sick?

 

i CANNOT IMAGINE A BEEF BURGER HAVING ANY OF THOSE INGREDIENTS. DO YOU KNOW OF ANY PARTICULAR BRAND THAT ADDS ALL THOSE?

 

 

, so I have to remember not to taint the cheese and knives and cutting board but I let them use a plate for their bread and HOPE LIKE HELL the washer cycle removes gluten to less than 20 ppm...

 

it does

 

 

.  The kitchen staff will not be able to accommodate you UNLESS they are gluten-free and they KNOW HOW TO DO THIS IN A COMMERCIAL KITCHEN.

 

 

I AM NOT REALLY SURE WHAT THIS MEANS, BUT IF YOU MEAN NO RESTAURANT CAN PROVIDE A SAFE MEAL UNLESS THEY ARE

AN ENTIRELY G F ESTABLISHMENT, 

 I RESPECTFULLY DISAGREE WITH YOU. I HAVE DINED IN SEVERAL PLACES AND THEY DID NOT MAKE ME SICK AND I AM VERY SENSITIVE TO CC.

 

 If anyone disagrees with me who works in the kitchen or chef business I would challenge them to say they are not in the >0.000001% of the population who gives a rat's ass about YOUR medical needs.

 

MANY PLACES ARE TRYING VERY HARD TO ACCOMMODATE EVERYONE WITH CELIAC, GLUTEN INTOLERANCE AND FOOD ALLERGIES.MY BEST FRIEND IS A CHEF AND CATERER AND SHE DOES A GREAT JOB HELPING OUT G F PEOPLE. I HAVE EVEN HAD THE DINNERS THAT WERE SET ASIDE FOR ME AT WEDDINGS --AFTER TALKING WITH THE CATERER--NO PROBLEM. YOU NEED TO GIVE SOME CREDIT TO THOSE WHO ARE WORKING WITH THE CELIAC COMMUNITY TO BE AWARE OF DIETARY NEEDS

 

So yeah, the chips may be 100% corn and good for you for asking but they probably do not specially reserve their oil or their friers for your gluten-free needs.  If ONE wheat-coated onion ring or fish N chip is fried in their, you will FLUNK your next serology check (and your doc should be on you like stink on a monkey and follow up with you on your bloodwork to make sure you're clean).

 

NO ONE "FLUNKS" A FOLLOW UP CELIAC PANELS BECAUSE OF ONE CHANCE GLUTENING, IT DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY.


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"Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the way it is. The way we cope with it makes the difference." Virginia Satir

"The strongest of all warriors are these two - time and patience." Leo Tolstoy

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"LTES"  Gem 2014

 

Misdiagnosed for 25+ years; Finally Diagnosed with Celiac  11/01/10.  Double DQ2 genes. This thing tried to kill me. I view Celiac as a fire breathing dragon --and I have run my sword right through his throat.
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#20 BlessedMommy

 
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Posted 11 June 2014 - 04:20 PM

Yes, there are many places who specifically work to accomodate celiacs. Places like California Pizza Kitchen, PF Changs, etc.


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#21 GF Lover

 
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Posted 11 June 2014 - 04:30 PM

Hi MsQuel and Welcome to the Forum.

 

I found your post to be full of anger and resentment.  You seem to be very frustrated with restaurants, the medical profession, and hamburgers?  I think your views are very unrealistic.  I live with gluten eaters and do just fine.  Dominos states that the gluten-free pizza is not safe for Celiacs.  I don't know where you are getting your hamburger but ground beef is perfectly safe for Celiacs.  Dishwasher will remove gluten, it's not GLUE.  Some chef's actually do give a "Rats Ass" when serving their food.  Lastly, one onion ring crumb in the corn chip oil will not make you "flunk" your next serology check.  

 

I would recommend you read the "Newbie 101" thread under the Coping Section.

 

Good Luck.

 

Colleen


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#22 Georgia_guy

 
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Posted 11 June 2014 - 04:38 PM

The only place I have been told for certain around me meets the requirements for keeping a meal gluten-free is Ted's Montana Grill. From what I've been told they have an entirely separate part of the kitchen with it's own equipment for gluten-free prep. As for regular restaurants, those that have a gluten-free menu should be well aware of the requirements to advertise the menu as being gluten-free (I actually used to work in restaurant management, and still see my old health inspector. He has informed me that when he inspects a restaurant that has a gluten-free menu, he checks their methods for preventing CC---this is not a requirement, he just does it because his son has a peanut allergy so he is aware of the risks of CC). If a restaurant were to tell me they could accommodate my needs, I would ask them what their safety methods are, and if explained well enough, I would trust them until I get glutened. Most managers are notified by servers when an "allergy" request is made, and will oversee the food prep, or come explain that a certain dish cannot be safely made.
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First issues I can connect to celiac was in middle school
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#23 Nikki2777

 
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Posted 12 June 2014 - 06:38 AM

I have to say I'm in the minority here - I don't think restaurants have an obligation to let me eat safely.  If I don't feel they know what they're doing, I don't eat there.  Either we leave, or I have a glass of wine while everyone else eats and get something else at home, but I don't get angry at them. IF a restaurant says they have a gluten-free menu, though, and then it's clear that it's not safe for Celiacs (and not labeled as such), I have a conversation with the manager on the side to let him or her know my concerns.  

