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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

      This Celiac.com FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc.   Subscribe to Celiac.com's FREE weekly eNewsletter   What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease? - list blood tests, endo with biopsy, genetic test and enterolab (not diagnostic) Celiac Disease Screening Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results Can I be tested even though I am eating gluten free? How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful? The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free Is celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic Testing Is there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and Disorders Is there a list of gluten foods to avoid? Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients) Is there a list of gluten free foods? Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients) Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages Distilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free? Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free Diet What if my doctor won't listen to me? An Open Letter to Skeptical Health Care Practitioners Gluten-Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes

Disappointed At Chipotle - What Should I Expect?
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I've also had good luck at Chipoltle.  There's one close to my work and I've eaten there several times.  Not only do they change their gloves, but they also wash their hands in between.  And one person has taken my burrito bowl all they way down the line.  Also, I've never had a problem with the chips either. I think they must package them all in the morning.

 

The only problem I've had was one girl being a little snotty once when I told her I was gluten free.  She kind of rolled her eyes at me. Luckily she wasn't the one fixing my meal, so I didn't have to worry about her being careful.  Every time I've been in since, the workers have been really nice.  And I always make a point of going overboard to thank them for helping me out.

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I think it depends on what location you go to. I recently went on vacation with a few friends, and we were trying to find a gluten friendly restaurant. We happened to be stopped near a Chipotles, and Chipotles was listed on the gluten free app. We went inside, and there was a sign on the counter that said to notify the server if you have any 'food allergies'. When it was my time to order, I told him I had a wheat allergy (much easier than explaining the celiac disease) and he immediately walked away and changed his gloves, then came right back. I had never eaten at Chipotles before, so I asked him what I could have. He told me that I could have a burrito bowl, so that's what I ordered. It had rice, salsa, cheese, lettuce, tomato, black beans, sour cream, and chicken - all in a bowl. I think cross contamination still would have been possible, but I didn't get sick. I believe this was in Massachusetts - I know we were on the way to Maine. It was good food and, again - I didn't get sick...so if the exact location matters to you I'm sure I can figure it out. :) I've also emailed Chipotle before about their gluten free options because I was looking for restaurants that could cater for business meetings at the firm I work at. They do seem to be aware of allergies and food intolerance...it is possible the people you talked to just didn't know what "celiac disease" was and just thought of it as a wheat allergy, or a gluten allergy. 

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I cannot figure out how this place keeps getting recommended by people with Celiac.  People that I know are super careful will eat there.  I was in line one day and I watched them make the food.  They would touch the spoon that was in everything they added to the burritos  that people were getting and sticking it back in there.  I walked out and figured there is just no way that place is safe.  It is such a shame though as it would be a healthy, low risk place to eat if it were not for that.  I was so disappointed when I saw them do that. Jennifer

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Last night, I went in to Chipotle and started out by saying I needed 2 gluten free bowls. The employee said OK and proceeded to ask what type of rice I wanted. I repeated that I needed it to be gluten free and he answered angrily, asking again what kind of rice. He clearly didn't know what I was talking about. So, I started asking if he'd been trained on preparing gluten-free and that he would need to wash his hands and change his gloves. He rolled his eyes and huffed off to do so! I asked for a manager, who promptly took him to the back to counsel the employee. My order was then prepared properly and they did not charge me for any of my meal! I really appreciated the manager taking me seriously. The person ahead of me in line turned to me and agreed that the first employee was extremely rude to me. I don't like to get angry with servers about the misunderstanding, but this was clearly out of line. I will go back!

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He does sound rude!  But I confess, I'm confused - isn't the rice safe there?  I thought the only thing with Gluten were the tortillas.  Or did you mean that he didn't change his gloves before starting to dish out your order?  Yes, that would have teed me off.

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Chipotle is the only restaurant I've eaten at and not gotten sick after being diagnosed with GI. I always only get the burrito bowl (with brown rice, black beans, mild salsa, corn, and cheese) and the tortilla chips. I've never once had a problem and I eat there at least a few times a month. 

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I'm probably the biggest advocate of Chipotle there is, but that doesn't mean they can ever be perfect.

 

I've been enjoying their food since they opened about 15 years ago, the last 5 being since I was diagnosed with Celiac.

 

My experience is that the CO run stores are cleaner and better run overall. This may be part of the problem.

 

Since the OP is newly diagnosed, I understand how stressful eating out is.

 

Maybe this will help.

 

  • The only thing in the store that has gluten is the wheat tortilla. But the warming machine is definitely cc'd, so don't use it ever.
  • The only ingredient that may have been a worry is the vinegar in the hot red sauce, but vinegar is usually ok'd by us Celiacs (some choose to avoid it).
  • Yes, the spoons sometimes touch the tortilla, but usually they just dump it on top, and it doesn't. They will change spoons and gloves if you ask (I don't bother).
  • I have never once got cc'd there and I eat there at least 3x per week (few choices near my job and I trust them).
  • I ONLY ever order a Burrito Bowl. This way there is no possible cc from salad, dressings, taco shells etc.
  • I skip the "extras", even though they are gluten-free, they are more easily cc'd. I order MEAT, BEANS, Fajitas and Meat. That's it.
  • If I ever see a dirty store, I'm more careful
  • I eat their chips all the time. No problem, it's a dedicated fryer.
  • I verified all the meats are gluten-free, they even let me read the label(s) when I was first diagnosed

We all have to be careful, I understand, but eating at Chipotle's CAN be done easily. I'm sensitive to cc and have never had an issue.

