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

Olive Garden
0

27 posts in this topic

A co-worker wanted to treat me to lunch because I helped her out with her work load fairly significantly. I told her it wasn't necessary and actually prefer to pack my lunch. She told me I could pick the restaurant of my choice. She sent me a text message this morning asking where I wanted to go. I told her I'd like to go to Wendy's. She insisted that we go to a nicer restuarant, she wanted to buy me a "real" lunch. I told her I'd never had a problem with Wendy's Chili and a baked potato, and that's where I'd like to go. She insisted that we go to a "nice restaurant". I offerred up Olive Garden. I haven't been there since going gluten-free, but had read they have a gluten-free menu.

We both ordered salad, no croutons, and the server grated parmesan cheese on the salad. I inquired about the gluten-free pasta, because I don't tolerate quinoa. The server checked with the kitchen and manager, and said their pasta was quinoa. I said I'd just have salad then. She recommended grilled chicken and veggies with apricot sauce, but I told her that didn't appear on the gluten-free menu. Dear server went to the kitchen again and said that the sauce had gluten in it, but they could prepare it plain. I agreed.

As the server was presenting our lunches, the manager showed up to make sure that everything was okay. I thanked him for the great service and extra attention. The server was grinding parmesan cheese on my co-workers meal and asked me if I would like some. I said yes, and the manager said "Wait, I'll get you different parmesan cheese." I asked him why, and he said "we do a light coating of flour on our parmesan cheese." I was so astounded and asked why they do that. He said it helps prevent the graters from getting cheese stuck in them.

The server apologized and said she should have known that.

Maybe it won't end up being more that 20 parts per million.

Who would think they'd stick flour in parmesan cheese?

Lessons learned: do not submit to peer pressure and beware of the cheese at Olive Garden. Sheesh! :ph34r:

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Ads by Google:

I would think it wise to contact Olive Garden and confirm what the manager told you.

Although, good intentioned, that information may or may not be accurate. Or perhaps, piss poor practice at a very marginal restaurant.

http://www.olivegarden.com/menu/gluten-allergen/

https://www.olivegarden.com/About-Us/Contact-Us/

EDIT: I have contacted to company and will post their response asap.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I so understand! My friend wants me to come to her daughters birthday party which is a cookout. Her and her husband was insisting they would have Nathans hotdogs and wanted me to be able to eat. I thanked them and said it was okay, I didn't have to eat. They were even more insisting...I had to explain their grill has had gluten on it. I don't want to hurt their feelings, however, the next day I am taking a trip and do not want to be sick for half of it. They said they'd wrap it in foil, and I said guys thanks, but no. People mean well, but they have no idea how sick we can get and would prefer to eat where we know we are safe or not eat. I'm so glad you posted this. I wouldn't have thought that either.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Lisa, I actually asked the server to show me the cheese. She flipped opened the top of her grater, and the cheese was in fact "dusted" with flour. The manager returned with some shaved parmesan on a plate for my lunch.

My co-worker said the flour was only on the top, so it should be okay. I don't know if it's just a local practice, but it blew my hair back, and I was wearing a hat!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Lisa, I actually asked the server to show me the cheese. She flipped opened the top of her grater, and the cheese was in fact "dusted" with flour. The manager returned with some shaved parmesan on a plate for my lunch.

My co-worker said the flour was only on the top, so it should be okay. I don't know if it's just a local practice, but it blew my hair back, and I was wearing a hat!

I expect that it would! :blink:

Whether it's a site practice or general policy, I am on a mission to find out. It's unacceptable either way!

BUT...I will await the Corporate response, before I make rash judgements. B)

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites




Dusted with flour to prevent sticking? Not likely. Wet flour acts as a glue. When an anti-stick agent is added to shredded or ground cheese, it is almost always cellulose. Cellulose is gluten-free.

I'm not saying this place isn't dumb enough to try flour, just saying that it would not work.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dusted with flour to prevent sticking? Not likely. Wet flour acts as a glue. When an anti-stick agent is added to shredded or ground cheese, it is almost always cellulose. Cellulose is gluten-free.

I'm not saying this place isn't dumb enough to try flour, just saying that it would not work.

Exactly. Which is the scary part.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I so understand! My friend wants me to come to her daughters birthday party which is a cookout. Her and her husband was insisting they would have Nathans hotdogs and wanted me to be able to eat. I thanked them and said it was okay, I didn't have to eat. They were even more insisting...I had to explain their grill has had gluten on it. I don't want to hurt their feelings, however, the next day I am taking a trip and do not want to be sick for half of it. They said they'd wrap it in foil, and I said guys thanks, but no. People mean well, but they have no idea how sick we can get and would prefer to eat where we know we are safe or not eat. I'm so glad you posted this. I wouldn't have thought that either.

