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Question About Eating Out
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Hello,

I am newly-diagnosed and am traveling for work right now, and it is apparent that I'm still navigating the learning curve!

I tried to bring some gluten-free snacks with me but found myself at the train station, preparing to head home, and still needed to eat lunch. I had a choice - I could buy junky gluten-free snacks at the Hudson News, or I could look for a more balanced/nutritious option at one of the train station's restaurants. Wanting to keep my blood sugar level and get an actual meal, I went for the latter and headed to a deli that looked very clean on the inside. Everything seemed very contained, and the prep area seemed very clean. They had some tuna salad that they said was gluten-free and contained only tuna, mayo and celery. Okay, so far so good, maybe...but maybe I should have double-checked the mayo? It seemed like they made the tuna in-house, but should I have double-checked that?

I then asked if the tuna salad was touched with a knife that was used to make sandwiches and explained that I needed to be extremely careful about CC. They said that no knives came into contact with the tuna salad and explained that the salad was only touched with a metal spoon that was dedicated to that item. I made it doubly clear that any cross-contamination would be unsafe for me, and they seemed to sort of get it but without a true understanding of gluten intolerance. I bought it and ate it but was uncomfortable -- such a Catch-22 -- and felt like maybe I had made an unsafe decision, OR that maybe I was actually worrying too much about something that was safe.

So, my question is whether I did a good job scoping out the deli and asking questions, or if I was sloppy, possibly for the sake of getting a balanced meal...please be honest. I really appreciate your feedback, as this is a real source of stress and confusion for me right now. Some folks on here never eat out; meanwhile, others seem to navigate the eating-out world rather well and seem so comfortable. Being newly-diagnosed, I feel scared about eating out but realize that my lifestyle is such that I will sometimes have to do so and need to develop the judgement to do it safely. Thank you for your help!

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I don't think you are going to encounter a gluten problem with mayo; soy, yes, but not gluten. If the tuna had a dedicated spoon and then used a clean knife and gloves, then I think you did all that you could do. Sometimes we just have to take a risk - for some of us the risk of not eating is greater than the risk of a small amount of cc, though no cc is of course the goal. I think you did fine.

The degree of concern amongst our posters usually matches their degrees of sensitivity. Those who are the most sensitive to gluten worry the most. :)

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I don't think you are going to encounter a gluten problem with mayo; soy, yes, but not gluten. If the tuna had a dedicated spoon and then used a clean knife and gloves, then I think you did all that you could do. Sometimes we just have to take a risk - for some of us the risk of not eating is greater than the risk of a small amount of cc, though no cc is of course the goal. I think you did fine.

The degree of concern amongst our posters usually matches their degrees of sensitivity. Those who are the most sensitive to gluten worry the most. :)

Thanks a lot, mushroom. It is so helpful to get feedback from someone who has developed "celiac judgment". I am really trying to figure out how safe is safe enough without driving myself batty. On some level I guess i'm really struggling with the concept of varying sensitivity in celiac. Do we all get sick from the same amount of gluten, or do some really need to be more careful than others? Is it that, ultimately, we all have the same auto-immune response but some are more in touch with it than others because their auto-immune fallout is more apparent (i.e. they have worse symptoms)? It doesn't help that I'm in the early healing phase. With my body still feeling a bit all over the place, i think it adds to my confusion...

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Tuna salad isn't always safe because for some strange reason some places put bread crumbs in it. But this place said it was safe. All you can do is go with what they say.

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