 

Good Luck!

Cool! I didn't really know that chipotle was gluten free! But I do have to ask....when the employee is fixing up a burrito and he/she touches the lettuce with the gluten contaminated gloves from the burrito does that mean that the lettuce isn't safe?

im a newbie :)

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Welcome to the forum, lovely!  (I re-read that and I imagine it in a British accent... lol)

 

I like the way you think, avoiding CC.  :)

The Lettuce and Cheese that they grab with their hands, I will not eat off the line.  They go through a ton, though, and always have some ready to refill the line in the back.  So if they are not busy, I will ask them to go get me some from a fresh container, and they are always understanding.  

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I got glutened there last night. The server was very nice, and offered to change his gloves and all of the spoons in the ingredients, since they come into constant contact with the flour tortillas. That set off a warning bell in my head not to eat there, since even if they changed the spoons, those contaminated spoons had been plunged back into the food numerous times. But I hadn't eaten all day, and I was really hungry and had no food at home, so I went ahead with it. Guess what? I got sick.

 

Still dealing with the consequences this morning. Ugh.

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Ugh ate chipotle and got glutened pretty badly. We ordered catering for a build-your-own taco lunch at work. Chipotle assured me each ingredient would be packed separately. I broke out in hives and I am covered in a rash on my chest and shoulder. Might go to the hospital for steroids if it doesn't go away soon.

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"I broke out in hives..."

That is an allergic reaction to something, not a celiac reaction. It is, of course, possible that you are allergic to wheat in addition to having celiac disease. The rash could be DH, but might also be an allergy.

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I'm diagnosed with celiac since 2011 via an endoscopy. Hives and rashes have always been part of a collective set of symptoms for me. It might be dh, but I've never been able to get it biopsied in time. It's not an allergic reaction. I also get stomach issues, head aches, insomnia, and depression after a glutening. Considering the plethora of misinformation floating around this forum, I would think the moderators time would be better spent issuing corrections there, rather than challenging a verified celiac's symptoms. Celiac is not fully understood and people experience different things. I know it's not an allergic reaction because anti-histamines make no difference and its a consistent symptom. You sound like my first doctor telling me I'm not "thin" enough to be celiac and don't fit the profile.

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Also talk to my gastro and primary, who both acknowledge rashes and hives as symptoms. Just because you don't have skin manifestations doesn't mean you speak for the whole celiac community.

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It is a support forum, and I do get hives, but not from ingesting gluten. I am fortunate that I did not have DH, just horrible gastric symptoms, anemia, seizures and other issues that put me in hospital.

Acute hives--which appear suddenly and then pass--are almost always an allergic reaction. The sudden onset you described matches that case.

Chronic hives--those which develop slowly and persist over a long time--can be from other causes, including celiac disease.

Sorry if I offended you by trying to help. After 15 years of celiac disease, and ten years helping people here, I have learned a lot and share when I think it may help. My intent was to suggest that you investigate a possible allergy, in addition to celiac disease.

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Tonight, I went to Chipotle in Bakersfield, CA and ordered a burrito bowl and two burritos (for my family).  I asked the young lady to make mine after she started the burritos "because I can't have gluten."  She was very professional and well-trained: she directed someone else to start the burritos while she removed her gloves and SCRUBBED her hands up to her elbows.  She put on new gloves, quickly changed every spoon on the line, brought out new cheese and guacamole containers, and finished my order (rather than leaving it on the line to possibly get contaminated).  The other employee was either new or hadn't received the gluten free training because she looked completely confused and lost, even as it was being explained to her.  I'm so grateful to our Chipotle and to the employee who waited on me (I definitely gave her a substantial tip to show my appreciation).

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My grandson, Cameron, was just diagnosed with celiac.  I'm also looking for gluten-free restaurants.  I sorry to hear Chipotle was a disappointment.  Have you had an positive experiences anywhere? 

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I gave them another try Friday evening and have been dealing with a reaction or two days. Not sure why it happens here but I'm done. I would rather have real Mexican food anyways. For you Chipotle lovers, I hope it works out for you. Since they were under scrutiny over e. Coli outbreaks they were supposed to be improving their food handling procedures. Good luck all.

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Chipotle has been a huge let down to me. Just sit back and watch then handle the spoons sometimes. The put rice on the flour tortillas by rubbing the spoon across it to spread the rice out and then dip that spoon right back in the rice. There's been a couple times the server had no clue what I was saying and now there is disclaimers starting to pop up on their website. The chips are no longer gluten free and there website now says the:

" If you avoid gluten, don't eat our flour tortillas. If you are highly sensitive to gluten and would like us to change our gloves, just let us know at the start of your order. You should be aware items containing corn, including corn tortillas (chips, soft corn, and crispy corn tortillas) and corn salsa, may have a small amount of gluten from potentially co-mingling with gluten-containing grains in the field. "

I will no longer eat at Chipotle.

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It's not really saying that their chips aren't gluten free.  It's saying that corn isn't necessarily gluten free.

Corn.  Not *their* corn.  Corn in general.

That's really just the reality of farming and grains.  And of cooking, where you're not going to be producing and testing large batches of something like on a production line at a big food company.  Unless someone IS testing batches, I would never assume anything with grains in it is 100% unadulterated.  

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