Jump to content
  • Sign Up
  • Join Our Community!

    Get help in our celiac / gluten-free forum.

  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams

    Tainted Gluten-Free Meal Nearly Kills Australian Woman

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

      A simple meal at a trusted restaurant landed an Australian in hospital with serious health issues after mistakenly eating a waffle she thought was gluten-free. The incident caused her to lose consciousness several times, and resulted in mild kidney failur


    Caption: Image: CC--Presidencia de la Repúblic Mexicana

    Celiac.com 07/09/2018 - In a seemingly innocuous case of gluten-contamination, an Australian woman was hospitalized with serious health issues after mistakenly eating a waffle she thought was gluten-free. The incident began when Williams and her husband Scott dined at a local Perth restaurant where they had eaten before. This time, though, after eating a meal of chicken and what she took to be gluten-free waffles, she became ill. The mistake caused her to lose consciousness several times, and resulted in mild kidney failure.

    Diagnosed as celiac at 12 months of age, the 27-year old Williams is a CrossFit fanatic, a fact she believes helped her to survive. “If I was already sick or if I was an elderly person and I had this sort of reaction, I could have died,” Ms Williams said. Williams wants to help spread the word that, for some people, celiac disease is a serious and potentially life-threatening medical condition.

    The owner of the restaurant seems to be taking the incident seriously, and has said she would be investigating what went wrong that day. “I’m trying to find out what happened because we’ve never had an issue with this,” she said, and that she “would never want to hurt anyone at all.”

    While the Perth restaurant’s menu did carry a disclaimer that gluten-free items may contain traces of gluten. The owner said the gluten-free options were not recommended for people who are “coeliac or really gluten intolerant.” The restaurant has offered Ms Williams a $40 refund with a confidentiality clause, which she intends to decline so she can speak out and educate others about the risks of dining out.

    Coeliac Australia’s Cathy Di Bella said restaurants can’t use a “may contain traces of” disclaimer to offset a claim that food is gluten-free. Any restaurant that advertises gluten-free food should take necessary measures to ensure that their gluten-free items are if fact free of gluten. This is an important point, as this incident comes amid recent news reports that indicate nearly one out of ten meals sold as gluten-free at cafes and restaurants across Melbourne were contaminated with gluten.

    For Ms Williams’ part, she said she has “lost faith in going out for dinner and it’s going to take me a long time to be able to go out and do that without fear of this happening.”

    Do you or a loved one have a gluten-free horror story to tell? Share it in our comments below.

    Read more at: Thewest.com.au


    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    "For Ms Williams’ part, she said she has “lost faith in going out for dinner and it’s going to take me a long time to be able to go out and do that without fear of this happening.”

    Been there I order gluten-free and inquired when it was brought to table it was gluten-free. It wasn't. My immune system reacted right away in the first bite, but after that and joining the forum here I learned join the conservative no eating  out crowd.

    I hope Ms. Williams recovers quickly.

    "Coeliac Australia’s Cathy Di Bella said restaurants can’t use a “may contain traces of” disclaimer to offset a claim that food is gluten-free. Any restaurant that advertises gluten-free food should take necessary measures to ensure that their gluten-free items are if fact free of gluten. "

    This would be ideal however as many stories on the forums remind us, the marketplace and knowledge of gluten free preparation measures are often sub par.

    I learned from the forums here it was best to not eat out as the call ahead arrangement bit failed me. My health took a dive , I sought diagnosis, and my health has not returned to what it was prior to that incident.

    be safe everyone...

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    I had wonderful gluten free pizza at a restaurant that was really trying to do it right for several years and everything was great until I picked up a pizza to go one night.  I'm very glad I was home when I are it because I was immediately hit with a reaction of vomiting and diarrhea to the point that I passed out.  We tracked it down to the change in sausage vendors. The sausage on my gluten-free pizza was made with beer!

