When you have Celiac disease or if you are gluten sensitive, it is difficult to dine out. While restaurants offer gluten free items, you want to know if any items have been prepared in the same place as food with gluten, since you don’t want to suffer the consequences if there has been cross contamination.
However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t eat out. If you find a restaurant you’d like to try, call ahead during non-busy hours (for a lunch/dinner restaurant, this is typically 10-11 am or 2-4 pm). A few simple questions can help you to feel confident dining out:
1. What gluten-free menu items do you have available?
2. Do you store, prep and cook your gluten-free food in a different space from items with gluten?
3. Have the staff and chefs had gluten-free training?
4. Can I request special adjustments for a gluten-free meal?
These questions will give you a feel for whether a restaurant understands (or cares about) your gluten sensitivity. While it’s more work, you deserve to eat out, and your gluten sensitivities matter! Be friendly, polite, and call with the confidence that what you are asking is important.
Also, don’t forget to check the Alex’s Gluten Free Spots iphone app for restaurant reviews from other Celiac and gluten free diners (and rate restaurants yourself). The ratings will tell you staff knowledge and whether a restaurant is Celiac friendly, so you can dine with confidence!
Do you have other questions you would add?