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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 FREE Celiac.com email alerts 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 Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes Where can I buy gluten-free stuff? Support this site by shopping at The Celiac.com Store.

Chipotle's
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19 posts in this topic

I've reviewed old posts about Chipotle's - and have seen mixed opinions. I'm new to gluten-free and had never been to Chipotle, but I had heard it was a good place for gluten-free options. I'm traveling right now and was happy when I saw a sign for Chipotle along the highway, so I stopped. The employee was really nice. I didn't get a tortilla or chips. She got a new spoon to dish up my rice. And she changed her gloves. That night I had discomfort and the loudest and longest (hours) of gurling I'd ever experienced. Before the employee changed her gloves, she gave her reason as: 'I handle tortillas and chips all day, so I should change gloves for you'. So now I'm wondering if, all day long, she used flour-y gloves to get other peoples' cheese and lettuce - so new gloves for me were useless. In a post from a few years ago, one forum member did suggest not getting anything that the staff dishes up with his/her hands - like cheese and lettuce. Anyone have advice?

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Well, it's a crap shoot. They did all the right things and even thought to change gloves, but most don't "get it" about cross contamination. (Not so sure I entirely got it either, when first diagnosed!)

Don't know how much advice I can give that would change anything there, short of writing to Chipotle and suggesting they make it policy to handle all side items with utensils instead of by hand (don't know if they'd be willing to do that or not, probably depends on how many requests they've gotten). Refer them to Gluten-Free Restaurant Awareness Program (GFRAP) through Gluten Intolerance Group of North America (GIG). It would be a better celiac world if all restaurants would to that, but ...

Eating out is a risk, but it is one that I take periodically. And every once in a while I get burned. Whaddyagonnado?!!

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But even if they did use utensils, who is to say they didn't touch the tortilla with those utensils and then contaminate the cheese and lettuce. :huh:

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I ate at a Chipotle this week, and honestly that was the ONLY place I've eaten on this entire trip where I didn't feel poisoned afterwards. I explained I have celiac disease, and they told me all the things that were okay. They then had EVERYONE change their gloves, and they changed the utensils in every bin. They then suggested that since they dip their gloved hands in the cheese and lettuce, that I might want to skip that, which I did. So I ended up having a bowl with steak and pork, pinto beans, rice, and the fresh tomato salsa and it was DELICIOUS. I would definitely eat there again, and would just avoid the cheese and lettuce. This is the only place I feel safe eating so far because I can SEE everything they are doing, and they were very careful and clean and since there is no gluten in the meat, beans or rice, there isn't likely to be cross contamination in my opinion, unless someone was flinging flour tortillas around and dropping them in the food. Of course everyone has to figure out what works for them. I am currently about in tears over my experience at a pizza place today.

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I do eat a Chipotle maybe 2-3 times a month. I haven't had a problem. I usually don't even even ask them to change gloves, so I'm asking for it I guess. I just normally get a steak bowl, no rice, black beans, cheese, and the hot sauce. I skip the rice/lettuce for no reason then I have always hated having rice and lettuce on a burrito. I don't think those would really have a better chance of getting cross contaminated then anything else. Especially the cheese, since they do use their gloved hands in that.

Its always a risk. I don't think I am a sensitive anymore as I once was so it could be hitting me as I don't notice it. I used to get sick everytime I went anywhere. But I really think that was regardless of CC. I had lots more problems going on in those days than just celiac.

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I do eat a Chipotle maybe 2-3 times a month. I haven't had a problem. I usually don't even even ask them to change gloves, so I'm asking for it I guess. I just normally get a steak bowl, no rice, black beans, cheese, and the hot sauce. I skip the rice/lettuce for no reason then I have always hated having rice and lettuce on a burrito. I don't think those would really have a better chance of getting cross contaminated then anything else. Especially the cheese, since they do use their gloved hands in that.

Its always a risk. I don't think I am a sensitive anymore as I once was so it could be hitting me as I don't notice it. I used to get sick everytime I went anywhere. But I really think that was regardless of CC. I had lots more problems going on in those days than just celiac.

Oddly enough I've had the same sort of experiences. I always die a little inside when I see the staff automatically grab a flour tortilla when the next customer comes up, assuming they will order one. But I've never asked them to change gloves and have never had a problem. I get a buritto bowl (rice, chicken, cheese, medium salsa, lettuce) or a taco (with the same ingredients, except a taco shell which is made out of corn). Sometimes have gotten barbacoa. Anyway, it's been all right. One time, though. I was in line. I was going to get a bowl with rice. Some guy in front of me had ordered rice on a flour tortilla, and then asked for less. So they staff scooped the contaminated rice back into the main pot!! AARRGH. So angrily I could not order what I wanted and ran outside and kicked a sign post out of frustration. But anyway...even WITH that, I've never gotten sick from them. Weird, eh?

