FeaturesJun/Jul 2015 Issue

Gluten-Free Restaurant Talk

The growing appetite for gluten-free foods means you must ask the right questions when dining out.

Illustration of woman reading menu

shutterstock/daril-s

It’s easier than ever to find gluten-free options these days. More and more restaurants are offering gluten-free menus and many have vegetarian and dairy-free choices, too. Market research reveals that nearly a third of Americans choose gluten-free items when they dine out.

But hold the mustard. Can you really count on eating safely just because a menu says “gluten-free”? How often have you seen French fries or fried calamari on a gluten-free menu only to discover they’ve been prepared in a shared fryer? How about croutons hiding under salad greens or biscotti perched in a scoop of gluten-free gelato? Maybe the restaurant makes its pizza and pasta with gluten-free ingredients but it uses shared equipment. There’s no way to know until you ask.

If you’re mildly gluten sensitive, occasional cross-contamination may be okay for you. Not so if you have celiac disease, a serious gluten sensitivity or a food allergy.

Next: Communication is Key

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