 

I do think the waiter was WAY out of line, though, and I would have gotten up and left.

 

I'm lucky that I live in a place with high Celiac awareness and there are quite a few restaurants that seem to know what they're doing.  That said, I think I recently got glutened - probably at home!

 

I agree that you should be letting yourself heal before going out to so many restaurants, though.


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#24 NatureChick

 
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Posted 12 June 2014 - 09:43 AM

I just presume that restaurants are unable to serve a gluten free meal, no matter the ingredients, simply because their kitchens are contaminated. 

Though I don't doubt that it could be possible to cook a gluten-free meal in just about any kitchen if the proper precautions were taken, I don't presume that any chef has the knowledge to do it properly, or the time to devote to my single meal. 

Every time I've ever eaten out, from just a salad to items specifically labeled gluten-free on the menu, I have been glutened. The only exception is a sushi restaurant near me where there are very few gluten items on the menu, and they mainly come out of the frier rather than the main prep areas. Even then I get glutened one out of every three visits.

 

I do look forward to the day when a 100% gluten-free restaurant opens near me. For now, I just count myself lucky that there is a gluten-free bakery about 45 minutes away.


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#25 StephanieL

 
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Posted 12 June 2014 - 12:44 PM

There are places that can and do do it correctly.  I think the key is working with a chef and not a cook. BIG difference!  HUGE.  To suggest a chef doesn't have the knowledge to prep a meal that is gluten-free is silly. They go to school to learn how to cook and they do cover things like allergies and cross contact issues.  I am not saying ALL chefs get it or are willing to go the extra mile but many are and they are trained.


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#26 beth01

 
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Posted 18 June 2014 - 07:50 PM

I got glutened at a Celiac Support group meeting in my area where everyone in our group was a celiac except for two people. I had figured if it was good enough for them, it's good enough for me.  It's more of a gamble than anything.  You are just playing Russian roulette with your health.


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#27 BlessedMommy

 
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Posted 18 June 2014 - 07:53 PM

I got glutened at a Celiac Support group meeting in my area where everyone in our group was a celiac except for two people. I had figured if it was good enough for them, it's good enough for me.  It's more of a gamble than anything.  You are just playing Russian roulette with your health.

There are celiacs who aren't very careful. I knew a celiac (biopsy dx'ed, fwiw) who would go ahead and eat peanut butter and other condiments that had been dipped into by gluten eaters. He said, "I'm not THAT sensitive."

 

Some celiacs don't understand that even if they aren't having symptoms, it doesn't mean that damage isn't being done. 


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~Ruth

Gluten free since 2/14/2010 after suffering a rare and serious complication from my gluten challenge

 

 

 

 

 

 


#28 IrishHeart

 
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Posted 19 June 2014 - 04:24 AM

I got glutened at a Celiac Support group meeting in my area where everyone in our group was a celiac except for two people.

 

omygosh....How on earth did that happen?? I


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"Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the way it is. The way we cope with it makes the difference." Virginia Satir

"The strongest of all warriors are these two - time and patience." Leo Tolstoy

"If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else" Booker T. Washington

“If idiots could fly, the sky would be like an airport.”― Laura Davenport 

"Do or do not. There is no try. "-  Yoda.

"LTES"  Gem 2014

 

Misdiagnosed for 25+ years; Finally Diagnosed with Celiac  11/01/10.  Double DQ2 genes. This thing tried to kill me. I view Celiac as a fire breathing dragon --and I have run my sword right through his throat.
I. Win. bliss-smiley-emoticon.gif


#29 Adalaide

 
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Posted 19 June 2014 - 09:14 AM

Last Christmas the local celiac support group, like every year, did a cookie party in December. Everyone was invited to make cookies and bring copies of the recipe to share. I was all set to go... then chickened out at the last minute. I thought about the celiacs who share kitchens with wheat eaters (and even though I did at the time I wouldn't trust someone else who does that I'm not buddies with) or who do the condiment thing or who missed something on a label or who buys regular oats because they don't know better or any one of the dozens of mistakes I've seen people talk about here. And I was like forget this, I don't want to be sick for Christmas!

 

Beyond my husband, a select group of people I've met here and trusting restaurants that have good practices, I don't let others cook for me. I often find myself saying (usually to my clueless MIL who just does. not. get. it.) that trust is a luxury I can't afford. It took about a year for me to get to the point that I trust my husband completely, and in that time he once brought me candy, said it was safe and I popped two pieces in my mouth before reading the label myself and freaking out because malt. GAH! (I forgave him because he was just trying to make me happy  :) and it was ultimately MY fault for not looking. :)) But little mistakes like that are things anyone can miss and why I'm a total control freak about my food.


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#30 beth01

 
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Posted 19 June 2014 - 05:32 PM

My glutening happened when I went to a supposed "safe" restaurant for a celiac support group meeting.  My daughter and I had the same thing, I got sick she didn't.  She doesn't seem to have classic GI symptoms though and I know she told me she had some gluten ( a Kit Kat) a few weeks ago because she "forgot" she had celiac.  She said she didn't feel sick at all except for being light headed, which she did have fainting issues before her diagnosis. She went to the GI yesterday so she got more reinforcement that just because you don't get sick when eating gluten, it doesn't mean that it isn't doing damage and you have to be gluten free for life.

 

We live and learn. I think eating anywhere other than are own homes is the bane of all celiacs' existence.


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