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bhart

Moving To London For 6 Months - Coeliac Husband

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I live in the US - San Diego - and am being sent by my company to London for six months on a temporary assignment. My husband is coeliac (diagnosed last July) and will be going with me (he's retired.) We are very excited! We've never been to the UK and have wanted to go for a long time.

I'm not sure where in London we'll be living. Are gluten-free products readily available in stores? What about restaurants? In the US there are certain "chain" restaurants (like PF Changs, Outback) that you can always count on for a gluten-free menu. Is that true in London?

Thanks in advance for any help you can give us.

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I live in the US - San Diego - and am being sent by my company to London for six months on a temporary assignment. My husband is coeliac (diagnosed last July) and will be going with me (he's retired.) We are very excited! We've never been to the UK and have wanted to go for a long time.

I'm not sure where in London we'll be living. Are gluten-free products readily available in stores? What about restaurants? In the US there are certain "chain" restaurants (like PF Changs, Outback) that you can always count on for a gluten-free menu. Is that true in London?

Thanks in advance for any help you can give us.

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Hi, You can get gluten free items in most major supermarkets, ie: pasta, cakes, biscuits (cookys ) & bread .

Sainsburys do very good sausages (3 types ) in there taste the different range and also in the freezer section ie: meat pies (very nice) yorkshire puddings pitzas etc. . As for restaurants london is a very big place. In the city,( which is very expensive ), the staff might not speak and understand english ( such as gluten ). When you get out a bit as in the boroughs it might be a bit easier. I live in a surrounding county and i dont have a problem with restaurants but it is always better to clarify when you book.

Hopefully this is of some help

Calvin

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I live in the US - San Diego - and am being sent by my company to London for six months on a temporary assignment. My husband is coeliac (diagnosed last July) and will be going with me (he's retired.) We are very excited! We've never been to the UK and have wanted to go for a long time.

I'm not sure where in London we'll be living. Are gluten-free products readily available in stores? What about restaurants? In the US there are certain "chain" restaurants (like PF Changs, Outback) that you can always count on for a gluten-free menu. Is that true in London?

Thanks in advance for any help you can give us.

There is a grocery store chain named Somerfields (sp?) that has a good range of gluten-free foods. The one I visited is on Edgware Road north the Edgeware Tube stop. The multi-shelf gluten-free unit is located in the back of the store near the meat department. There were so many items to choose from! They have different brands (Trufree, Doves Farms, Livwell, Eat Natural, Orgran) and everything from cookies, breads, rolls, pasta, muesli cereal, crackers, tarts and small cakes. A separate area on the food label indicates whether it contains gluten, making label-reading much faster and easier than in the US. Cost is roughly equivalent to the highere prices for gluten-free food in the states. The gluten-free food is delicious, and provided much more variety than I have ever experienced. They also had an extensive variety of chilled salads and yogurt desserts without gluten.

I did not have much success finding bakery or non-salad food in Marks and Spencer, though I visited a larger store. They do have delicious vanilla/cherry compote yoghurt, though.

Most waiters that I encountered were more than willing to check with the cookds to see if the food was free of gluten, and did so with out hesitation. The easiest chain I found was Pret A Manger, which is located all over London, and very reasonably priced. They have a notebook available behind the counter so employees can check for gluten content. Only caveat is that they close around 6pm.

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Tesco, Sainburys and Waitrose (three major grocery stores) all have gluten-free food sections. The labeling laws are really good in England so it's almost easier to find gluten-free stuff. And the English have figured out how to do gluten-free cookies! I always bring back a few boxes with me because the store-bought stuff just isn't all that great in the states.

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Just to add,

Morrison's, Asda's, Tesco's, Sainsbury's are all supermarkets which have a 'free from' area which will sell gluten-free items (bread,bread mixes, cookies, pasta,cereal, ...loads of stuff!!!!!)

This and this lists some restaurants :)

This message board is based in the UK, which also may be some help to you when you are over here.

http://members2.boardhost.com/glutenfree/

Hope you have a great time!!!

