To ensure you are not the victim of cross contamination, take care when eating out and always make the restaurant team aware of your dietary requirements Click To Tweet

Cross contamination strikes fear into the heart of any gluten-avoider! If you’ve not heard of it before, it’s the process by which harmful gluten proteins can be accidentally transferred to a gluten free meal. And that can have terrible consequences for those suffering from coeliac disease or gluten intolerance.

Cross contamination can occur as the result of a whole range of minor slip-ups in the kitchen, many of which those without a dietary requirement wouldn’t think twice about. For example, a person with coeliac disease might become unwell if someone prepared a sandwich for them and used the same butter for both gluten-free and regular bread.

Similarly, if both breads were on the same chopping board, this could cause problems for a coeliac. Those preparing food even need to watch out for appliances such as toasters, as the gluten free and regular bread going into the same toaster would spell cross-contamination.

To ensure you are not the victim of cross contamination, take care when eating out and always make the restaurant team aware of your dietary requirements. Speak to your server at length about the consequences of being glutened and don’t eat anything unless you’re 100% confident that your instructions have been taken on board, and understood.

Make sure, when you are dining at a restaurant, that the chefs have a specific area of the kitchen used to prepare gluten-free food, and that all utensils, pans and kitchen apparatus are thoroughly cleaned before use. Also mention that gluten-free food cannot be fried in the same fryer as regular food, as this would also cause cross-contamination and could make a person with coeliac disease very unwell.

If you’re eating in a cafe or coffee shop, you will often find there are gluten free options on offer, such as brownies or gluten free sandwiches. However, if you see that these are in the same cabinet as regular food, and they’re not wrapped, you’ll definitely want to avoid these. To be safe, we recommend only eating gluten free food which is stored far away from any other food, unless it is packaged in a wrapper to keep it safe.

It’s not just dining at restaurants you’ll need to be careful of, either. The same precautions must be taken if you’re dining at a friends house. You’ll want to make sure that your friend is completely aware of the lengths they’ll need to go to to ensure your meal is gluten free. Make sure that they know that this includes different kitchen utensils, different cooking apparatus, different chopping boards and so on. If your friend is unsure, direct them to the Coeliac UK website, where you can find plenty of tips on catering for those with gluten intolerance and coeliac disease.

Cross contamination is a very real problem for those who must avoid gluten, but as long as the communication is clear and the person preparing your food is aware of the lengths which they must go to to ensure a meal is completely gluten free, you should not run into any problems. Don’t let a fear of cross-contamination stop you from enjoying eating out. Just make sure you follow our tips to keep yourself safe.

The most important thing you can do when eating out on a gluten free diet is to ensure that the restaurant is fully aware of what you can and cannot eat. Click To Tweet

A gluten free diet can often make eating out more of a challenge. Whilst many restaurants are proud to cater for those who need to avoid gluten, there is always an element of risk involved. To ensure you don’t get accidentally glutened when you’re eating out at a restaurant, make sure you follow our five top tips.

Awareness is Key

The most important thing you can do when eating out on a gluten free diet is to ensure that the restaurant is fully aware of what you can and cannot eat. Take the time to speak to the manager when you make your booking, and then mention that you’re gluten free again as soon as you arrive. That way, the kitchen should be in doubt as to the importance of providing a gluten free meal for you.

Ask About Gluten Free Menus

A restaurant with a gluten free menu is always music to our ears! Not only does the provision of a gluten free menu mean you’ll have plenty to choose from when you head to the restaurant, it also means that the restaurant’s team will likely have been trained in coeliac disease and gluten intolerances, amongst other dietary requirements, so will fully understand the importance of keeping your meal gluten free.

Look For Coeliac UK Accreditation

Restaurants which are doing a great job of providing gluten free options for those with dietary requirements can apply for accreditation with Coeliac UK, a top charity designed to help those diagnosed with Coeliac disease. Look out for the charity’s logo in restaurant windows or on menus. If it’s there, you’ll be guaranteed a great gluten free dining experience.

Use a Gluten Free App

There are a number of fantastic apps out there which can help you seek out the top gluten free restaurants in your area. Download a gluten free restaurant finder and you’ll be in no doubt as to whether the restaurant can cater for your dietary requirements. Make doubly sure that you won’t get accidentally glutened by reminding your server of your needs as you place your order.

Prepare a Gluten Free Information Card

Eating out when you’re gluten free is tricky enough as it is, but when you bring a language barrier into the equation it can become a whole lot more difficult! If you’re travelling abroad somewhere where you’re not confident speaking the local language, you can prepare an information card in the local lingo, and present it to waiters wherever you dine. This is a great way to ensure you’re well catered for and nothing is lost in translation!

 

Eating out when you’re on a gluten free diet can be a little difficult, but it’s just a matter of communication. Make sure that the restaurant is fully aware of your requirements and never dine anywhere if you’re not confident that your instructions have been understood. If you follow our five tips you can relax in the knowledge that your meal