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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 What if my doctor won't listen to me? An Open Letter to Skeptical Health Care Practitioners Gluten-Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes Where can I buy gluten-free stuff? Support this site by shopping at The Celiac.com Store.

Restaurant Waitress
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AVR1962    88

Last night we had my husband's office Christmas dinner to go to which was a buffet, always prepare myself mentally for eating outside the home. In line I see this pork roast but something is in it so I ask the waitress if it had any wheat or bread and let her know that I cannot have wheat. She looked at me, told me she wan't sure what was in it and then said I could always pick the stuff out. WHAT? Apparently she has no clue. I passed on the dish wheich meant that dinner for me was salad and fresh fruit. Husband asked to speak to the cook and found out it was onions wrapped in the roast so he got me a slice, I ate it and it was quite yummy. Feel fine today so yet another success!!

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Ellie84    18

This is very bad service :( Have you reported this to the restaurant owner? You're a customer and "the customer is king" as we say here.

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While it's unfortunate that the general public can be clueless about celiac and gluten, it is getting better. And...at least in my neck of the woods...waitresses and waiters make diddly-squat for money and work long hard hours. Now if restaurant ownners and managers want to take on the responsibility of educating their staff on menu items' ingredients and the potential for customer issues with dairy, soy, wheat, etc...that would be great. But...training staff isn't free!

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sariesue    27

When she said she didn't know what was in the pork roast. Did you ask her to check with the kitchen about the roast or did you just move on? Because if you asked a question got a insufficient answer and left it like that then it's partially your fault that you were going to miss out on the roast because you could have asked her to check with the chef. If you asked her to check with the kitchen and she refused, then she is lazy and not doing her job. Sometimes people need a little more direction that we think they should. But, if you aren't satisfied with an answer it's up to you to ask the right questions until you are satisfied with the answer. Also, depending on the venues alerting the event organizer in advance about your dietary restrictions can be helpful. They may have a special protocol for events that have guests with known dietary restrictions.

When I worked for a company that was event catering, the menu changed to some extent every time. We were told the names of the foods we were serving and any pertinent details like tonight's gyozas are pork not veggie. But, we weren't told what the veggies were. If we had a known allergy at the event we were told the items that contained that item. But, if no allergies were disclosed then we weren't given that information. If we had a known allergy a special meal was often sent. So as servers we didn't have to be concerned with the possible allergens in main meal because a special one was there if the allergen was in the main course. This company asked during menu planning about any allergies/food restrictions during menu planning. If it wasn't then we knew that everything would be safe. Also, waitstaff in general has a very high turnover rate, which makes things harder. A veteran server would know to go ask the kitchen if they didn't know an answer, but a new staff member may not know to offer to do that.

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Lilypad517    0

I had a similar experience last weekend. Called ahead for assistance. Agitating the menu to shorten ordering time. The manager just kept saying "we cannot help you" to every question. I spelled out specifically what could be done to accommodate and she didn't even try. I told her that I loved her restaurant before, and always bring a bunch of people for a night out, that it was unfortunate they would no longer have our business because she couldn't try to be aware of customers needs.

Then I went and got some gluten-free sushi and almost cried at the service.

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Booghead    4

I hate the things some waiters say. The thing I hate most is when they give me the clueless look, it makes me not want to eat out. Big places have gluten free menus more, but they don't always avoid CC. Chilis has been very good to me, but not applebees (and I ordered nothing fried). It just depends, but I am an introvert and don't really like asking, and I hate pushing (i.e. can I talk to manager or chef). So I usually stick to salads and fruits, some meats like steak or grilled chicken. Oh goodness now I'm hungry. B)

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Katrala    16

To play devil's advocate, I can't really blast the waitress for telling you to pick it out.

How was she supposed that cross-contamination is a problem? If you asked about bread and what, perhaps she thought you were just on Atkins diet, etc..

I know it's frustrating when people say stuff like that and are clueless, but most people are clueless unless they've had to personally deal with it or know someone who has.

A coworker of mine offers me crackers or pretzels almost every time I'm around her. She's kind-hearted and although I've explained it to her several times before, she just doesn't really get it. Now every time she offers I smile and say something like, "Thanks, but I just ate."

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AVR1962    88

To play devil's advocate, I can't really blast the waitress for telling you to pick it out.

How was she supposed that cross-contamination is a problem? If you asked about bread and what, perhaps she thought you were just on Atkins diet, etc..

