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Cross Contamination In Bars

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Hello, I have not been in a bar since gluten free. What do I need to watch out for in regards to cross contamination?

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Hi! I'm interested in knowing about this too - the only thing I do know is bars don't offer gluten free beer or potato/rice based vodka's (at least none of the ones I frequent).....if you drink wine, it's safe to stick to that......good luck!

Apparently tequila's safe - and someone I know now mixes tequila and grapefruit juice as their drink of choice - doesn't appeal to me but to each his own lol.....good luck!

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You might have to look out for places where people have spilled their beer, or places that don't wash their glasses, but otherwise, I think you're ok. Unless, you're talking about bars that serve food. Most American pubs can't even do vegetarian right and don't have separate anything.

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Most bars have a single sink to wash their glasses, where they simply dip the dirty glass in the soapy water, then rinse it off. It's not a very sterile environment as far as the celiac is concerned.

Bigger restaurants with a bar have a dishwasher in the back that they might use, but they have the sink at the bar as well.

My advice is to see if you can find a place that has a gluten free bottled beer and make it your regular joint, or maybe even ask your regular place to start carrying Redbridge (from the folks who make Budweiser).

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Most bars have a single sink to wash their glasses, where they simply dip the dirty glass in the soapy water, then rinse it off. It's not a very sterile environment as far as the celiac is concerned.

Bigger restaurants with a bar have a dishwasher in the back that they might use, but they have the sink at the bar as well.

My advice is to see if you can find a place that has a gluten free bottled beer and make it your regular joint, or maybe even ask your regular place to start carrying Redbridge (from the folks who make Budweiser).

Sean, I see you are in NYC. A lot of places there carry Bard's beer as well. It's a little heavier and more of a "micro-brew" gluten-free beer. I was a bit of a beer snob before this issue and I find it hilarious that Redbridge is better than regular Bud. :)

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I have also wondered about this. Like the limes and garnishes that have been touched by fingers and stuff. (Remember all the germs they found on lemons-you're never supposed to get a lemon in your iced tea!) Also, blended drinks- how well are the blenders cleaned between uses. Also, just bartender's hands. I feel like their fingers might contaminate the rim or even the sides of the glass!

Mostly, I just have to stop myself from thinking of these things, or I'd never leave the house!

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Since getting glutened once by a glass that I was drinking water out of, but I'm sure was used previously for beer, I ask them to put my drink in a glass that has never had beer in it. You might get a smaller drink (I usually ask them to put it in a martini glass), but it's worth it not to get sick, as far as I'm concerned. I also make sure they don't put my water in glasses that previously held beer (At one place the waitress was nice enough to get me a plastic cup).

I have not had a problem since I started asking for my drinks/water this way. Also, I usually order a margarita, which is safe, as long as you don't drink too many, lol. Just my two cents.

Yes, there are germs everywhere, unless you want to live in a bubble, lol. There is also hidden gluten everywhere... sigh, lol

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If its a regular bar, ask (demand?) to have your drink made in a disposable plastic cup, that way you no it has not been used before. Obviously this may be more difficult in an upscale bar. The big problem is the bar sinks- a lot of places just rinse used glasses in one sink, which is very likely full of beer or at the very least contaminated.

Avoid garnishes.

Develop some easy bar staples and cross you finger; you will get sick, its just a matter of how many times.

Plain smirnoff and Stolichnaya vodkas are OK; as is regular Bacardi Rum. Wine is usually a good choice too.

Give up on getting gluten-free beer, it is very rare to see it in bars.

Lastly, tip extra for bartenders willing to help you out.

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