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melie

Is This The Wave Of The Future?

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This is the response I got from Ruby Tuesday when I emailed them to send me a list of gluten free items on their menu:

This is in response to your communication to us regarding potential allergic reactions to the food we serve. We appreciate and understand your request for information. Unfortunately Ruby Tuesday does not and cannot supply a listing of allergens that might be present in our menu items for the following reasons:

- Although we require our suppliers to meet high standards for quality and safe food handling, we cannot know for an absolute certainty if the food items we purchase from outside sources do or do not contain allergens.

- It is always possible, as we are preparing food in over 700 restaurants every day, that one item will be substituted for another, and that the substitute product's contents may be different from the ingredients in the products we normally use.

- As food is being prepared in our restaurants, it often comes in contact with other food, so even though a specific item may not contain allergens, it could be affected by another food item that does.

For those reasons, we believe it is better to tell you we cannot provide the information you are requesting than to give you information that is not accurate and could be detrimental rather than helpful. We hope you understand and appreciate your interest in Ruby Tuesday.

Thank you,

Guest Relations

Ruby Tuesday, Inc.

In other words, they won't even attempt it due to liability issues, that's how I'm reading it. I hope that this isn't the way restaurants are going to start responding to the allergic/special diet needs population. "Don't even bother eating here, you might sue us, so we'd rather you didn't even come in." Boo hiss....


Diagnosed by Enterolab 6/06

Gluten free since 4/06

Autoimmune Thyroiditis since 1997

Pernicious Anemia

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This response doesn't even make me mad. It makes me sad, because in this day and age, with all of the sue-happy people out there, I almost think that such a response is a smart move on their part. The Celiac in me says, "No, dummies, stop with the CYA stuff, and tell me what I can eat at your restaurant!" but the practical side of me says, "If I were in their place, I would have said the same thing."

Just something to think about. I know these responses are frustrating, but surely you must understand where they are coming from. For what it's worth, I still eat at Ruby Tuesday's salad bar occasionally.

- Lauren

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I won't eat at a chain restaurant that doesn't have a gluten-free menu because I know they aren't trained to fix my food. At an independent restaurant the chef has a little more leeway with what he prepares and since he probably has at least part-ownership, a little more motivation.

Most of the stuff at these chain restaurants seems to be pre-prepared, the chefs aren't really "making" it. You can buy most of this stuff at Sam's Club (sauces, appetizers, etc). Since they don't make it themselves, they can't guarantee it. If all the ingredients were coming out of their kitchen instead of out of the freezer or out of bottles, then they'd know the ingredients and be able to adjust them for us. At least they were honest.

I actually think that what's going to happen in the future is that more and more people are going to realize they have allergies or intolerances and restaurants are going to have to adjust to keep the business. I know when I go out to eat with a group of people, it's always my choice of where we go (or I give them a list of places where I'll eat).

This wasn't a "we don't care" letter like we see so often. It was more a letter that recognizes the impossibility of getting safe food there.


gluten-free 12/05

diagnosed with Lyme Disease 12/06

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I actually think that what's going to happen in the future is that more and more people are going to realize they have allergies or intolerances and restaurants are going to have to adjust to keep the business.

I hope you're right Carla. My husband and I ran into an old friend at a grocery store this weekend. We were checking it out because I'd seen a gluten-free bakery advertise that they carried their stuff. This friend told me where the gluten-free frezzer was then mentioned how he had horrible eczema years ago that doctors couldn't cure. He cut back on wheat and it got much better. But he wasn't willing to give it up totally. I tried to tell him (without preaching) that if it is causing the eczema, he is likely reacting in other ways. I do think more and more people will have to face this issue if they want to be in optimum health. We are so dependent on carbs in this country, my friend would rather have a skin condition controlled, rather than cured so that he can have his pizza and Big Macs!

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