Do You Have Celiac Disease and Have Questions Or Need Help?
Join Celiac.com's forum / message board and get your questions answered! Our forum has nearly 1 MILLION POSTS, and over 62,000 MEMBERS just waiting to help you with any questions about celiac disease and the gluten-free diet. We'll see you there!
Follow / Share
|Get Email Alerts|
- Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients)
- Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients)
- Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages
- Celiac Disease Symptoms
- The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free
- Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results
- Is Buckwheat Flour Really Gluten-Free?
Trust but Verify: "Gluten-free" Hospital Meals May Not Be Gluten-free
Jefferson Adams is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. His poems, essays and photographs have appeared in Antioch Review, Blue Mesa Review, CALIBAN, Hayden's Ferry Review, Huffington Post, the Mississippi Review, and Slate among others.
He is a member of both the National Writers Union, the International Federation of Journalists, and covers San Francisco Health News for Examiner.com.View all articles by Jefferson Adams
Hospital meals may not be gluten-free
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 the wrong limb, remove the wrong organ, or give the wrong drugs, they can accidentally slip an item containing gluten into a gluten-free meal.
That's exactly what happened to Don MacMillan, a 68-year old Canadian man whose recovery from gall-bladder surgery was marked by a hospital mix-up that sent him a standard meal instead of the gluten-free meal he required and requested.
Still weak, three days after surgery, and hungry from three days of intravenous and liquid nutrition, MacMillan was looking forward to eating his first solid food. Still, he didn’t want to take any chances.
He was suspicious of the hospital's lunch of chicken à la king and a cookie. Fortunately for MacMillan, he was both suspicious and vocal.
‘You sure what I’m being fed is gluten free?’ he asked the assistant.
She answered that it was, but MacMillan asked her to please double-check. After checking in with the kitchen, she admitted that they had made an error: the meal was not, in fact, gluten-free.
“She told me it was OK, but I just didn’t trust her ... so I asked her to verify," MacMillan added.
Quintin Wight, spokesman for the Ottawa chapter of the Canadian Celiac Association, said what happened to MacMillan occurs more frequently in hospitals and nursing homes than is reported.
“I sympathize with him greatly because this is a situation that we’ve heard about on and off over many years,” said Wight.
“I’m not sure how it arises in the hospitals because the dietitians certainly know what gluten-free food is, but it doesn’t seem to get to the kitchen staff. These are organizations that should know better," he added.
No one needs extra dietary or immune challenges when recovering from surgery. People who plan a hospital stay, and who require and request a gluten-free meal due to celiac disease or other conditions, can do themselves a big favor by taking steps to confirm the gluten-free status before eating the meal provided.
Rule of thumb: Just because the meal is labelled gluten-free, doesn't mean it is gluten-free. When it comes to special meals in the hospital, trust, but verify.
Celiac.com welcomes your comments below (registration is NOT required).
Facing Legal Pressure, More Colleges Provide Gluten-free Food Options
Parents of children with food allergies can take heart in recent developments at the federal level that are mandating changes in the ways colleges and universities address food-allergy issues in their students.... [READ MORE]
Pain in Women During Sex Could be Caused by Untreated Celiac Disease
Dr.... [READ MORE]
McDonald's - A Safe Place for Celiacs to Eat According to the Gluten Intolerance Group
Gluten Intolerance Group
(GIG) applauds McDonald’s for providing proof that their French
fries are safe for persons with celiac disease and gluten intolerances,
states Cynthia Kupper, RD, Executive Director of GIG.... [READ MORE]
Dairy, Cow's Milk, Casein and Celiac Disease
The following is a post from Ron Hoggan - Q:
I asked the doctor what an inflamed mucosa could mean and he
shrugged and then added parasites, maybe? She was
tested for parasites way back before her first biopsy (October
96).... [READ MORE]