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Finding Out Something I Was Told Was Gluten Free, Actually Isn't?
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So there's a cafe down the road from my house, and they have a HUGE sign out the front stating they have gluten free carrot cake, and some other little cake things. I went in there two days ago, asking the manager what was gluten free. He told me the options and I said I'll have a carrot cake.

While i was eating it, I was thinking "hmm.. this tastes a little too good to be gluten free" but i kept on eating.. BIG MISTAKE.

Around 6 hours later, I had the glutened symptoms :(

My question is does anyone else get horrible back pain from being glutened? As well as all the other symptoms.

AND is there anything I can do, about the fact that they are claiming they are gluten free, when they clearly aren't?

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Well, you could go in and have a little chat with the owner/manager and explain that it is not enough to just have gluten free ingredients - that they have to have gluten free utensils and pans and avoid touching the gluten free product after handling gluten. Not everyone is aware of this and if you did it in a very nice, informative way after explaining you got sick from eating their gluten free carrot cake, they might be receptive and you might be able to eat there safely in the future. :)

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AND is there anything I can do, about the fact that they are claiming they are gluten free, when they clearly aren't?

It sounds like this cafe really wants to cater to the gluten-intolerant population. If they are claiming things are gluten-free, but aren't, then it's clear that someone is screwing up. Either the owner/manager doesn't know that an ingredients in the recipe(s) is gluten, or there was a mix-up and the cake was contaminated. The best thing you can do is to inform the restaurant of what happened and ask about the ingredients in the cake. If you work with the owner/manager, then you can be sure that the gluten-free menu items are, indeed, gluten-free. This not only helps you, but the other Celiacs who eat there. Including the poor celiac who came in after you and ate the carrot cake.

My guess is that it wasn't intentional and it's either ignorance or negligence.

I went to a place once and got a gluten-free pizza that I usually get and this time it tasted a little "too" good, but I kept eating. 1/2 way through the meal I got very sick.

It was the chef's mistake. He put chopped marinated chicken on my gluten-free pizza instead of plain chicken. Everything was perfect except this tiny thing - they even have dedicated part of the kitchen and dedicated pizza oven. Just human error. That happens. Of course they comped our meal as I vomited on their front lawn. :-) At least I got out the front door.

Hope you feel better.

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Jenn, I'm so sorry you got so sick from it but it is kind of cool you were sick on their front lawn. That should really help the next gluten intolerant person who comes by. I'm sure that chef will be SUPER careful from now on!

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I'm so sorry you got sick. You learned the hard way, however, that you need to ask about their preparation before diving in to "gluten free" baked goods at a place that also makes regular baked goods. There is a bakery in my area offering "gluten free" items. I asked them how they prevent cross contamination, specifically do they have separate pans, flour sifters, mixers, etc for the gluten free items and are wheat flour items made on the same day in the same space. Their reply was that they do use the same equipment for everything and everythign (both gltuen and non-gluten items) is made on the same day in the same space. They said they did not reccomend people with "serious gluten allergies" eat their "gluten free" baked goods. That alone tells me they know nothing about celiac disease (it is NOT and allergy!). They are simply catering to people on fad diets, IMO. Beyond frustrating!!! but at least they were upfront so I know not to go there where I will be poisoned. Now my only problem will be if someone I know buys me soemthign from there expecting that I can eat it. Grr.....

Oh I also meant to say that IMO you should let them know it made you sick and if they don't listen, if their response is anything like the response of the place above tell everyone you know to avoid the place!

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The only reliable gluten-free bakery place I've ever seen was in England. They cleared their kitchen for an entire day, baked nothing but gluten-free on that day, then PACKAGED the gluten-free items on-site in sealed plastic wrappers. So your gluten-free dessert may have been baked 2 days ago, but it was definitely gluten free.

Have only ever seen this once, ever, anywhere.

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Baked goods is where I draw the line for eating out. I just don't do it. I make my baked goods at home only. I did get some baked goods from a strictly gluten free bakery once but it was also casein free and free of a bunch of other things and it tasted just awful. And it was so expensive.

I bet they aren't being careful about CC. I would talk to the manager politely and ask about it, and then you'll have to decide if that's safe for you or not.

Are you certain it was the cake? Is there any other possibility? There's a coffee place by me that has gluten in their cocoa. I would never think hot chocolate has gluten. I've checked so many chocolate syrup labels and never found it in there. But theirs has wheat starch as a thickener. So you never know what can get you. Good thing I checked.

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The only reliable gluten-free bakery place I've ever seen was in England. They cleared their kitchen for an entire day, baked nothing but gluten-free on that day, then PACKAGED the gluten-free items on-site in sealed plastic wrappers. So your gluten-free dessert may have been baked 2 days ago, but it was definitely gluten free.

Have only ever seen this once, ever, anywhere.

______________

For a super- sensitive person, I doubt that it was truly "gluten free." To do that, the samples of those baked goods would have had to have been tested and verified to be at or below a certain ppm standard for gluten.

It is really difficult to clean any sort of cooking area completely of gluten flour dust, no matter how conscientious somebody tries. Plus, the oven racks, pans (esp. non stick), oven mitts, spatulas, anything silicone, etc all would have to be dedicated .... I would not want a regular piece of equipment working on this dough or batter.

We have some dedicated, completely gluten free bakeries here in the U.S., that don't do regular baking, period. So far, I've had food from four of them. All four have proprietors (and at least 3 have workers) who are also celiac or gluten intolerant. I think that helps. If they would have a cc issue, they 'd likely be the first to know.

There are guidelines that facilities can follow to create gluten free foods - if they are not trying, and merely think it's just swapping out one flour for another, they should be kindly informed to mend their ways to at least inform all potential consumers that it is not truly "gluten free," and then if they balk, have the health department sicc'd on them.

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I get terrible back pain from gluten. Also body, joint and all over. Stretching and strengthening exercises help. Of course, the best thing is to stop eating gluten. Easier said than done.

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The only reliable gluten-free bakery place I've ever seen was in England. They cleared their kitchen for an entire day, baked nothing but gluten-free on that day, then PACKAGED the gluten-free items on-site in sealed plastic wrappers. So your gluten-free dessert may have been baked 2 days ago, but it was definitely gluten free.

Have only ever seen this once, ever, anywhere.

I have purchased several baked goods from http://canyonbakehouse.com/ with great success. I took (sneaked is more like it) some of their bread into the winery with me yesterday so that while my friends enjoyed the bread & cheese basket I could as well. Totally delicious and I believe they are strictly gluten-free so no worries about cc. And bless my one girlfriend's heart...she even made sure I got my own knife and cutting board so we could be very sure I didn't get sick. One of my other friends there yesterday, she's still convinced that once I heal my intestine I'll be able to eat whatever I want again. So once again, I explained it to her and told her that will never be an option for me but I feel better than I have in years and it's a doable diet so I'm gonna keep on doing it!! B)

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A bit off topic, but my mom bought a cookie from a natural restaurant. It was a ginger cookie with a big "gluten free" sticker slapped on it. As I was chewing (and enjoying!) my first bite, I turned it over and saw that the primary ingredient was barley flour :K I don't get back pain as a symptome myself, but I do believe my symptoms are worsening as I remain gluten-free so I wouldn't be surprised if that one crops up soon.

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