That's it in a nutshell. DP said, "Aw, you caved in amd we had safe salmon and grilled chicken leftovers here you could have made a great lunch with." He was upset that I didn't stick to my guns about Wendy's. Maybe I won't be sick, but it's stressful just wondering if I will be, and I could have had a perfectly wonderful lunch if I'd packed it. (Romaine lettuce and cucumber slices, sliced charcoal grilled chicken, olives, hearts of palm, basil viniagrette with blue cheese.) I'm not feeling anything yet except tingling ears, so maybe it will be ok. But I agree, kip, it's not worth it. Our guts are more important than social niceties.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dusted with flour to prevent sticking? Not likely. Wet flour acts as a glue. When an anti-stick agent is added to shredded or ground cheese, it is almost always cellulose. Cellulose is gluten-free.

I'm not saying this place isn't dumb enough to try flour, just saying that it would not work.

Although I understand your concern Marilyn, I tend to agree with Peter. It would make no sense to dust cheese with one of the main allergens on a serving that is declared gluten free. Many graded cheeses that you find in the grocery store have cellulose as an anti-caking ingredient. They look similar i.e. cellulose/flour.

But then....stupid happens. <_< I'll let you know when I receive a response.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow...I recently ate at Olive Garden. Thanks for posting this info. :)

A co-worker wanted to treat me to lunch because I helped her out with her work load fairly significantly. I told her it wasn't necessary and actually prefer to pack my lunch. She told me I could pick the restaurant of my choice. She sent me a text message this morning asking where I wanted to go. I told her I'd like to go to Wendy's. She insisted that we go to a nicer restuarant, she wanted to buy me a "real" lunch. I told her I'd never had a problem with Wendy's Chili and a baked potato, and that's where I'd like to go. She insisted that we go to a "nice restaurant". I offerred up Olive Garden. I haven't been there since going gluten-free, but had read they have a gluten-free menu.

We both ordered salad, no croutons, and the server grated parmesan cheese on the salad. I inquired about the gluten-free pasta, because I don't tolerate quinoa. The server checked with the kitchen and manager, and said their pasta was quinoa. I said I'd just have salad then. She recommended grilled chicken and veggies with apricot sauce, but I told her that didn't appear on the gluten-free menu. Dear server went to the kitchen again and said that the sauce had gluten in it, but they could prepare it plain. I agreed.

As the server was presenting our lunches, the manager showed up to make sure that everything was okay. I thanked him for the great service and extra attention. The server was grinding parmesan cheese on my co-workers meal and asked me if I would like some. I said yes, and the manager said "Wait, I'll get you different parmesan cheese." I asked him why, and he said "we do a light coating of flour on our parmesan cheese." I was so astounded and asked why they do that. He said it helps prevent the graters from getting cheese stuck in them.

The server apologized and said she should have known that.

Maybe it won't end up being more that 20 parts per million.

Who would think they'd stick flour in parmesan cheese?

Lessons learned: do not submit to peer pressure and beware of the cheese at Olive Garden. Sheesh! :ph34r:

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did, in fact get glutened. :ph34r:

Threw up 3 times at 10:30 a.m., 22 hours after the lunch, and I still have nausea and no appetitite.

Peter & Lisa, I used to avoid buying grated cheeses because I didn't know what cellulose was. I've been able to tolerate grated, bagged cheeses from the dairy section without a problem for months. The server grated the cheese on my salad, not the kitchen staff.

If I was only experiencing neuro symptoms, I could attribute that to a Lupus flare, but since I have the GI symptoms, I'm pretty certain its gluten. And the server specifically apologized for having shredded the cheese on my salad, stating she should have known not to do that. I told her I wouldn't have known not to do that either, and that I'd probably be fine, since it had to be a very small amount of flour.

I'm really interested in what Olive Garden says. Co-worker never called to see if I was okay, as far as social niceties go. :P (LOL)

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So sorry that you got 'hit' Marilyn. :(

I can't help but wonder if this is a practice at your particular Olive Garden. It's hard for me to understand that this could be common practice nationally.

I have not received a reply and hopefully I will in the next day or so. I searched for a phone number for corporate customer relations, but no.