I know it's frustrating when people say stuff like that and are clueless, but most people are clueless unless they've had to personally deal with it or know someone who has.

A coworker of mine offers me crackers or pretzels almost every time I'm around her. She's kind-hearted and although I've explained it to her several times before, she just doesn't really get it. Now every time she offers I smile and say something like, "Thanks, but I just ate."

Actually I did explain to her that I could not eat bread or wheat, that I had an allergy. She acted too busy to care quite honestly. If she would hve been more receptive I may have pressed further but it was obvious to me she knew nothing about th roats and had no interest in finding out for me.

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Katrala    16

Actually I did explain to her that I could not eat bread or wheat, that I had an allergy. She acted too busy to care quite honestly. If she would hve been more receptive I may have pressed further but it was obvious to me she knew nothing about th roats and had no interest in finding out for me.

If you said "allergy," then I understand your frustration a lot more. :)

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Chad Sines    69

She is the waitress not the chef. There is no training that I know of that teaches the waitress community about all the many food allergies and intolerances. For what they are paid, I would never expect them to know that information. I would only expect the chef to know what was in it. Heck, I would not trust what the chef, waitress, or managers said was in it either way as they probably have no idea. Many use prepackaged items and they have no idea at all what is in it. Then you got cc...

I know I sound insensitive but I would not expect a restaurant to accommodate me. I cannot even fathom saying "make me something soy, gluten, and dairy free but be sure you scrub the kitchen down first and use sterilized new equipment to avoid cc"

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saintmaybe    39

I hate the things some waiters say. The thing I hate most is when they give me the clueless look, it makes me not want to eat out. Big places have gluten free menus more, but they don't always avoid CC. Chilis has been very good to me, but not applebees (and I ordered nothing fried). It just depends, but I am an introvert and don't really like asking, and I hate pushing (i.e. can I talk to manager or chef). So I usually stick to salads and fruits, some meats like steak or grilled chicken. Oh goodness now I'm hungry. B)

Applebees is terrible! I had to look up their gluten free menu on my smartphone when they were unwilling to even point out their gluten free regular menu items. Then they rushed us while I was going through their gluten free menu, coming back every three seconds to ask if we were ready. Their (few) gluten free items were unappetizing. Never doing that again.

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mushroom    1,205

I don't think it is to much to expect of a waitperson to check with the chef for gluten ingredients. Now whether or not the chef knows that the hash browns that came out of that box are molded together with flour is another question. In one case I asked the question specifically, they checked the box and the answer was yes. Problem averted. The other things I have to avoid I take the responsibility for myself by reading menus carefully and asking questions where necessary. I try not to be a pain in the butt and I choose items I am reasonably sure will be okay for me (which ain't always easy ;) ). I don't eat at fast food joints, and the kinds of restaurants I (infrequently) eat at are places where the chef will brief the staff on the evening's menu and explain the dishes to them, so they should be able to remember something from this briefing surely.

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AVR1962    88

She is the waitress not the chef. There is no training that I know of that teaches the waitress community about all the many food allergies and intolerances. For what they are paid, I would never expect them to know that information. I would only expect the chef to know what was in it. Heck, I would not trust what the chef, waitress, or managers said was in it either way as they probably have no idea. Many use prepackaged items and they have no idea at all what is in it. Then you got cc...

I know I sound insensitive but I would not expect a restaurant to accommodate me. I cannot even fathom saying "make me something soy, gluten, and dairy free but be sure you scrub the kitchen down first and use sterilized new equipment to avoid cc"

Oddly enough I have had some really good waiters and waitresses that had good knowledge of the menu and what ingredients the foods are made with, especially in the states. I live in Germany so not only is there a language barrier issue but then you have those that will knowck themselves out and others who just don't care.

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Juliebove    93

I hate it when they're like that. We used to have a favorite restaurant that was bought by a brother and sister who eventually changed the menu and not for the better. If I asked the brother, he would always tell me what was in the food and almost always it was not safe for my daughter to eat. We usually wound up just getting hummus and cucumbers there. The sister would claim to never know what was in anything and would just tell us not to eat it. Say what?

They're gone now. It's a different restaurant and while they do have safe food it isn't good.

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moose07    7

I had a waitress at a Mexican restaurant that is was fine for me to eat the corn tortillas even though they are cooked in the same oil as the flour ones, because "the oil will kill off the gluten" I just looked at her and shook my head.

