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If you offer a gluten free menu, please train your staff

Dear restaurant owners,

If you have a gluten free menu, please train your staff accordingly.

Your ‘glutened’ patron,


A few weeks ago, I went out to dinner with some friends to a restaurant called the Chart House in Hoboken.  To my surprise, they offered a dedicated gluten free menu for their diners who have Celiac Disease.  I have to admit that when I go out to dinner, I get extra excited when a restaurant offers a specific gluten free menu – mainly because this means I don’t have to be ‘that person with the gluten allergy’ at the table.

If you’ve ever been to the Chart House (or checked out their menu), it’s a dimly-lit restaurant to set a romantic mood and typically reserved for special occasions like anniversary dinners and such.  In fact, it’s so dark that when our salads came, and I started eating, I was unable to see the croutons hidden just under the first layer of lettuce.  After several bites of lettuce, my fork crunched into the hidden suspect – A CROUTON!  Immediately the waiter was called over and admitted that he had not been paying attention when he served our table and brought the wrong salad.

In an effort to ‘make up’ for poisoning me, they offered to provide free desert.   Knowing that I would most likely make it through dinner without becoming ill, I agreed and shared a Crème Brulee with the table.

Needless to say, I went home and crawled right into bed as the stomach pain began.  The next morning is when the ‘gluten’ really hit me.  As I tried to sit up out of bed, I became dizzy and needed to sit down. After I put on my shoes and stood up, I became dizzy.  As I got out of my car to walk to work, I became dizzy.  I felt nauseous for days. My skin broke out into a rash.  My mood was affected and more.  I can’t even begin to imagine the havoc the cross contamination causes with my insides!

This terrible scenario occurs again and again for my fellow gluten free diners – mostly because food service staff is untrained on how to handle food allergies and autoimmune diseases like Celiac Disease.  They may go above and beyond to provide a specific menu, but if the staff (from servers to cooks) is untrained on ingredients, cross contamination, and more then it’s a waste of time.

If you are a restaurant owner committed to offering a safe environment for those with food allergy and gluten free diet concerns, then I highly suggest the National Foundation of Celiac Awareness’ GREAT Kitchens certification program.

Have you ever been glutened at a ‘gluten free friendly’ restaurant?  Share your story in the comments below…

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38 thoughts on “If you offer a gluten free menu, please train your staff”

  1. Thank you for writing this and absolutely agree. Recently I was in a relationship with a chef to my surprise I had to educate him on gluten and Celiac disease. In particular just like you mentioned the cross-contamination aspect, changing ingredients, separate utensils etc. He simply did not “get it” until one night when I became glued was in extreme pain for hours writhing on the floor from the extreme cramping and pain. After watched the horror that is gluten take center stage that night while he took care of me it was then the light bulb finally came on. He was genuinely concerned seeing me in tears and in extreme pain for several hours after what appeared to be a simple meal. The disconnect comes because hearing about a disease is different from seeing the effects first hand. What you mention is common training the entire kitchen staff is obviously not done and even at the finest culinary schools . They are not addressing it appropriately. Perhaps those of us who are Celiac need to partner with the schools to ensure that happens. Thanks you for the information on National Foundation of Celiac Awareness’ GREAT Kitchens certification program will pass it along also!
    Wishing you a very speedy recovery! 🙂

    1. Thanks for your message Vea! I’m so sorry for your experience. I agree that there is a large disconnect to ‘gluten free’ and how it affects those with Celiacs vs. those wanting to eat a fad diet.

  2. I AGREE, when you are out at a restaurant that offers a gluten free menu, that should mean that all members of the staff are equally trained as to what gluten is, and how to prepare and serve “their gluten free foods” SAFELY to “their patron”. Offering a dessert for actually destroying your health with their serving method of their gluten free menu is just not acceptable. I sincerely hope that the restaurant is made aware of their internal health causing problems immediately. Thanks for your post, hopefully restaurant owners will incoroperate a healthier training for their staff if they want to enjoy the monetary rewards that the gluten free community could bring to them – Please train your entire staff in 2013 – our health requires it! Thanks again for your post Jenna.

