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  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams

    More than Half of All Chain Restaurants to Offer Gluten-free Dishes

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

    Celiac.com 11/06/2014 - The results of restaurant supply-chain co-op SpenDifference’s menu price survey indicate that more than half of all restaurant chains plan to offer gluten-free menu items in 2014.

    Photo: Wikimedia Commons--CW221The third menu price survey said nine percent of surveyed restaurants are already offering organic products, 36 percent use local products, 53 percent offer light- and low-calorie options, and 55 percent have gluten-free items.

    The report echoes earlier reports that the strong and steady uptick in the demand for gluten-free foods, and is reinforced by SpenDifference president and chief executive officer Maryanne Rose, who says that the growing demand for low-calorie and gluten-free menu items will “be with us for a long time.

    Many specialty restaurants, now offers gluten-free menus. To get an idea of your gluten-free options, Gluten-free Guide HQ offers a good list of 75 Essential Gluten Free Restaurant Menus from a number of major food purveyors that runs the gamut from fast food and casual to more upscale.


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    A gluten-free menu is not enough. Many restaurants have so contaminated their kitchens that gluten-free is no help. Example Red Lobster. I used to eat there no problem. They brought in new chefs put in a gluten free menu and any thing I eat sickens me. Nothing I like is on the gluten-free menu.

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    Still need to be vigilant for cross-contamination. Many of these have offered a gluten-free menu, but don't necessarily understand the need to cook separately with separate (and clean) cooking surfaces and utensils.

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    Guest Dana "aka Galley Wench Tales" Greyson

    Posted

    Awesome.

     

    Now if only that happens internationally. We're about to spend the next 2 years sailing from Florida to Australia and can only carry so much food from the States.

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    I'd like to know which of these restaurants keeps a gluten free section in their kitchens in order to stop cross contamination. Just having gluten free foods on the menu isn't enough.

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    Some gluten-free menus have disclaimers on them noting that cross-contamination can occur, often in the fine print. Some menus don't say, so it's always good to ask and to play it safe. I agree with others here who have pointed out that more gluten-free chains is not necessarily going to help those of us who require gluten-free because of gluten intolernace or allergy, unless there is a commitment by those restaurants to proper training of staff. It would be helpful if restaurants made a point of distinguishing whether they are following GIG or similar training and whether they have separate prep areas, etc. I wish there was a required certification system for Gluten Free safety for restaurants, similar to the "certified gluten free" label that some of us look for on foods. Right now it seems like many restaurants that offer Gluten Free are just catering to the casual gluten-avoider.

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    Its nice to see gluten-free menus or options, however, proceed with caution. I don't think many, if any, restaurants understand what gluten-free really means, or know about cross contamination. You should expect cross contamination when ordering a gluten-free item at a restaurant. Disclaimers to that effect are usually found on gluten-free menus. Asking a few questions about food preparation will reveal that they don't know what they are doing.

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    Most non-gluten-free people don't get it! Just start asking questions. Even those in the food business that are supposedly giving you gluten-free. Cross contamination is a problem too.

    And why does our food have to be extra expensive in restaurants, when "Real Food" is naturally gluten-free and they don't have to use lots of ADDED things to make our stuff? Food For Thought... AND there ya go...

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    Some gluten-free menus have disclaimers on them noting that cross-contamination can occur, often in the fine print. Some menus don't say, so it's always good to ask and to play it safe. I agree with others here who have pointed out that more gluten-free chains is not necessarily going to help those of us who require gluten-free because of gluten intolernace or allergy, unless there is a commitment by those restaurants to proper training of staff. It would be helpful if restaurants made a point of distinguishing whether they are following GIG or similar training and whether they have separate prep areas, etc. I wish there was a required certification system for Gluten Free safety for restaurants, similar to the "certified gluten free" label that some of us look for on foods. Right now it seems like many restaurants that offer Gluten Free are just catering to the casual gluten-avoider.

    I agree with this comment. The government should start to regulate restaurants somehow... you can't just say something is allergy free or gluten free and it's not.

    GIG is great! I've gotten sick at the GIG rated places too but at least it's usually safer.

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    Guest Ariana Rodriguez

    Posted

    Sure, it's great that restaurants are offering a gluten-free menu but they do not care or take any precautions to avoid cross-contamination. If they offer these gluten free menus.... shouldn't they follow the new FDA regulations that went into effect as of August 2014?

     

    Even with the new regulations I have not seen an improvement and the chefs just laugh at me when I ask them detailed questions about the preparation of my meals. Until they learn to have some respect towards the Celiac community and have proper gluten free training on kitchen preparations to avoid cross contamination, I refuse to believe anything like this. I want to see a "certified gluten free" label in order for me to feel safe.

     

     

    Example, I took a trip to New York and they have a truly gluten free pizza place called Mozzarelli's that had a giant sign in their establishment that read "gluten free certified"...and you know what, I didn't get sick for weeks on end. No place should throw the gluten free label around if they cannot actually keep it safe for our sake.

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior writer and Digital Content Director. He earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,000 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in biology, anatomy, medicine, science, and advanced research, and scientific methods. He previously served as SF Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.

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