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Are Gluten Free Menus Really Safe For Celiacs?

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I saw Pizzeria Uno has a gluten-free menu, which includes gluten-free pizza. It got me wondering about cross-contamination and whether they were really using different pans, etc. to keep it separated.

If a restaurant has a gluten-free menu, should I still ask questions to confirm that it's truly gluten free, or are there standards for gluten-free menus so I don't need to worry about it?

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I saw Pizzeria Uno has a gluten-free menu, which includes gluten-free pizza. It got me wondering about cross-contamination and whether they were really using different pans, etc. to keep it separated.

If a restaurant has a gluten-free menu, should I still ask questions to confirm that it's truly gluten free, or are there standards for gluten-free menus so I don't need to worry about it?

You definitely need to question the manager about their kitchen practices. Some restaurants do a phenomenal job of making a truly gluten-free meal while others....not so much. I tend to stick with high end restaurants as they have more formal food training and know what gluten and cc are. Chains and fast food places hire people with little knowledge of food in general and even less about cc.

Yet, some of those places do a good job too....it's really something you have to investigate at each place you decide to eat at.

You will eventually come up with your favorite places that do a good job. I never go back to a place if I have been glutened but that hasn't happened in ages for me. I also limit how often I go out.

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I saw Pizzeria Uno has a gluten-free menu, which includes gluten-free pizza. It got me wondering about cross-contamination and whether they were really using different pans, etc. to keep it separated.

If a restaurant has a gluten-free menu, should I still ask questions to confirm that it's truly gluten free, or are there standards for gluten-free menus so I don't need to worry about it?

You ABSOLUTELY still need to ask questions!

Given the fad nature of many new gluten-free diners, restaurants across the country are rushing to create gluten-free menus. The problem is that many of these restaurants think a gluten-free menu makes a meal gluten-free, with no understanding of the perils of cross-contamination for celics. Some restaurants and chains do a great job; others horrible. The bottom line is that the presence of a gluten-free menu has NO RELATION WHATSOEVER to how well a restaurant can serve a gluten-free guest or even understands the issues.

Use an outside gluten-free or allergy restaurant guide or other source to find those restaurants that are truly knowledgeable about how to serve our community.

AEPaul

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Always always question. case in point - Dominio's Pizza. Advertise gluten-free but their prep does not equal gluten-free. I alsways feel better when the manager starts to explain how they deal with CC - and they talk about CC.

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Always always question. case in point - Dominio's Pizza. Advertise gluten-free but their prep does not equal gluten-free. I alsways feel better when the manager starts to explain how they deal with CC - and they talk about CC.

You took the post right off my fingers lol couldn't have said it better myself! :)

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A restaurant near me recently started offering a gluten-free menu. So I sent them an email explaining the importance of avoiding cross contamination and asking them to explain how they ensure that menu items advertised as being gluten-free are in fact gluten-free each and every time that they are served to the customer. Their response:

Thank you for contacting us! I have forwarded your feedback to our Director of Training, Operations and Development as well as our Executive Chef & President and C.E.O for further review on the matter.

It is through feedback from valued guests, such as yourself, that we are able to continually improve our level of service and quality of our products and we thank you for giving us this opportunity.

This response didn't inspire much confidence that they actually have any kind of procedures for avoiding cross contamination. I definitely won't be trying out this restaurant. And I'm sure I will have to explain to more than one friend or colleague why I won't eat at this restaurant despite the fact that it has "gluten free" food. ugh, I hate these restaurants.

Contrast this with another restaurant near me that introduced a gluten free menu for a brief period, then removed it for "liability" reasons. They had received legal advice that since they can't guarantee that anything really is gluten free, they shouldn't have a gluten-free menu. Yet I feel so much safer at this restaurant. As soon as you say you have a food allergy or intolerance they send out the manager to deal with you. I have never once gotten sick at this restaurant. Yet I have gotten sick at many places with gluten free menus. The menu is meaningless: it is the attitude, training and experience of the staff that makes the difference.

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The menu is meaningless: it is the attitude, training and experience of the staff that makes the difference.

So true

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