The Celiac Community needs to know! ;) Hope for a speedy recovery!

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know this won't help, but no matter how difficult, you have to stick to your guns.

I went to the birthday party of a dear friend, "guys night out party" and the steaks were 2 inches thick, grilled potatoes, etc etc and I had to turn it down. It was tough to be left out, but I still enjoyed myself...especially knowing that I ate at Chipotle beforehand and needn't worry about be c/c'd.

Even though "they" don't understand that it's a hassle to actually worry for 24 hours to see if you actually get sick, we sure know the truth.

Feel better and chalk it up to experience.

PS: Here's a hint I use when someone is pressuring me, I say "I have to think of it this way, it's like you eating 1/2 cooked chicken and wondering what the results might be". That usually gets them off my back! :-)

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So sorry that you got 'hit' Marilyn. :(

I can't help but wonder if this is a practice at your particular Olive Garden. It's hard for me to understand that this could be common practice nationally.

I have not received a reply and hopefully I will in the next day or so. I searched for a phone number for corporate customer relations, but no.

The Celiac Community needs to know! ;) Hope for a speedy recovery!

I'll be fine. We all take a lickin' now and then and keep on ticking. I'd never still be up at this hour but my neuro symptoms have kicked in full blast! That server and the manager of Olive Market didn't seem like they just fell off the Turnip Truck.

My guess is that they were following procedure, except that the server made a mistake. I could be wrong. Both were competant and attentive even though we had lunch during peak season in a tourist destination and right dead center in the middle of lunch hour. I could be wrong, I could have a rogue Olive Garden in my neck of the woods, in which case I apologize for smearing thier reputation.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So sorry that you got 'hit' Marilyn. :(

I can't help but wonder if this is a practice at your particular Olive Garden. It's hard for me to understand that this could be common practice nationally.

I have not received a reply and hopefully I will in the next day or so. I searched for a phone number for corporate customer relations, but no.

The Celiac Community needs to know! ;) Hope for a speedy recovery!

I used your earlier link to contact them tonight. Did they ever respond to you, Lisa?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow! I wonder if they all put flour on the cheese? We have had problems with them bringing a salad with a lone crouton then trying to just pick it off. Or acting annoyed when we ask for a special salad. I didn't know about the quiona either. Hmmm... I have had the gluten-free pasta and it didn't taste like quinoa. My daughter can't have quinoa. So I guess that place is out for us!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used your earlier link to contact them tonight. Did they ever respond to you, Lisa?

No nothing! <_<

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Usually these types of stories -- especially wheat in cheese stories -- turn out to be untrue, but of course I wouldn't eat it until we hear from OG.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I received a reply back tonight from Lisa's link to corporate Olive Garden. It isn't standard operating procedure to dust the parmesan cheese with flour. They said they'd follow up.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I received a reply back tonight from Lisa's link to corporate Olive Garden. It isn't standard operating procedure to dust the parmesan cheese with flour. They said they'd follow up.

YES!

Marilyn, could you post their reply or in parts that you feel appropriate?

Thank you so much for your reply and maybe???? in the near future you can eat there with comfort.

Yea! I love warriors, as we all are. :D

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In general, do not waste your time on olive garden's Gluten-Free pasta and sauce. It is so nasty! My dad was in the navy for 24 yrs and i have had better pasta on the ship when we visited him. OG's pasta was mushy and the sauce tasted of ketchup. They do prepare it separetly in the microwave and i did did not get sick from the few bites i ate. The manager agreed with me that it was the worst thing on the menu. She was gracious enough to remove it from my bill, but why serve it in the first place. I contacted corporate, but they stood behind their product. I just do not want anyone to waste their time eating this. It is by far the worst Gluten-Free meal i have ever had.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My daughter and I went to Olive Garden last week and both asked for the gluten free menus. We placed our orders, I mad my substitutions based on other allergies/sensitivities. The server was really nice! As we were eating, my daughter asked for a side of broccoli. The server very kindly told her that THE BROCCOLI IS COOKED IN THE PASTA WATER!!! I don't know if the zuccini was also, or if they also dust their cheese in flour, but I've been sick 5 days since I went there.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just want to let everyone know, my daughters and I just say down to eat at Olive Garden, ordered from the gluten free menu provided, and I chose to double check for the cheese (I've been burned by 'trusting' the restaurant biz too many times!).