    I really do think that gluten free is too difficult for most commercial kitchens. I do have a few places I can safely eat at and I treasure them.  My favorite BBQ place took bread out of the kitchen entirely.  It sits over by the sauce in a closed container and they don't automatically slap bread on your food like most BBQ places do. But they have 3 family members with Celiac.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    This is not unusual here in the U.S., but I am disappointed to find it happening in Australia.  I've visited the Sydney area twice in the past few years, and found that -- compared to the U.S. -- the staff at Aussie eating places have far more knowledge of what gluten is, which of their dishes contains gluten, and how to avoid cross-contamination.  One waiter, finding out that I have celiac, was so happy to let me know that the chips (fries for us Americans) were fried in a dedicated fryer -- only to come back after checking with the chef to tell me that, sadly, they occasionally cooked with gluten in that fryer.  I appreciated so much that he knew what was what, and made appropriate inquiries and corrections.  But this was my experience throughout the Sydney area, and in Tasmania.  Not only did the staff have better knowledge than their American counterparts, they took me seriously -- with none of the eye-rolling attitude you sometimes see here.

     

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    I’ve  posted about this before.  Sushi mislabeled as crab instead of imitation crab put me in an ambulance to the ER.  The problem is that I am also diabetic. The vomiting took my blood sugar to subterranean levels.  Be VERY careful if you are on insulin.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Unfortunately I travel for work so I have to eat out and am totally dependent on restaurants to provide gluten free.  I often end up ordering salads with dressing on the side.  It's scary to get something like gluten free breads, or buns or breaded items, pasta, etc that they say are gluten free.   You just never know.  Tacos on corn tortillas and they give them to you on flour and then say "oh, I forgot"  

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites


    Join the conversation

    You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
    Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

    Guest
    Add a comment...

    ×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

      Only 75 emoji are allowed.

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

    ×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • 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 science, scientific methodology, biology, anatomy, medicine, logic, and advanced research. 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.

  • Related Articles

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 08/23/2010 - People following a gluten-free diet due to celiac-disease or other conditions, who are facing a hospital stay, might want to cheek with their hospital dietitian and staff to make sure that the 'gluten-free' meal they receive is, in fact, gluten-free.
    That's because, even hospitals can make mistakes. Let's face it, if they can occasionally amputate...

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 09/02/2016 - A Canadian woman who claims to suffer from celiac disease has sued Mohegan Sun Pocono and its buffet, Timbers, after she allegedly became ill from eating pastries mislabeled as "gluten free."
    The woman says the pastries labeled as "gluten free" at the buffet were standard non-gluten-free pastries, and says the error made her violently ill, and caused...

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 09/13/2016 - A 10-year-old girl allegedly fell ill after eating pizza that was supposed to be gluten-free, but which turned out to be standard pizza.
    The girl, Sydney Bayle, became violently ill, and ended up in the local emergency room. The attorney for Grotto Pizza says the company has admitted making a "mistake."
    Now the parents, Samuel and Victoria Bayle,...

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 07/11/2017 - A UK man has filed a lawsuit against a local bar and grill after becoming sick on a gyro salad that servers led him to believe was gluten-free.
    The Webster Groves resident, Phillip "Gus" Wagner alleges that servers at Michael's Bar & Grill in Manchester, provided inaccurate information about the dish, and that he suffered an adverse reaction to the...

  • Forum Discussions

    Vitamin E in Foods that is added is not risky and harmful as you think. But if you take high doses of Vitamin E may be risky for bleeding in brain. It is highly suggested by the National Institutes of Health diet allowance for Vitamin E is ...
    Hi there,  I've read other people posting their results from their coeliac blood tests with a number within a reference range. However my blood panels didn't contain a number. It said: Diamidated Gliadin IgG Ab (Bioplex) : not detected ...
    Hi!   The old AGA (anti-gliadin antibodies) tests are no longer in use, but I am not sure what country you are in.  These AGA (IgA and IgG versions) were replaced by the better and more accurate DGP tests.  I think you need to confir...
×
×
  • Create New...