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You will be fine. Anything and everything you could ever want is in London.

First of all, the labeling on the products is so far advanced than what we have here in the states. I wasn't dxed at the time I was over there, but I remember seeing food with "gluten-free" written on it in all of the grocery stores. Secondly, when you go to a pub order cider (Magners, Strongbow, or my favorite, Ole Rosie). Everyone lives in pubs over there, much more than the bar scene here, and none of these drinks hurt my stomach. Finally, understand that the British are not unfriendly or cold, but simply shy and to-the-point. If you ask them politely for exactly what you want you have a much better chance of getting celiac-friendly food than asking them what they recommend. When you go out to eat you will get much further if you lower your voice to half the volume you normally would speak in (a general rule while you are in the UK. They "get embarrassed" by us loud Yanks. Or so they say).

Have an amazing time in the UK!

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When you go out to eat you will get much further if you lower your voice to half the volume you normally would speak in (a general rule while you are in the UK. They "get embarrassed" by us loud Yanks. Or so they say).

:lol::lol::lol:

Yes, as a race of people we are quite reserved!!!! :lol:

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Thanks, everyone, for the great information. I will be coming back for more help as we need it. And yes, I do need to remember to tone it down . . . my English coworkers remind me of that as well!

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Thanks, everyone, for the great information. I will be coming back for more help as we need it. And yes, I do need to remember to tone it down . . . my English coworkers remind me of that as well!

It is really very good advice....

Perhaps you shouldn't have to but..all the same it will help you... on the whole the English love Americans anyway....

On this topic of things people usually find annoying or don't realise.... (having lots of American friends who give me feedback or just palin say "what did I do/say")

I do remember someone writing this huge complaint about brits on the BBC... and the arguament was centred around some guy had verbally assualted her on the underground "for being American" .. indeed he had shouted it across the carriage...

A lot of people commented.... you can probably find it but I can save the trouble...

As a general rule if someone not immediately next to you can tell what your saying... its considered too loud.

If the subject of the conversation happens to be how bad something is and how great it is in America ... its likely to further annoy people... and remember we love Americans to start off... :D

We also have some very strange quirks.... queuing is one of them...seriously don't laugh...its true... but the rules are somewhat arcane and complex... (and we make em up day to day just like cricket)... ;)

For example my American girlfriend (brouight up in Paris) didn't understand the queing ... on the underground its basically everyone for themselves... (as a country boy I was perplexed by this for a while... the train would come in and leave and I'd still be standing there)

However waiting for a bus... is pretty strictly queues... this might sound completely unlikely but your safer going up to a thuggish looking person and informing them their mother is a prostitute and father rapist than jumping in front of them on the queue... (I told you it would sound weird)... perhaps the analogy is a bit OTT but people take this pretty seriously...

I have no idea how we define these rules.... we are just quirky...

Below is the link to information about celiac in the UK. I used this site to gather information when I went to the UK on vacation in Sept.

http://www.coeliac.co.uk/

You can find some good info here but .... CUK do not believe in 100% gluten-free... this makes labelling of gluten-free or not gluten-free all but useless except in the 1st instance... its good its listed seperately since its quick and easy to see but its not reliable... if you don't want to be eating 200ppm gluten you still need to read the labels.

The good thing is some of the supermarket own brands actually illegally label properly...

Under UK law its illegal to label a 100% corn tortilla as gluten-free... but if you add wheat starch to it you can...

If this sounds crazy.... I agree! I'm just warning you...

Some of the supermarkets seem to agree and label accordingly....

The basic way to tell is simple....

If it says gluten free or suitable for celiacs then check the labels...

Because of EU law (not UK law) (so its more like federal law than state law) All top 12 allergens must be listed...

Hence a label can say "gluten free" and "suitable for celiacs" and the 2nd ingredient can be wheat starch...

It must indicate wheat as a source... unfortunately it needent indicate rye or barley...

