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      READ FIRST: Super Sensitive Celiacs Disclaimer   09/23/2015

      This section of the forum is devoted to those who have responses to gluten beyond the experience of the majority of celiacs. It should not be construed as representative of the symptoms you are likely to encounter or precautions you need to take. Only those with extreme reactions need go to the lengths discussed here. Many people with newly diagnosed celiac disease have a condition known as leaky gut syndrome, which can lead to the development of sensitivity to other foods until the gut is healed - which may take as long as one to three years. At that time they are often able to reincorporate into their diet foods to which they have formerly been sensitive. Leaky gut syndrome leads many people to believe they are being exposed to gluten when they are in fact reacting to other foods.
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I Work In A Resturant
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11 posts in this topic

I started working at Red Robin before I was diagnosed, then after I found out about 6 months ago, I still continued to work there because I didn't think it was a problem, but then I read that flour can stay in the air for up to 72 hours? They portion flour up front all the time. I get really bad migraines and the stomach pains, if I'm there while there doing it. I noticed because they were doing it up front yesterday and today my head is killing me, I'm having sharp stomach pains and gas, but before I never really put 2 and 2 together until after I read that a couple days ago, I just thought I wasn't careful enough the days before or something so I having been keeping a food journal, and theres nothing contaminating. So should I try and find a new job where there is no possible cc?

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I wouldn't have thought Red Robin would have flour flying about! They serve gluten-free meals that many people have good luck with. What do they do with all this flour?

I would think it would be OK to work in a restaurant with the exception of bakeries, pizza parlors...places that bake with lots of flour & would have lots of it drifting & floating. You could breathe it into your mouth or it could settle on your glass of water.

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I'm surprised RR uses that much flour too! What do they use it on? and when you say it was being portioned "up front" do you mean like out in the restaurant or do you mean the front of the kitchen or something? That's dangerous for us if they are portioning it out where it could be flying in the direction of a table that could have gluten-free customers. That said, if you are super sensitive and this use of flour is a daily thing you may find you can't work there. I don't know about it being in the air for 72 hours. I thought it stayed in the air for up to 4 hours only. However, I cannot go into a Panera Bread (or similar bakery places) without getting sick because of all the flour floating it the air. So it is possible it got you. Strangely, RR is one of my few "safe" restaurants where I have never been gltuened as far as I know. I will be sad if I start having trouble there now. :(

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I wouldn't have thought Red Robin would have flour flying about! They serve gluten-free meals that many people have good luck with. What do they do with all this flour?

I would think it would be OK to work in a restaurant with the exception of bakeries, pizza parlors...places that bake with lots of flour & would have lots of it drifting & floating. You could breathe it into your mouth or it could settle on your glass of water.

Well I know I thought it was okay to but its just been more recently that they started doing it, when they do it they bring up a pretty decent sized thing of flour and portion it into little baggies, which I didn't think was bad, but the last couple times I have been doing something right by them, like getting food together etc, and Ive noticed who ever is portioning it dusts their hands and shirts off or accidently spill it and just dust that off, I've never have had problems, unless they are doing flour and I am near them. Today is the worst, like right now I can barley even focus on what I am writing, super sharp pains and I just want to go to bed. I feel awful.

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Do you feel comfortable speaking to the manager? You might explain that it bothers you and no Celiac customer wants someone with flour all over themselves making or serving food.

What do they use it for?

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I would speak to your manager...This is not good when they have gluten-free on their menu. Maybe it is something that can be corrected & fast.....I'm dumbed!!!!!

Hope you feel better soon...

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but the last couple times I have been doing something right by them, like getting food together etc, and Ive noticed who ever is portioning it dusts their hands and shirts off or accidently spill it and just dust that off, I've never have had problems, unless they are doing flour and I am near them.

So sorry it's been an issue! What you're describing does sound like it could be a problem, for a sensitive celiac or even one not so much. If it's only an issue when you are near them, though, that hopefully means that it can be avoided if you can be out of the area.

Just something simple to the manager, like inhaling that level of flour is affecting your health but you'd be willing to trade of with someone else in another area until the flour work is done, might suffice.

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Oh my goodness! I worked in several restaurants for years and years...before college, during and after. I, personally, could literally never survive in that atmosphere now! I get stressed out just thinking about it! I am very sensitive, and no one in my family handles gluten or has it in the house...or I'll be sick. And my family loves me, and tries hard not to contaminate me...and I still get it now and then. The restaurant employees don't love you like that.

So I remember those restaurant days quite well...with the food all over the hands, the counters, the tables, the kitchens, my clothes...it just happens through the course of the shift. You are constantly cleaning up crumbs and picking up plates with residue where you handle the plates. You put food in take out containers, and dump food in the trash before you put your dishes in the kitchen. And then there are the occassional accidents of dropping food or plates on the floor or on you, and then cleaning them up. Cleaning up customer spills too. It's the nature of the job. I hated the way that I smelled at the end of a shift...like food. It feels like you have a layer of film all over your skin. However, it's very convenient and lucrative to work in a restaurant. You leave with cash at the end of every shift. That was awesome!