  3. Amen! I actually think the new “wheat-free” diet fad is hurting those of us with celiac disease because restaurant staff don’t take us seriously. The only times I’ve been pleased with service is when the staff has a friend or family member with food allergies or CD and truly understands. It shouldn’t be this way. If you are in the business of serving food, you should want to make sure your food isn’t making people sick.

    1. The gluten free ‘fad’ is definitely harming us who have to eat gluten free for a reason! I feel it’s always important to mention that you have Celiac Disease when you’re ordering off a gluten free menu. Coming from a food service background, I feel that if restaurants that serve alcohol require wait staff and bartenders to take a class on serving alcohol responsibly, then there is no reason why a restaurant serving gluten free can’t provide additional training on serving individuals with food allergies.

  4. Hi, I came across a link to your post on Facebook. I recently wrote about a similar experience. Last night I got glutened at a restaurant which I have successfully eaten at several times before. Over the past year it seems like restaurant staff and chefs are taking those of us with Celiac less and less seriously….I agree with the other commenters that it’s partially as a result of the gluten free diet being “trendy” right now. I sincerely hope that with our posts and education that we can help to make this better. I am glad to find your website!

    1. Hi Jess – I’m glad you stopped by! I hope you’re doing better after your experience. Here’s to hoping for a ‘safer’ 2013 dining out!

      1. Thank you for writing this article as that is one of the largest downfalls with having celiac, and me being a kind person always feels bad for my family as I feel as if I keep them from going out to a nice dinner! Ther are a few restaurants that do offer gluten free menus that are a little over 40 miles from where I live! But I will say that I do not go to them anymore because everytime, I was never taken seriously and the waitstaff seems to think that I am on a gfree diet out of vanity! Like last time, the waitress said, Oh my gosh, I do gluten free too, it is such a great diet! After she said that I said no, I have celiac, and she asked what that was, so I had to explain, and then after that she asked if I wanted croutons on my salad and if I wanted my chicken breaded! Really! So never again, if I am not making the food I am not eating it!

  5. I have what may be a pretty unique perspective on this… I have Celiac, and I work the saute station at a private club. I have been doing this for 8 years, and gluten-free for 4. The problem as I see it is that if you are anywhere that does any kind of cooking from scratch controlling contamination is very difficult. I have been working with the chef to make my life easier, but there are so many people that are involved in so many different ways that it really is difficult to control ALL of the possible variables. Yes, better training would be very helpful, but it will not eliminate some aspects of human nature. Some people are simply too lazy to do things in ways that they should. Some people simply don’t care, and some don’t seem to put together that X has Y in it, and is not safe if you have a dietary issue involving Y even if it should be obvious to anyone who thinks. I have a specific example, but I’d prefer not to go into that right now.
    When I am working my station I try to be as aware as possible of what is in what and if people come back in the kitchen I try to have an answer for whatever food issue they may have, be it gluten or shellfish or whatever so that I can make sure that I am able to make a meal that will be good and not make the guest ill.

    1. Hi Chris, you definitely have a unique perspective on this! I’ve also been behind-the-scenes in a restaurant environment and understand that things have to happen quickly in the kitchen. It means a lot that you take the time to work with your guests and try to education your coworkers on food issues. Keep up the great work!

  6. My 7 year old daughter has celiac, and restaurants have universally been difficult, with a few exceptions. The American Girl Cafe near our home not only seems to take gluten-free seriously, our waitress herself had celiac! It was amazing to be able to relax. Silver Diner has also been a good experience. Other than that, we rarely eat out any more. I feel like waiters usually nod and act like they know what you’re talking about, and then bring you a big basket of bread. Not worth it.