I saw this thread about the cheese, so when the salad came out and the sever offered cheese, I asked her about it being dusted with flour. She politely reassured me that they do not dust it with flour themselves, but when I asked, said she could double check. Sure enough, it comes pre-packaged that way. They went and read the ingredients list on the box, and yes, it is indeed coated. DON'T EAT IT! ;)

Thankful for this forum as a heads up- saved me days of pain and misery!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What specifically was it coated with? Coating it with flour would make it clump and stick together. I have never seen wheat flour on shredded or grated cheese.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just want to let everyone know, my daughters and I just say down to eat at Olive Garden, ordered from the gluten free menu provided, and I chose to double check for the cheese (I've been burned by 'trusting' the restaurant biz too many times!).

I saw this thread about the cheese, so when the salad came out and the sever offered cheese, I asked her about it being dusted with flour. She politely reassured me that they do not dust it with flour themselves, but when I asked, said she could double check. Sure enough, it comes pre-packaged that way. They went and read the ingredients list on the box, and yes, it is indeed coated. DON'T EAT IT! ;)

Thankful for this forum as a heads up- saved me days of pain and misery!

OMG, it's coated!  Panic.. :o:P   No.... seriously, the coating would not/is not be gluten based.

 

Most likey it's dusted with cellulose, a non gluten issue. A very common practice, and no reason for concern.

 

The grated cheese is just fine for all people with Celiac or those with a gluten intolerance. :)

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
      104,354
    • Total Posts
      920,511
  • Topics

  • Posts

    • Welcome!   You were smart to think about cross contamination.  Although it is great that there are so many gluten-free options out there, in the beginning it is best to try a whole foods diet, until your son feels a bit better.  The learning curve for the gluten-free diet is steep.  It is better for you to get everything down before letting others feed him.   When I was diagnosed, my hubby had been gluten free for 12 years.  I thought I knew the drill and converted right over to those gluten-free goodies I baked him.  Turned out, like many of us, I had some food inolerances not related to gluten but as a result of gut damage.  So, additives like Xantham gum made me think I was getting glutened, but I was not.  So, again, try to stick to naturally gluten free foods that are less processed for a while.  When you do venture out, I use "find me gluten free" and read the reviews from celiacs (not a person who thinks gluten-free is a way to lose weight! )   Here are some great tips from out Newbie 101 thread:  
    • I have the same problem. Was told it was psoriasis but no treatments worked even injections. I was daignosed celiac in may, and noticed a year ago the palm of my hand would itch intensely then get small blisters. I believe they are both dh. Have been gluten-free since diagnosis but still have issues with both areas. Thankful digestive issues cleared but would love to know how long before they clear up? I hope we both get feed back and best wishes to you!
    • Yes it most certainly could be a false negative, and I would bet you a dozen donuts that it is (gluten free, of course.   )  At the very least you can be sure it is related to gluten.  These gluten rashes take forever to clear up.  I don't know about you, but whenever I start to doubt my gluten intolerance, I just look at my skin, and the old blood stains on my sheets, and I am reassured that it's not all in my head, and I need to avoid gluten as if it were a bucket of battery acid.
    • Hello, My fiance and I are going to Singapore for our honeymoon next year and I was wondering if anyone knew any cafes/restaurants etc that have gluten-free dishes? We previously went two years ago and enjoyed ourselves so much that we definitely wanted to go back our our honeymoon. Catch is I got diagnosed as being gluten intolerant a few months ago, negative for Coeliac though. If I eat gluten I have bad nausea, bloating, diarrhea etc. Not pretty for a honeymoon :-) I am more than happy to eat fruit at breakfast and make do with steamed rice at dinner etc but if anyone has any ideas on anywhere I can safely eat that would be much appreciated. I don't care how much it costs! Also is it possible for me to bring packaged gluten-free food into Singapore from Australia? I am not sure on the rules. Thank you!!
    • Went in and talked to the manager of our pm and asked about the gluten free pizza, and he told me he can't guarantee its 100% gluten free because of the flour in the air from the other crusts being made.  I value the honesty.   The other employee also mentioned changing gloves.   I was thinking wow great, until I walked out and got to thinking about cross contamination from everyone grabbing the toppings out of the same bins and spreading the sauce with the same utensils.    My son was just diagnosed this week so we are new to the whole lifestyle.   So any help or info is greatly appreciated.    Thanks  
  • Upcoming Events

  • Blog Entries

  • Recent Status Updates

  • Who's Online (See full list)

  • Member Statistics

    • Total Members
      61,423
    • Most Online
      1,763

    Newest Member
    Kimmieellis
    Joined