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Is it really gluten free?

Celiac Disease, Cross-contamination and a Gluten Free Diet | Gem Lowes

Celiac disease, cross-contamination and a gluten free diet

I believe cross-contamination is one of the most important topics when it comes to discussing celiac disease. It pains me to say that it may also be one of the most overlooked. Especially when it comes to eating out at a restaurant or going to a dinner party. Sometimes it’s best to air on the side of caution. Just because somebody says something is gluten free, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safe for people who suffer from celiac disease. Particularly if they are extremely sensitive to gluten.

For example

An item that doesn’t list any gluten containing ingredients but states that it was made in a factory that contains gluten. Or a bakery that makes gluten free cakes, but the cakes are made in the same kitchen as its gluten containing counterparts. May not be 100% safe for people with celiac disease due to cross-contamination. Depending on the severity of the disease and your tolerance levels, there is a small chance you may get ‘glutenated’ if you eat something that is not made in a purpose built, gluten free factory or facility.

The same goes for when you’re looking for gluten free options at a restaurant. Many wait staff aren’t aware that if you have celiac disease and you eat food that’s cooked in the same oil as gluten-containing food, you’ll end up with a very poorly tummy by the end of the evening. Because of this, it’s not uncommon to find items listed on the menu as ‘gf’ when they aren’t actually gluten free. Soy sauce is another one to watch out for. The amount of times I’ve been out for supper and been informed that the chicken teriyaki was gluten free. Only to double check that the soy sauce used in the dish was safe to eat, to find out from with my server or restaurant manager that it wasn’t. Eek.

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