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  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams

    Why is Subway Canada's Gluten-Free Bread Only Available for a Limited Time?

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

      Subway announces gluten-free buns at all stores in Canada. But only for a limited time? Is the company trolling us?


    Caption: Photo: CC--Mike Mozart

    Celiac.com 12/15/2017 - Is this some kind of cruel trick? As Subway makes a major announcement touting a gluten-free bread option in its restaurants across Canada, it offers a small disclaimer that the gluten's only going away for a limited time.

    For a limited time? What? Subway is the first fast food restaurant to carry gluten-free bread throughout Canada, but it will only do so "for a limited time?" You got that right. In plain text, clear as day, the Subway press release says that the company will offer its gluten-free option across Canada "for a limited time." Does that mean it will be permanent in some places and not in others? Does it mean they will bring the entire promotion to an end at some point?

    What does this mean for customers? What does it mean for people with celiac disease and gluten intolerance?

    In the short term, I guess it means get you're Canadian, and gluten-free, and looking for a gluten-free sub, Subway has you covered. For how long exactly? Stay tuned.

    Read more at: Restobiz.ca


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    Does it matter that Subway has gluten free buns? Their food is in NO WAY safe for celiacs. crumbs get into all of the food containers, because they cut buns right beside them, and they use the same gloves to touch all the food. If you eat there (even if it's just a salad) you are at high risk of gluten contamination.

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    Does it matter that Subway has gluten free buns? Their food is in NO WAY safe for celiacs. crumbs get into all of the food containers, because they cut buns right beside them, and they use the same gloves to touch all the food. If you eat there (even if it's just a salad) you are at high risk of gluten contamination.

    I've eaten at Subway in Oregon and had zero issues. If you tell them to be extra careful because you are celiac, they are trained to respond and do that. Of course everyone must make their own choices and assess their own risks.

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    Subway may be using it as a test item to see what kind of sales it generates before making it a permanent item. I personally would be a bit hesitant to order at Subway, I would definitely check if they were trained on cross contamination first.

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    Even the US chains don't all offer the gluten-free rolls. We have quite a few franchises in my area and NONE of them offer them. I went in and asked about them at one store last week and was told I was the 3rd or 4th person to do so in the last couple of weeks. It is so easy for them to do since they can be kept frozen until needed. They did tell me they were going to talk to management about it took my name and number to contact me. I have heard nothing yet.

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    I totally agree Michelle. I've eaten there a few times and been glutened every time. Even though they changed their gloves and wiped the cutting board and knife, all the food closest to them has bread crumbs on it. I wrote a letter to Subway Canada but have yet to hear back from them.

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    I totally agree Michelle. I've eaten there a few times and been glutened every time. Even though they changed their gloves and wiped the cutting board and knife, all the food closest to them has bread crumbs on it. I wrote a letter to Subway Canada but have yet to hear back from them.

    If you ask they will pull separate ingredients out of the refrigerator that are stored separately. The roll is wrapped separately too, and they made mine on the sandwich paper, not the counter. They seemed to know what they were doing when I told them I had celiac disease. I've never had an issue in the Oregon stores.

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    If you ask they will pull separate ingredients out of the refrigerator that are stored separately. The roll is wrapped separately too, and they made mine on the sandwich paper, not the counter. They seemed to know what they were doing when I told them I had celiac disease. I've never had an issue in the Oregon stores.

    Scott.... it's different in the US than it is here in Canada. There aren't that many with celiac disease or intolerance per capita here so it's not as easy to find truly trained personnel or major food chains that are able to be totally gluten free. They tend to be gluten friendly and you eat at your own risk.

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    Scott.... it's different in the US than it is here in Canada. There aren't that many with celiac disease or intolerance per capita here so it's not as easy to find truly trained personnel or major food chains that are able to be totally gluten free. They tend to be gluten friendly and you eat at your own risk.

    Of course, cross contamination can occur, but it is my understanding that Subway IS training their workers to avoid this, especially for those of have celiac disease.

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    I would not trust a "gluten-free" bread from any chain, it is just too easy for someone to be careless and touch regular bread and the gluten-free food without realizing it. I have watched Subway sandwiches being made, and I won't even order "salad style" because I see what they do - they use the same pair of gloves to prepare the entire sandwich, so if the guy ahead of me has hot peppers, regular bread, etc. then with each ingredient they add to his order, they are contaminating every bin with the previous items. I have multiple food issues, so no thanks, I'll pack and eat my own.

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    Restaurants want to capitalize on the gluten-free opportunity, but fail to do it properly, their way of dealing with it is to put a disclaimer about cross-contamination. If they truly cared they would setup a designated area and have individual packages for the other gluten-free products. I see it on not as a cash grab! If they were seriously committed to serving the growing celiac community they invest to doing it correctly!

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    I would not trust a "gluten-free" bread from any chain, it is just too easy for someone to be careless and touch regular bread and the gluten-free food without realizing it. I have watched Subway sandwiches being made, and I won't even order "salad style" because I see what they do - they use the same pair of gloves to prepare the entire sandwich, so if the guy ahead of me has hot peppers, regular bread, etc. then with each ingredient they add to his order, they are contaminating every bin with the previous items. I have multiple food issues, so no thanks, I'll pack and eat my own.

    Did you read the Press Release? Here's an excerpt: "The gluten-free bread from Subway is produced and packaged in a gluten-free facility. Subway Canada also carries a variety of proteins, toppings and sauce options that do not contain gluten. ‘Sandwich Artists' take steps when preparing orders to minimize possible cross-contamination." Can they guarantee it? No. But they do seem to be taking their responsibility seriously.

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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 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.

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