Also I never got the biopsy for celiac, I just got sick of getting sick all the time and tried the gluten free diet and all my problems miraculously went away. So I deem myself as "gluten intolerant" vs celiac (b/c I'm not sure if I am or not)...so maybe that has something to do with it. Maybe I'm not AS sensitive as others. But, I HAVE been glutened at least twice over my past two years of the gluten-free diet from other things, so...I don't know. Chipotle has never caused a problem for me though.

So yeah like the others said. I guess use at your own risk. I know someone else who has a gluten free cousin who says her cousin always eats at Chipotle. And again, I've been okay there and I've never even asked them to change gloves. I think LDJofDenver has a great idea about asking them to use utensils instead of their hands.

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I love Chipotle.....I haven't had any real issues here, except I mean, its mexicanish food......I know that bothers peoples tummies who aren't gluten free :)

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Chipotle is the reason I haven't lost my mind since being diagnosed! I live here in Denver, where Chipotle started. I've been diagnosed for 2 1/2 years and my doc says that he has NEVER seen a patient show zero gluten in the follow-up blood tests like I have. I have never knowingly cheated and I take zero chances with one exception; Chipotle.

I eat at Chipotle easily 2-4 times per WEEK and I believe I've only been CC'd once, and that's a maybe. I never ask them to change gloves, but I do keep my chances lower by keeping it simple. I order the same thing every visit: a Bowl with Meat (all are ok), black beans (pinto ok too), fajitas, rice and a little cheese. Nothing else but the occasional bag of chips (it's the only thing they fry, so no cc).

I have traveled the US and visited other Chipotles and quite frankly, some are a bit dirty. Here in CO they are almost always spotless.

When I was first diagnosed, a Manager was keenly interested in how they could help. She even went back into the kitchen and showed me ingredients so that I could read them myself. The ONLY things that are "iffy" is obviously the tortilla, the red sauce has vinegar and the warming presses obviously are all CC's (so be careful if you order corn, they'll use foil if you ask).

Eating out often sucks for us, but Chipotle makes it suck far less!

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When we went to our new Chipotle the first time, I freaked when I saw them handling the huge flour tortillas and then using the same hands to pick up the corn tacos, cheese and lettuce. It was very noisy in there and it took all I could do to make them understand I didn't want to be poisoned. They quickly changed gloves to accommodate me and I didn't get sick. Since then, I only order things that aren't touched by those gloved hands.

This also makes me wonder why they don't use tongs for the cheese and lettuce. I don't see any reason why they have to use their hands! Eeeeeek.

I love their food and it's a safe standby for me. I have had tummy issues but I suspect it was more from the hot sauce than CC. :rolleyes:

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I LOVE CHIPOTLE (except the one in Lakewood, OH). Especially since they use all natural chicken! and pork! and depending on where you live, beef!

I've never had any issues at Chipotle. Although the one in Lakewood, OH gives teeny tiny portions <_<

I would steer clear of the Chipotle hot sauce!!!!!!! :o Seemed to cause some false positives, haha. Now I get the corn salsa and I haven't had any issues.

The crunchy tacos and the burrito bowl, both w/ chicken is my 'usual'.

I get my own chips at Giant Eagle for the bowl.

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Regarding the hot sauce. Somewhere in the recesses of my mind, I remember that "everything is gluten-free except the flour tortillas and the hot sauce." So I've always avoided that. Something about the vinegar in that one, I thought. So the 'hot' salsa is a no-no, but the mild pico de gallo is fine, as is the medium salsa, as is the corn salsa.

But as the rest, like I posted above. I get hard tacos or a burrito bowl and have never been "glutened." And I've never asked them to switch gloves. Amazing, Chipotle must be magic.

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I've reviewed old posts about Chipotle's - and have seen mixed opinions. I'm new to gluten-free and had never been to Chipotle, but I had heard it was a good place for gluten-free options. I'm traveling right now and was happy when I saw a sign for Chipotle along the highway, so I stopped. The employee was really nice. I didn't get a tortilla or chips. She got a new spoon to dish up my rice. And she changed her gloves. That night I had discomfort and the loudest and longest (hours) of gurling I'd ever experienced. Before the employee changed her gloves, she gave her reason as: 'I handle tortillas and chips all day, so I should change gloves for you'. So now I'm wondering if, all day long, she used flour-y gloves to get other peoples' cheese and lettuce - so new gloves for me were useless. In a post from a few years ago, one forum member did suggest not getting anything that the staff dishes up with his/her hands - like cheese and lettuce. Anyone have advice?

