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    Café Requires Doctor's Note for Gluten-free Food


    Jefferson Adams
    Image Caption: Image: CC--bora_dan

    Celiac.com 09/08/2016 - A café in Ireland has stirred controversy after claiming that customers requesting gluten-free food will be required to present a doctor's note, proving they have celiac disease or a medical condition that makes gluten-free food necessary.


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    The White Moose Café in Dublin's Phibsborough neighborhood has stirred controversy in the past after banning vegans for writing negative reviews about the café. Now, say the owners of the café, guests who demand gluten-free food will need to produce a doctor's note stating that they suffer from celiac disease.

    A post on the company's Facebook reads:

    "This morning a girl asked us if we did gluten-free pancakes and when we asked her if she was a celiac, she didn't even know what the word meant and then proceeded to order regular, gluten-rich pancakes anyway.

    From now on, guests who demand gluten-free food are required to produce a doctor's note which states that you suffer from celiac disease.

    Guests following a gluten-free fad, who don't even know what gluten is, can cop the f#%@ on and eat regular food like everybody else."

    Well, that's one way to deal with gluten-free fad dieters. Smartly played, or misguided?

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    As an older woman who had the symptoms of Celiac disease as early as 10 years old, and was just officially diagnosed 7 years ago, I can tell you that it is dangerous for those of us with the disease to request gluten-free foods from a restaurant that isn't prepared to provide it. Cross-overs of foods can easily occur and cause terrible, long-term symptoms. So the restaurant owner/staff need to recognize this and tell their customers they aren't equipped to provide a gluten-free menu. And officially post it so those with the disease can go elsewhere where there has been an effort made to accommodate the condition, for the sake of their health. I can't condemn the restaurant. Cooking and maintaining a completely gluten-free kitchen is not easy.

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    Guest Helen Vajk

    Posted

    Cafe owner has a cheap approach to notoriety, not just with coeliacs. Should just be ignored and business avoided.

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    What about all of us that were never officially diagnosed but accepted being gluten-intolerant simply because we had already taken gluten out of our diets and decided not to eat it just to get a diagnosis when we know what the issue is?! I'd have to just get up and leave such a place! I suppose a banana and orange form the local grocery store is better than nothing! This is incredibly scary when thinking about planning a trip to Ireland next year and having places wanting me to PROVE my issues?

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    Guest Jared M.

    Posted

    It could be worse. Remember that chef at an Italian restaurant (was it maybe Denver?) that served glutenous pasta to patrons who specifically ordered gluten-free pasta?

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    Guest Tania Malven

    Posted

    Those who are mindlessly following a fad make it much harder for those with real celiac disease or gluten intolerance! In some ways I do not blame the restaurant for getting fed up with fad followers!

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    If I had gone to that café when I was in Dublin in May I would have been out of luck. My doctor is in California.

    I traveled with Bob and Ruth's gluten-free Travel Club so I could be sure gluten-free food was at every meal.

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    Guest Mireille

    Posted

    Any establishment purveying food should make a decision regarding whether or not to provide gluten-free options to customers. I think it's fine for a restaurant or cafe to decide not to provide this kind of service; it's their business and their choice. However, to pejoratively comment and demand a doctor's note in order to provide such a service is not only unkind, it's unwise from a business standpoint. I would not visit such an establishment on principle - not only because I medically require a gluten-free diet, but also because the spirit of goodwill is missing. This is quite sad and unnecessary. So what, if some people think eating gluten-free is a passing "health fad." To those who are not coeliac or do not have gluten/wheat sensitivity, perhaps that is what it is. In any event, how to eat is a person's choice. This cafe owner is failing to recognize the value of his customers. Perhaps he - and many others - will learn and do better in the future.

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    Guest Tyler Carroll

    Posted

    I think it's great. Honestly, I'm tired of people thinking I'm on the gluten free fad and not understanding the seriousness of celiac disease. If a restaurant has to make special concessions for a celiac meal, it should be for a celiac, not someone who thinks it sounds cool.

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    People like the women in the article are what makes it extremely tough for celiacs. Having said that, if a restaurant does not want to provide food for every customer under the sun, it is their right. There are just some places we cannot eat, understand and move on.

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    In the years since my diagnosis, I have only been to two restaurants that serve gluten-free food. I have asked many restaurants if they have a celiac safe kitchen, not just gluten-free menus. All but the two I have been to said "No". I thank them and turn and walk away.

    It is their business and they can run it the way they please. I'd just prefer to see gluten-free restaurants; I don't feel safe eating in a mixed kitchen anyway.