Secondly.... A significant amount of malto-dextrine and dextrine is derved from wheat... (again it has to say if its wheat but not barley or rye) However... this has decreased dramatically in the last few years.... but some still do and will be labelled as gluten free.

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I just visited Liverpool a couple weeks ago, and now I suddenly understand the dirty looks I got at the bus stop... :unsure::lol:

Oh, and I did get zapped by some ham that was labelled "suitable for coeliacs". That wording should have been a warning sign in itself! If it was truly gluten free it would have said so!

But in general it's really quite doable.

Pauliina

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I just visited Liverpool a couple weeks ago, and now I suddenly understand the dirty looks I got at the bus stop... :unsure::lol:

Its funny, regional variations... Liverpool would be a definate place to queue though :D

Oh, and I did get zapped by some ham that was labelled "suitable for coeliacs". That wording should have been a warning sign in itself! If it was truly gluten free it would have said so!

strictly speaking it shouldn't..say gluten free.. (yes I realise how stupid it sounds)...

http://www.csaceliacs.org/documents/CXS_118e.pdf

[b]A gluten-free food shall be based on or shall contain:

(a) gluten-containing cereals such as wheat, triticale, rye, barley or oats or their constituents, which have been rendered "gluten-free" according to Section 2.2.2; or

(B) ingredients which do not contain gluten in substitution for the ingredients containing gluten which are normally used in food of that kind; or

© any mixture of two or more ingredients as in (a) and (B).

.....

5. CLAIMS

5.1 A food prepared according to Section 3.1 may be called a "gluten-free food".

5.2 A food which naturally has no gluten may not be called "gluten-free"; however, a cereal or a

food product containing a cereal which naturally has no gluten, may be labelled to show that it is

naturally free of gluten and is suitable for use in gluten-free diet.

If this sounds stupid or misleading I completely agree...

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strictly speaking it shouldn't..say gluten free.. (yes I realise how stupid it sounds)...

Hey, thanks for posting that, I had been wondering what exactly the wording is.

Yeah I realized after I posted that it probably shouldn't have said gluten free, but I've learned from experience that if they say "suitable for coeliacs" then at least that's almost a guarantee that it's not completely gluten free and I'll get sick. Um I could have just said that instead of getting in a muddle...

Liverpool was nice otherwise. I like the accent. :D

Pauliina

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It probably is suitable for a lot of coeliacs. I'm just very very sensitive. If there are no suspicious ingredients and it says "suitable..." I'll eat it. If there's, say, glucose syrup and that choice of words, I can't be sure that the glucose syrup isn't from wheat. But a lot of people seem to tolerate glucose syrup from wheat anyway, since there is so little protein left in it in the first place.

Yes, it's good to be a bit sceptical. :)

Pauliina

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Aww...and I was getting excited that Sainsbury's have started writing 'suitable for coeliacs' on their organic food! So does this mean I should be more sceptical?!

Hmmm, I'd say (as far as I know) most of the Sainsbury stuff is ok

It definitely can be confusing though - 'suitable for coeliacs' means it may contain an amount of gluten BUT that amount will be within the codex standard.

CUK say Codex is ok for 'most' coeliacs.

How do you know if you are 'most' coeliacs and able to tolerate it????

Suck it and see I'm afraid :blink:

My hubby definitely reacts to prescription Juvela rolls (which clearly state 'contains codex', 'suitable for a gluten-free diet') but never had any problems with glucose syrup.

My son however doesn't seem to react at all to the same rolls :blink:

Clear as mud eh? :unsure:

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Someone mentioned queing being a particularly English thing to do. I am in Australia and we queue too and no one would dare push in either. I don't think it is strange - it is polite to line up and wait your turn. I thought it was strange how Europeans would push each other out of the way to get first in line.

I am sure you will find plenty of gluten free food in London. Orgran which is an Australian company exports to most parts of Europe and the U.K. They make a good range of pasta amongst many other gluten free items.

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