Jump to content
  • Sign Up
0
miaryan

So Pissed!

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

i've been eating a swiss chalet the last four weeks eating french fries where i was told were safe went to eat there today and told her no bun please then she asked what side i wanted and i said french fries and she then asked me if i had celiac and i said yes she then told me not to have the fries cause they fry there breaded chicken fingers in the same frier. i said ok and thank you very much for the info.

i would still be eating their fries if it was for that fact that my waitress knew some info.

so i have been glutening myself for about a month once a week!! i'm so mad i could scream!!

at least i know now! now just hoping these headaches will go away in time!!!

stupid me why did i listen to my family when they said it is gluten free! i should have known better!!!

i will trust myself and only myself and what i have learned on this site and all the other research i've done...

sorry just a NEWBY venting... one day i'll get this right!!!!

Mia :~(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hear ya! After 8 weeks I feel like I will NEVER find a place that I can trust, I can never go to a party, I can never eat anything that I didn't personally prepare in my own clean kitchen. I skipped a dinner out with friends the other day because they didn't want to go where I knew I could get gluten-free food, they said get a salad.....not so easy I tried to tell them when you are going to an Italian place with pasta and pizza and bread floating all over the kitchen. People just don't get it, its very frustrating. It seems to me that I am struggling more now than I did in the first two weeks, I am getting crabbier and crabbier! At least we aren't alone, we can vent here and will find someone who understands!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After too many "glutenings" I don't eat it unless I made it. It's just not worth it. Most people don't understand, but I can't worry about that anymore.

It helps that I can vent here :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's so frustrating when that happens. You just have to learn all the questions to ask. Unless I know they have a dedicated fryer I don't eat fries out.

You can't let celiac isolate you. Lots of chains are going gluten free now. Friends will work with you at their houses or you do the cooking at your house and host the get together.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Returning to the original issue, Swiss Chalet is a franchised chain. Some locations have dedicated fryers, typically the larger ones. Smaller ones share the fryers. If it is a take-out only food court or similar site co-located with Harvey's you can bet that the fries and onion rings are fried together. :o

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hear ya! After 8 weeks I feel like I will NEVER find a place that I can trust, I can never go to a party, I can never eat anything that I didn't personally prepare in my own clean kitchen. I skipped a dinner out with friends the other day because they didn't want to go where I knew I could get gluten-free food, they said get a salad.....not so easy I tried to tell them when you are going to an Italian place with pasta and pizza and bread floating all over the kitchen. People just don't get it, its very frustrating. It seems to me that I am struggling more now than I did in the first two weeks, I am getting crabbier and crabbier! At least we aren't alone, we can vent here and will find someone who understands!

I know! I saw the 'gluten-free' menu at Olive Garden? Yeah, like I'd ever eat a piece of LETTUCE there. The restaurant at the hotel I used to work at would keep their salad greens in a huge bin of water (keeps the greens fresh) but they wouldn't cover it, they just left it on a shelf in the cooler, where stuff could (and did) fall in all the time. I have horrible images of that at Olive Garden.... just because their menu is so excessively gluten based.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I feel your frustration! I once begged off dinner out w/ friends because I knew there was nothing I'd be able to eat... except salad. My "friend" said, "Can't you have a salad w/ grilled chicken??" I asker her, "What if EVERY TIME you went out to eat... the ONLY option was a salad w/ grilled chicken??" It got so boring so fast... I stopped going out to eat!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know! I saw the 'gluten-free' menu at Olive Garden? Yeah, like I'd ever eat a piece of LETTUCE there. The restaurant at the hotel I used to work at would keep their salad greens in a huge bin of water (keeps the greens fresh) but they wouldn't cover it, they just left it on a shelf in the cooler, where stuff could (and did) fall in all the time. I have horrible images of that at Olive Garden.... just because their menu is so excessively gluten based.

It's this type of common sense which makes the difference between truly gluten-free or not. To think that anyone could eat at most fast food places or the Olive Garden and walk out without ingesting gluten is beyond my level of understanding. I am lucky that I never thought the Olive Garden had good food to begin with and ditto for most fast food joints.

I don't eat out often but when I do, there are a few high end restaurants near me who I have established a relationship with the chef and it's paid off. I never worry about what I eat in these types of places because I have trained them well! :P In this economy, they are only too happy to please.

You all need to move to Boston.....we have fabulous places to eat here that really cater well to the Celiac population.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I worked at the Olive Garden during undergrad around 2001ish. Even back then the menu was getting progressively more prepackaged based. A large majority of the menu items are shipped premade to the restaurant and all they have to do is thaw them out and throw them in an oven or on a grill. During service all sauces have their own specific ladle and the ladles are never supposed to come into contact with the item in the pan for risk of allergy contamination. All of the vegetables, meats and pastas are in there own 1-serving baggie, stored in their own little drawer of a refrigeration unit under each cooking station. This is not the case for the app station which houses a lot of the items into small 1/8 and 1/16 hotel pans that the cook on the app station just reaches into with their gloves, but from what I remember every single item on the app station had gluten in it anyways.