    1. I’m so happy to hear about your experience at the American Girl Cafe. It’s always so refreshing when you hear that your sever has Celiac or food allergies because then they actually understand the outcome if you are glutened and typically take extra care with your order.

  7. I agree completely. Most restaurants that have gluten-free choices do not understand that food must be prepared in separate pans and served on separate plates with separate utensils. I have only been to one restaurant that understands this and it is a small place in Muskegon, MI called Mr. B’s pancake house. They serve Pamela’s pancakes as well as other breakfast foods plus lunch and dinner choices all prepared safe for me to eat. The owner’s wife is a Celiac so they do get it.

    1. Hi Cynthia, thanks for sharing the restaurant with us! There’s a place in NYC called Bistango that is the same way. A family member has Celiacs and all of their staff is well trained. In fact, the first thing the servers ask when they get to your table is, “do anyone have any food allergies?” It’s so refreshing when a restaurant actually gets it!

  8. I went to Pei Wei Asian with my husband for our anniversary back in December. I had not eaten there since my diagnosis almost 2 years ago, so this was a first time visit as a Celiac. The menu had a few items labeled gluten free, so I proceeded to order one of those items and was immediately told that they couldn’t guarantee it was gluten free (why it was on the menu listed as gluten free is beyond me). So I asked which items they could guarantee and chose one of those. When the plate was brought to my table it didn’t look “right”. It looked like the chicken was breaded, but I decided I was being paranoid and began to eat. My first bite went crunch, which told me that the chicken was indeed breaded and I immediately summoned an employee. I was told the chicken was “breaded” but with potato starch, so I relaxed a bit. They had already started preparing me a replacement meal because they also realized that the chef had not cooked my meal in their dedicated GF wok and uncontaminated oil. They were very apologetic and refunded me the price of my meal. Luckily, I didn’t have any severe adverse reactions (exactly what I was trying to avoid on my anniversary), but I most likely will not eat there again.

    1. Thanks for sharing your experience at Pei Wei Asian with us! It’s great to have a head’s up on restaurants that handle their gluten free menu like that!

  9. My eyes welled up with water reading this. I have been recently diagnosed. It explained most of my health problems I had been having and while I started to feel better, I felt embarassed because I always felt awkward being “the person with the gluten issue”. People who do not have a gluten allergy, do not understand how it feels, or what it means that if we eat Gluten, what it will do to us. It is very difficult. But by reading this letter, for me, it was like listening to someone who “gets it”. I love this website, thank you for sharing this letter and I really hope and pray that there is more awareness out there and restaurant guidlines are placed into ettect so that all diners can feel safe without feeling like an oddball, or heaven forbid, get sick for the next week after eating a salad. I am so glad the holidays are over. Im thinking that maybe next year I will hide in my house. Last year was trecherous on my system and very very painful. I hope I learn more about how to avoid these accidents. Its not like we can just say….we can’t go to a restaurant. Family gatherings are held there and if one doesnt go? They are subject to the oddball spotlight that just makes me feel like crap. 🙁

    1. Bring your own food. More and more, especially at potlucks, I bring my own food. If friends want to hold a get together at a restaurant, everyone can understand and accept that you will bring your own food.

  10. YES! I especially love it when you are given a gluten-free menu, but instructed to “tell your waitress to tell the chef to make your salad in a separate, clean bowl”. Are you kidding me? Isn’t it obvious if you are ordering off the GF menu?? And how many times have I ordered a salad as part of a gluten-free dinner, only to be told that they either don’t have any gluten-free salad dressing, or they “don’t know” if their options contain gluten! One place I have been impressed with is PF Chang’s – at least the one we go to – the wait staff are well educated and usually ask when you are initially seated if anyone has food issues. The last vent for me is when people find out you are “gluten-free” and they respond, “oh, are you doing THAT diet? Think it will work” Grrr. Thanks for your post.