Well this is new to me. I ate chipotle once and absolutely hated it. I can't remember now if I got sick or not. My ex's mom loved chipotle. She told me that they used soy sauce as their secret ingredient so I have yet to go back and try it. I might give it a shot after these reviews

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Well this is new to me. I ate chipotle once and absolutely hated it. I can't remember now if I got sick or not. My ex's mom loved chipotle. She told me that they used soy sauce as their secret ingredient so I have yet to go back and try it. I might give it a shot after these reviews

SOY sauce @ Chipotle? LOL

The makings of a great urban legend....

A manager actually showed me their ingredient list to be "sure". Nothing to worry about, unless you're unlucky.

I will make one observation, I've been to a few in Texas and they were pretty dirty. The locations here in CO are uniformly spotless. Maybe use your common sense.

LONG LIVE CHIPOTLE!

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the chips are gluten free.

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We do NOT eat at Chipotles due to cross contaimination. They use their serving spoons to dish the meat/rice/beans onto the flour tortillas and when they do, they touch the flour tortillas with the spoon and place the spoon back into the container of food. So, even if they change their gloves and get new utensiles to dish up the food, the food is already cross contaiminated from the orginal serving spoons that have touched the flour tortillas and than put back into the large serving containers of food. Our Chipotles here do not have fresh food in the back that they can serve from, so we DO NOT EAT there. At first, being new to the gluten free diet due to celiac disease, we ate there, and my daughter got sick both times. Than I started paying attention to the above info, and talked with the manager, and realized it was not safe for us. Good luck!

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Unfortunately, I think I had my very first experience with cross-contamination eating Chipotle last week.  I was diagnosed in early December, and about 1.5 weeks into going gluten-free I had Chipotle - asked staff to change their gloves - and didn't have an issue.  Now it's been about a month since going gluten-free, and I attempted eating Chipotle again, and I'm assuming that I have become more sensitive over the last month.  About 45 minutes after eating, my stomach felt like it dropped and I felt as though I was going to have to run to the bathroom.  As a 2x/week Chipotle eater prior to diagnosis, this has NEVER EVER happened to me before.  Following this reaction I had 5 days of headaches (my only real symptom prior to diagnosis), achy joints, fatigue, bloodshot eyes on a couple of the days.  Definitely think I was glutened.  I'm done with Chipotle for a while, this was my first brush with being glutened since going gluten-free and I did NOT like it.

 

It makes sense that cross-contamination is inevitable at Chipotle.  Even if they change their gloves, they are touching the spoons to the tortillas ALL day long and putting them back in the food - the flour particles surely must accumulate over the course of the day.

 

Anyways.... it's sad to think that I've lost Chipotle.  But I think that if I'm having a terrible craving for them one day, I might try to wait outside before they open and be the first customer inside so that I can be sure the spoons have never touched the tortillas. 

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We have them take all the stuff from new containers to avoid any x-con.

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Chipotle is our favorite now. We always ask them to get fresh lettuce and cheese bins out for my daughter's burrito bowl, which they do. All locations change their gloves, and we've been to one who changed spoons. I don't insist on the spoon change because I'm not sure it matters. At some restaurants we really have to watch them to make sure they don't hand it down the line to someone with contaminated gloves on.

 

We're working on getting my 11 year old daughter (dx Celiac 4/2013) to be more proactive about taking care of herself. While we were traveling over the holidays, I suggested she order for herself at Chipotle and follow it herself (because I was ordering food for 4 other people and it gets hard to follow). It was so cute. She stepped right up and said "I have a severe gluten allergy and you need to wash your hands and change your gloves now, please." :)

We talked later about how asking rather than demanding might be more polite, but I still loved it! :)

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I've found all locations are different. One I ate at regularly is awesome. No touching spoons to tortillas, always change out everything, pull new bins....never been cc'd. Another is okay...I think they could handle the spoons to tortillas better but I've never been got. A third one - holy Jesus. Bean (on flour tortilla) juice dripping back into the bean bin, no gluten free education, spoons touching everything....I refused to eat there, pulled the manager aside and told her my thoughts. Haven't been back.

My advice is to talk to the manager, insist on fresh pulls, and watch what happens in the line before you order. Don't be afraid to walk away.

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