Unfortunately those little 1-serving baggies were packed at the restaurant by 1 person using the same station for packing both the pastas and the vegetables (but different for the meats). Of course back then basically no food service organizations were aware of the gluten problem.

As far as the salad goes it was a mixture of a prepackaged lettuce mix with freshly cut romaine mixed in by hand. The containers were semi-well sealed and carried from the back walk-in to the server station already covered up and put into a custom refrigeration unit with a small door that opened up on the front. I believe the only thing that was stored on top of them in the walk in was other vegetables, but it's been quite a while.

I would certainly not have trusted any of their soups as they were all made in the same tilt skillet from scratch and one of them contains pasta.

Thing is this was 9-10 years ago which is ages in the restaurant chain world. Even for the year that I worked there I saw a decent amount of items swap from getting made on location to shipped to us frozen or preportioned, each time they make this change it ends up saving them another couple of millions of dollars so it's decent incentive. The cooks who worked there were pretty wary of contamination from major food allergens (although the prep workers were slightly less diligent), and the managers would certainly ream you (and likely fire you) if they noticed you consciously or repeatedly endangering the health of the customers. There were multiple food safety systems in place with multiple people watching over and recording every small detail so that if a problem did occur it could easily be traced back to its source and dealt with. A major chain would not introduce a "gluten-free" menu item without making sure that they had at least a decent safety system in place that they could hand down to each individual location.

It ends up coming down to the specific location and more importantly the quality of the managers at that location. I was lucky in that the one that I worked at had fantastic managers who put both food safety and occupational safety at the top of their concerns and so overall had a kitchen that put out good and safe food for a horrendously large amount of people every night.

I would actually trust the casual dining chains more than I would some random 1-location semi-fine dining restaurant. The chains have a very well thought out and researched system of checks and balances and food safety guidelines handed down to them from corporate along with regular mandatory safety training, at the little individual places you have some random person who decided to open up a restaurant for who knows what reason and they've got to design this all by themselves.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I would actually trust the casual dining chains more than I would some random 1-location semi-fine dining restaurant. The chains have a very well thought out and researched system of checks and balances and food safety guidelines handed down to them from corporate along with regular mandatory safety training, at the little individual places you have some random person who decided to open up a restaurant for who knows what reason and they've got to design this all by themselves.

I see the point you are trying to make but here's where I disagree.....at most food chain restaurants, the vast majority of the staff in the kitchen have no culinary arts degree. That's huge because they WILL know what gluten is by the time they graduate. In fact, at the CIA, they teach them gluten-free cooking as part of the course offerings and I have dined at their NY campus and they did a marvelous job. The youngest of the students were versed in what gluten free means and I saw the course instructor with them in the kitchen...it's like the military! :lol: Not an easy degree to achieve.

Most people who run a higher end restaurant have a degree in culinary arts and aren't random people. I'm sure that happens but around where I live, the education level is high, which translates into safer food for me. I'm sure this differs greatly depending on where you live also. In Dr. Peter Green's newest book on Celiac Disease, he also mentions the fact that food generally is safer the higher end place you eat at. I have found this to be true no matter where I have traveled. I would rather spend more money than be sick...especially in a foreign country.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would think food would be safest in a place where the people care about the job. Most of these fast food & fast casual have many employees who really don't want to be there & don't care about thier jobs. Not all but a big enough number to make me worried.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see the point you are trying to make but here's where I disagree.....at most food chain restaurants, the vast majority of the staff in the kitchen have no culinary arts degree. That's huge because they WILL know what gluten is by the time they graduate. In fact, at the CIA, they teach them gluten-free cooking as part of the course offerings and I have dined at their NY campus and they did a marvelous job. The youngest of the students were versed in what gluten free means and I saw the course instructor with them in the kitchen...it's like the military! :lol: Not an easy degree to achieve.

Most people who run a higher end restaurant have a degree in culinary arts and aren't random people. I'm sure that happens but around where I live, the education level is high, which translates into safer food for me. I'm sure this differs greatly depending on where you live also. In Dr. Peter Green's newest book on Celiac Disease, he also mentions the fact that food generally is safer the higher end place you eat at. I have found this to be true no matter where I have traveled. I would rather spend more money than be sick...especially in a foreign country.

I am quite pleased to hear my alma mater has introduced that into the curriculum! When I went there it was not mentioned, guess I gotta make a trip back to see the new campus anyways.

I would certainly agree that a kitchen stocked with multiple high end culinary school graduates would be a generally safe place to dine at. All of the top end places I have worked in we have been severely strict with special consideration meals, it was actually kinda a joy to get assigned to a special diet meal because it would let you stretch your creativity in different ways to ensure that their meal was the envy of the table.