I guess that it would depend on how sensitive that you are. If you have no further problems working there...other than the flour, then I would hesitate to say that you might be safe. I would definitely explain to the manager about the flour portioning. They would want healthy employees who make them money and show up for shifts. They should not be doing ANY kitchen portioning in the front in the first place. In a nice way, I would explain that it is contaminating you and what your reaction is, and that it also puts allergy sufferers and celiacs in danger as their guests. I react that way also if I'm in a bakery. If they won't help you, then I'd definitely a find another restaurant or another safe type of job. I don't know how old you are, but even going behind the bar as a bartender should help a little. You might still have to handle food, but not as much. I also worked in restaurants that had high-volume bars, and I bartended. Again, if you are old enough...you can check into working in nightclub-type settings where you handle very little food. You can cocktail waitress or bartend and mostly just handle drinks...but you'd have put up with the drunk idiots. That is a definite downside. These positions are even more lucrative. I hope that you can figure this out, and I hope that you are not that sensitive!!! Please be safe and put yourself first though. Your health is number one priority!!! You want to make sure that you are not always contaminating yourself in small amounts, so that you never completely get better...and also open yourself up to more health issues:)

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Oh thank you all, and it really is a safe place to eat, Ive really never had a problem at this Red Robin before, I worked at a different one in Idaho and I would break out in hives while at work.. but idk if that had anything to do with it. But at this one nothing until the flour portioning, I will definatly talk to one of my managers again and if they aren't willing to be aware of my health and safety then I guess its not the right job for me... I'm not much for all the stress and anxiety of it all anyways.

But also, good point shayre, could part of it could be is im the only one in my house living gluten-free, i still live with my mom, step dad, and neice. the only thing we don't share is a toaster, i finally talked my mom into buying me a cheap one last weekend, she also brought me a few glass pots that were my grandmas. but the pans, the tubberware, bowls, plates, silverware counter tops. Are these things that could possibly be contaminating me to? I keep all my food seperate from every one, but no one is willing to be 100% with me, so its all over the place.

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Well...I got advice from everyone on here...that I pretty much needed seperate everything. Glass and metal MIGHT be ok if washed very well. Plasic is definite issue. You should have your own area for cabinet or pantry, so that your food, dishes and utensils can remain untouched by others. I tried this with my family, but it still wasn't good enough. If you are not having issues, other than when you see flour at work...maybe you'll be just fine. Even though my family is all gluten free at home, I still had to buy my own spoons and bowls. They still eat oatmeal, and I was thinking that I react to it. If you have food issues at home, is there anyway that you are capable of moving out on your own yet? You could really make a safe place for yourself then. I remember that it was hard to have a job, go to college and have my own place...but it can be possible. I really hope that you can work it out. I am assuming that you are relatively young from the little that you've said. You deserve to be happy, healthy and enjoy your life:)

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Well I went out and bought new plates, bowls, silverware, utensils, the works and its all in my own 2 cabinets, it probably is possible for me to move out right now, although it would be tough, but i am more than likely going to move out of state next year and i ddon't want to be locked into a lease when that time comes. So i can just hope for the best and hope this works out. They did flour again at work yesterday, i asked to go home because i can't be around when they are doing the flour up front, and he said ohh yeah i guess thats not good for you, so hopefully that might change to. But thank you for all your imput you have helped me so much!!!

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      Hi Cristiana, You are quite right, there could be something wrong with the batch. I have often wondered this myself when I've had symptoms. A lot of manufacturers recall products when they find contamination issues, I often wonder though, how many products 'sneak' under the radar and no-one knows for sure; it could be the reason why so many of us wonder what we did to get 'glutened'. 
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      Hi Richie I've put the above in quotes as you have described in the first and second sentence how I felt six months prior to my DX.   In my own case, in the end I concluded it was anxiety after consulting Dr Google!  It was such an alien feeling to me, I couldn't even think what it was, particularly as life was pretty good at the time.  Anxiety is a problem for a lot of celiacs prior to diagnosis, and often after glutening after going gluten-free. You mention breathlessness, this of course can be for reasons such as anaemia (again a common celiac problem, I had this prior to DX) but of course also can arise if you are anxious.   Re 'gluten free' - Flowerqueen is right, from what I have read on this forum some people really do seem to react with less than 20ppm.    But perhaps some other things to consider...  could there be something wrong with the batch you have consumed?  Might it be worth contacting the manufacturers?   That said, you could , as Flowerqueen suggests, have a problem with another ingredient, in the product or something else you consumed. In the past I have had a terrible reaction - fever, trembling, diarrhea, stomach cramps that lasted up to three hours the last three times I ate..... broccoli, of all things.    Who would have thought that possible?  I have often thought I should try it again, just to be sure it was the broccoli, as it is a 'super food' that I ought to have in my diet, that I like very much, but the thought of having such a reaction again has put me off. I do hope you will find some answers soon.  
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