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    I get annoyed by fad followers as much as the next coeliac, but I don't think this is the right way to go about it. Funnily enough, I don't carry my diagnosis papers everywhere I go and nor does any other coeliac I know. This cafe sounds like it's fishing for controversy attention more than anything else.

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    Guest Mary Ann

    Posted

    What about all of us that were never officially diagnosed but accepted being gluten-intolerant simply because we had already taken gluten out of our diets and decided not to eat it just to get a diagnosis when we know what the issue is?! I'd have to just get up and leave such a place! I suppose a banana and orange form the local grocery store is better than nothing! This is incredibly scary when thinking about planning a trip to Ireland next year and having places wanting me to PROVE my issues?

    Ireland restaurants are very receptive to the gluten free diet. You need not be worried. All you have to do is ask!!

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    Guest Mary Ann

    Posted

    Very interesting reading of all the experiences that we have. I manage very well here in Tennessee. Most restaurants advertise their gluten-free Menus. I can imagine it being a nightmare for some people that are gluten-free legitimately and have a difficult time in restaurants that are not very friendly to the disease. You must always check before you go to a restaurant and avoid controversy! Some people just don't understand.

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    I am waiting for someone to demand proof of diabetes from anyone ordering a sugar free coke, especially if the patron is not visibly obese.

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    The great thing about the gluten free fad dieters is that they have increased demand for gluten free options, for which those of us with medical conditions benefit. Requiring a doctor's note is a great reason to avoid going there. They clearly don't want the business, and therefore won't get the business of non gluten free family members either.

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    Guest Tracy Gibson

    Posted

    Those who are mindlessly following a fad make it much harder for those with real celiac disease or gluten intolerance! In some ways I do not blame the restaurant for getting fed up with fad followers!

    I agree...the fad people are ruining it for those of us with celiac disease.

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    I agree...the fad people are ruining it for those of us with celiac disease.

    What exactly are they ruining? The more attention they bring to the diet, the more options there will be, and the more people there will be who will learn about the diet. Most people with celiac disease are still diagnosed.

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    Sources:
    1. Toft M, Dietrichs E. Aggravated stuttering following subthalamic deep brain stimulation in Parkinson’s disease--two cases. BMC Neurol. 2011 Apr 8;11:44.
    2. Tani T, Sakai Y. Stuttering after right cerebellar infarction: a case study. J Fluency Disord. 2010 Jun;35(2):141-5. Epub 2010 Mar 15.
    3. Lundgren K, Helm-Estabrooks N, Klein R. Stuttering Following Acquired Brain Damage: A Review of the Literature. J Neurolinguistics. 2010 Sep 1;23(5):447-454.
    4. Jäncke L, Hänggi J, Steinmetz H. Morphological brain differences between adult stutterers and non-stutterers. BMC Neurol. 2004 Dec 10;4(1):23.
    5. Kell CA, Neumann K, von Kriegstein K, Posenenske C, von Gudenberg AW, Euler H, Giraud AL. How the brain repairs stuttering. Brain. 2009 Oct;132(Pt 10):2747-60. Epub 2009 Aug 26.
    6. Galantucci S, Tartaglia MC, Wilson SM, Henry ML, Filippi M, Agosta F, Dronkers NF, Henry RG, Ogar JM, Miller BL, Gorno-Tempini ML. White matter damage in primary progressive aphasias: a diffusion tensor tractography study. Brain. 2011 Jun 11.
    7. Lundgren K, Helm-Estabrooks N, Klein R. Stuttering Following Acquired Brain Damage: A Review of the Literature. J Neurolinguistics. 2010 Sep 1;23(5):447-454.
    8. [No authors listed] Case records of the Massachusetts General Hospital. Weekly clinicopathological exercises. Case 43-1988. A 52-year-old man with persistent watery diarrhea and aphasia. N Engl J Med. 1988 Oct 27;319(17):1139-48
    9. Molteni N, Bardella MT, Baldassarri AR, Bianchi PA. Celiac disease associated with epilepsy and intracranial calcifications: report of two patients. Am J Gastroenterol. 1988 Sep;83(9):992-4.
    10. http://ezinearticles.com/?Food-Allergy-and-Stuttering-Link&id=1235725 
    11. http://www.craig.copperleife.com/health/stuttering_allergies.htm 
    12. https://www.celiac.com/forums/topic/73362-any-help-is-appreciated/
    13. Ford RP. The gluten syndrome: a neurological disease. Med Hypotheses. 2009 Sep;73(3):438-40. Epub 2009 Apr 29.
    14. Hadjivassiliou M, Gibson A, Davies-Jones GA, Lobo AJ, Stephenson TJ, Milford-Ward A. Does cryptic gluten sensitivity play a part in neurological illness? Lancet. 1996 Feb 10;347(8998):369-71.

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