Fine dining is simply a category of restaurants and it encompasses a wide variety of establishments. There is no skill requirement or special test (besides a credit check) that is needed before one opens up a restaurant. Because of this, new "fine dining" restaurants pop up all the time only to fail like the rest of the 90% that close in the first 3 years. Many of these small operations have 2-3 cooks and odds are if any of them have an actual degree then it's from the local community college.

I have worked the whole scale of restaurants from chains to those with 5 Star/Diamond ratings. Certainly once you get to the 4 and 5 star/diamond rated restaurants you've got a really good chance of being safe and you'll definitely be dealing mostly with people who really care about food. But when you're dealing with a place with only 3 diamonds or if you're somehow foolish enough to visit a place with only 1 or 2 then you'd be much better off at one of the major chains.

Fun tidbit: I don't think I recall anyone in the culinary program at the CIA gaining the "freshman 15" even though there were plenty enough people coming straight from highschool. While those in the baking program certainly did most often put on some extra weight, those in the culinary side were too busy sweating off all the rich food we were exposed to in class.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's this type of common sense which makes the difference between truly gluten-free or not. To think that anyone could eat at most fast food places or the Olive Garden and walk out without ingesting gluten is beyond my level of understanding. I am lucky that I never thought the Olive Garden had good food to begin with and ditto for most fast food joints.

I don't eat out often but when I do, there are a few high end restaurants near me who I have established a relationship with the chef and it's paid off. I never worry about what I eat in these types of places because I have trained them well! :P In this economy, they are only too happy to please.

You all need to move to Boston.....we have fabulous places to eat here that really cater well to the Celiac population.

I don't know. People do it all the time. They talk about their experiences on the restaurant board. I think Olive Garden is gross anyway, but there are chains I've had no problem with. I'm not going to let celiac stop me from living my life. I lead an active lifestyle and we're on the go a lot. Eating out has to be part of my life or I'll be stuck at home. It's not possible to bring enough food with me all the time everywhere we go. Life is meant to be lived. If I get glutened at a restaurant I'll deal with the consequences, but so far I've been fine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To the original poster...thanks for that vent, I needed it. Makes me feel less alone. I know I often come off as "paranoid" or like I don't trust other people...but the truth is, mistakes can often be made and I HATE the consequences. :( I get it bad -- I mean, the symptoms are what made me throw in the towel to this restrictive diet anyway. The two times in the past 3 years I was glutened...all those feelings of despair and hopelessness/helplessness came rushing right back.

So, hellsyeah I want to avoid it. But it does make me appear like I don't trust others, or I think they don't have clean plates, or don't know what they're doing, etc. I don't mean to insult people...but I am just trying not to get hurt. :unsure: And there is so much room for error, I don't even trust myself all the time. Unless I know and/or have seen with mine own eyes, somewhere (calling, online, this board) that something is SAFE...I won't touch it. Even if all seems well and amazing...no. Am I being difficult? Paranoid? Learned helplessness? Maybe. But again...I DON'T want to get hurt. People need to understand, each dish, each snack is a potential BOMB going off in my digestion. So of course I'm paranoid! :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I am quite pleased to hear my alma mater has introduced that into the curriculum! When I went there it was not mentioned, guess I gotta make a trip back to see the new campus anyways.

The CIA NY campus offers gluten-free baking courses to the general public also. I have thought of taking the course but don't do a ton of baking. I try to stay away, for the most part, from rich desserts and the other stuff that is taught there. It all looks splendid, though, and the gluten-free guru there has published a gluten-free cookbook also.

It's a lovely campus..... :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know. People do it all the time. They talk about their experiences on the restaurant board. I think Olive Garden is gross anyway, but there are chains I've had no problem with. I'm not going to let celiac stop me from living my life. I lead an active lifestyle and we're on the go a lot. Eating out has to be part of my life or I'll be stuck at home. It's not possible to bring enough food with me all the time everywhere we go. Life is meant to be lived. If I get glutened at a restaurant I'll deal with the consequences, but so far I've been fine.

I'm not saying I never go out to eat but make it infrequently. I prefer to eat at home because, quite honestly, my food is better than most chain restaurants. I have eaten at some who do a good job of it but I think their food is just OK.

I eat out most when I travel but that's easy.....in a pinch, a steak and baked potato with a good salad is just fine...as long as it's cooked right. I have never let Celiac Disease get in the way of living life but if you eat out often enough, the high risk of being glutened at the cheaper establishments is more risk than I'm willing to assume.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not to lecture, but this is a good example of why you HAVE to talk to a manager or somebody else at the restaurant. I'll bet anybody there could have told you the first time that the fryer was not dedicated.

richard

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with all thats been said. I got my diagnosis in August last year and still feel hacked off and paranoid and like an alien. :angry:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
0

×