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Random Guy

Salad Bar ?

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hey everyone

i'm a month and a half into my attempt at gluten-free living.

It's not so bad. There are so many things that taste great and are filling that I can eat, that it's not such a tough diet.

well, at least when I'm at home.

and at work has been ok too. until i realized something...

For lunch while at work, almost every day I get a salad. it's not a help yourself salad bar. they people behind the counter make it at your request.

so i'll get spinach, feta cheese, kidney beans, chick peas, peppers, tomatoes, onions, all safe stuff.

they use a clean set of tongs for each customer - great.

BUT after they stick the tongs in the blue cheese, or pasta, or something else with gluten, and then stick it in the chick peas, now the chick peas are contaminated.

so unless i'm first on line, i'm getting a little of everything in my salad.

i'm bummed out about this.

bringing in leftovers is a real pain in the neck for a number of reasons. i'd love to avoid that at least sometimes.

i work in manhattan, so there's a lot of choices around. but is there any such thing as a safe salad bar?

is there a safe salad bar type of setup, or do i switch to peanut butter and jelly on rice cakes?

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they use a clean set of tongs for each customer - great.

BUT after they stick the tongs in the blue cheese, or pasta, or something else with gluten, and then stick it in the chick peas, now the chick peas are contaminated.

I'm unclear on how they're getting cross-contaminated if they use a clean pair for each customer? Why would they be sticking the clean pair of tongs they got for you into pasta?

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well, this is why i thought i was ok eating there as well. they DO use a new, clean set of tongs.

however, as the saladmaker behind the counter was making the salad for the customer in fron t of me today, i noticed that the tongs went in the blue cheese and then those same tongs went into the next thing he ordered (which i don't even know what it was)

since there was blue cheese on the tongs, then the blue cheese HAD TO end up in the next thing too, right?

only a fellow celliac'er gets the cross contamination issue. maybe i'm taking it too far, but i think that glutened tongs spread gluten into otherwise safe foods

thoughts?

sorry if i'm not making myself clear. it's only because sometimes i'm not very clear when i write.

-rg

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Yes, you are right as the items are getting cross contaminated. Is it possible to talk to whomever is in charge and see if they could leave one set of tongs in each section. I know they will have to put each one down before the next selection but maybe this is doable to them. It never hurts to ask. Good Luck.

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i totally sympathize on this one, bc i went through the same thing at my local deli (im in manhattan too)...i was getting sick whenever i ate the salads and i know all the ingredients were gluten-free...at first i thought it was the dressing (i always got oil and vinegar) but i know distilled vinegar is fine, and oil is, well, just oil. So i realized it is the cross contam...the thing is, even though they clean the tongs and the bowls, im not sure how thoroughly they do so. and i often get pieces of other things in my salads (like chickpeas if they are next to the broccoli, etc.), so i dont trust them anymore, it was just not worth the risk for me as i am very sensitive :( I SOOOOOO miss those salads, to me they were one of my fav things about living in NYC- every deli has them!! On occasion, i will break down and get myself one, but i will only order veggies that are no where near any gluten ingredients. If you go to the same place every day, perhaps they would be willing to make you a salad with some of the ingredients they have in the back? worth i try i guess..

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...If you go to the same place every day, perhaps they would be willing to make you a salad with some of the ingredients they have in the back? worth i try i guess..

Mookie, you're a genious!!!

and if not from the ingredients in the back, maybe i could possibly order my salad in the morning and have them make it BEFORE they cross contaminate.

when i explain the cross contamination issue, they might think i'm just another NYC nutjob (and i'm not sure i'm not, but that's another story), but what do i have to lose

thank you Mookie. you've brought hope into my day

(on a side note: if someone tolds me a few months ago that the possibility of having a salad for lunch would make my day, i'd have laughed my head off)

have a great weekend

and thanks

-rg

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hahaha, im so glad i could be of service :) and yes, i think its crazy that now having a salad w/o gluten is the best thing in the world to us... but its not like we can eat anything else in a deli! i hope u can work something out w/ ur local deli- and keep me posted on what works, b/c i may do the same! and about being just another nyc nutjob... does it even matter anymore?! I mean, im sure they are so used to serving crazy people it wont even phase them when u make ur request! :P

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I actually commute into Brooklyn 4 days a week to go to School (Brooklyn PolyTech) I can not eat anything at the school except the fruit and what I had thought was okay also.....the salad bar. I was there yesterday and went to go and get the usual and I guess that I never realized it before but they dont seperate everything. For instance they would put the carrots and the cucumbers together. I never thought twice about it, until yesterday when the peppers where with this pasta mix. I got so upset because I was so hungry and now.....all i could have was a lously piece of fruit <_< .

Now I am not sure what to do, because I can not bring anything in with me for lunch, and going for 10 hours straight on fruit is just going to make me loose weight and I dont need anymore of that.

Sometimes I feel like I am the only one out there.......that is really cool though to know that there are people close :) .

I go into Penn Station to go home and I always smell Anite Anns pretzels......I get so jealous when I see someone eating them. <_<

Amanda NY

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hey minibabe, at the GNC in penn station, they sell gluten free rice chip snacks that are really good. they remind me of doritos sort of, only better for you i think

like most specialty sfuff, it helps if your rich

good luck

-rg

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Amanda-- why not pack easy portable snacks like dried fruit and nuts or breakfast/power bars? I totally know how frustrating it is, especially being in ny and having to commute around (im totally a bag lady these days) but i always bring lots of snacks so i never get stranded in class w/o food...hope u can find something that works for you!

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