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gfpirate    4

I was once at a restaurant and asked for a gluten-free menu, which was a normal menu, with safe items marked with a *. I noticed that there were chicken nuggets marked as safe, so, just to be on the safe side, I asked the waitress what was in them. She said "Oh, they're gluten free! We use a beer batter!" *facepalm* Needless to say, I ordered something else!

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Celtic Queen    33

I think sometimes there is a lack of communication between the kitchen staff and wait staff that contributes to the problem too. And even between management and the staff. We went to one of my favorite local chains for a hamburger a couple of weeks ago because a friend of mine saw on Facebook that they were doing gluten free burgers now. When we got to the restaurant and I talked to the waiter about it, he had no clue what I was talking about. My friend pulled the facebook page up on his phone and showed the waiter. The waiter asked the chef and the chef knew exactly what he was talking about. The chef cooked my burger separately from the others and put it on a lettuce "bun." He was very serious about cross contamination. The waiter apologized for not knowing about it. But I couldn't blame him. It was obvious that management hadn't communicated to all the staff. It ended up being fine because I got a very delicious burger without getting cross contaminated and the waiter now knows what to do the next time someone orders the gluten free burger. But it easily could have gone a bad way if I had gotten a waiter that didn't care. Or a chef that didn't have a clue.

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AVR1962    88

I was once at a restaurant and asked for a gluten-free menu, which was a normal menu, with safe items marked with a *. I noticed that there were chicken nuggets marked as safe, so, just to be on the safe side, I asked the waitress what was in them. She said "Oh, they're gluten free! We use a beer batter!" *facepalm* Needless to say, I ordered something else!

And before I knew about gluten intolerence I may have been that waitress but I find it sad and unfortunate, yet funny at the same time now.

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sariesue    27

I was once at a restaurant and asked for a gluten-free menu, which was a normal menu, with safe items marked with a *. I noticed that there were chicken nuggets marked as safe, so, just to be on the safe side, I asked the waitress what was in them. She said "Oh, they're gluten free! We use a beer batter!" *facepalm* Needless to say, I ordered something else!

That's ok, where I work has a gluten free menu. Last night one of the servers asked if the bread was gluten free. I told him no, and brought him the label on the box. The first to ingredients were wheat and barley. The training we recieved on the gluten free menu was that we have one. It's posted in the kitchen. And if someone orders something gluten free to check the poster.

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I ate at Gourmet Burger Kitchen in the UK a bunch of times, they'd do a burgerless bun. The waitress asked me if I wanted fries and I asked about the fryer because there were breaded items on the menu. Yep, shared fryer makes those innocent potatos non-gluten free. But no one had educated her about that risk. So I gave her a little lesson :-). She was really appreciative, and I hope she can help out future patrons as a result. She meant well, she just had no idea, and fair enough , I didn't either before and even after reading here, I chanced a shared fryer early on in my gluten-free experience (Worst.Decision.Ever!)

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dandt    1

I hate when people are clueless too. One of my 'close friends' just told me to stop exaggerating and 'suck it up' one day when I said I couldn't have donuts!

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MenHen    4

I have waited tables for several years. That waitress sounds rude and lazy! Even though I kind of knew what Celiac was, I really didn't have a clue. However, if anyone ever talked about allergies then I took it serious and got the manager and cooks involved.

Please, please, please no one eat at Applebee's. I worked there for 2 years and my step-sister is an area director of Applebee's. There is absolutely no way to get safe food from there. It's not any fault of server or cooks, it is just not set up to be free from cc. I was up there last night visiting friends and got hungry, so I left. If it was an emergency, I would find someone I knew and trusted to get me some fresh celery washed off well or something like that. Now, there may be some states or places that have more advanced Applebee's. I just know about ones AR and OK.

I personally won't try Chili's at this point either. Worked there, also. They would definitely be better than Applebee's, but I would have to do a lot of communicating with managers. I'd rather just go somewhere safer.

I hate when people are clueless too. One of my 'close friends' just told me to stop exaggerating and 'suck it up' one day when I said I couldn't have donuts!

I try to always remember how clueless I was once. I don't think I have ever been so insensitive to say 'suck it up', but I wouldn't be suprised if I would've been the one that asked if they could just take that part off if roles were reversed. Even people who are aware of what Celiac and gluten issues are don't generally understand the ends and outs.

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