    1. I absolutely adore PF Chang’s! The way that they serve the gluten free meals on specific plates amazes me that way everyone in the kitchen is connected on what is gluten free and what isn’t. Other restaurants could definitely take a hint from how they run their gluten free menu!

  11. I explained to a waitress that I could not eat (bagels) because I’m allergic to wheat. She offered me white bagels.

    There exist waiters and waitresses who do not know what wheat is. They don’t know where flour comes from. They think that if it is “not whole grain” that is the same as “wheat free”.

    1. So true! Early on in my celiac life the host at a local Mexican restaurant brought the chef to my table when I was in for brunch. I hadn’t quite learned the routine yet myself, so I said I had to avoid wheat – and asked if their enchilada sauce was made with corn starch or wheat flour (I cook, & know the options). “Neither, it’s made with enriched flour.” “Do you mean enriched wheat flour?” “No, the package says enriched flour.” Which it does, if you look just at the big letters… I said “thanks” to avoid further fruitless discussion and stuck to the plain beans and corn tortilla at the buffet.

  12. whenever I read things like this, I feel so lucky not to have food allergies! please be patient with restaurant workers- they work hard for very low wages and often no thanks from patrons. hopefully the poor server wasn’t abused because of the unintentional mix-up. if you explain in detail your needs WITHOUT being pushy, demanding, demeaning or making it into a “this is why I’m special and I demand to be treated like GF royalty” (I think we all know some GF individuals who fit that description! haha!) situation, you will get much better results. be patient and take every challenge as an opportunity to educate WITHOUT being preachy.

    1. Hi Jaye, for almost 7 years I was a waitress (my first job and paying my way through college). I understand first hand the low salary and long hours. Many of my fellow Celiacs and I are almost ‘too nice’ when it comes to explaining our gluten free dietary needs and it ends with being sick. We do not expect to be treated like ‘GF royalty’. If a bartender or waitress serving alcohol is trained on responsibly serving alcohol, why not add a training to responsibly dealing with serving those with food allergies and CD? The long term issues of continually being glutened can lead to cancers, lymphoma and much much more.

    2. When I read Jaye’s response, I was extremely happy they don’t have “CELIAC DISEASE”, or other food issues. It turns your entire life upside down as you know it… nothing is ever the same, from family, work, holidays, vacations, dating or marriage,friends, relationships of ANY kind, your health… the list goes on and on and on. Just before I was diagnosed, I was actually bedridden, I could barely turn my head from side to side without pain. My day consisted of getting up and trying to make it to the living room to lay on the couch, and then in the early evening it would almost kill me to try and go back to the bed, there were days I couldn’t even form words. I went from Dr to Dr trying to find out what was wrong with me as before this happened I was never EVER sick! I had almost every single symptom you could possibly have.. I never knew what I was going to have to go through that day; fatigue, restless leg syndrome, acid reflux, brain fog, ulcers, memory loss, rapid heartbeat, ecema, neropathy, iron deficiency, IBS, canker sores, tooth loss, depression, diarrhea some days, other days, constipation, I would itch until I bled, black and blue marks everywhere…. Infact, I ended up with CANCER. I sincerely don’t think asking a restaurant that is serving a gluten free menu and taking my gluten free cash…. to serve me a gluten free meal – responsibly. I reread your post three times, and the last time I actually felt sorry for you, but then realized you’re who we are trying to reach and educate.

    3. Dear Jaye,

      I’ve also been a waitress and took my job very seriously since I was responsible for the health and well-being of the people I served.

      I’m so shocked by your cavalier attitude concerning the poisoning of this woman that I had to sit and look at your post for a while because I was so angry I didn’t know what to say. The waiter’s “unintentional mix-up” caused this woman real pain and discomfort for days on end.

      If you equate being clear about your dietary needs and asking enough questions to feel that the establishment has a handle on what they’re doing to acting like “gluten-free royalty,” you probably shouldn’t serving food to people at all. Perhaps you’re one of those people who is incapable of empathy and you can’t help it, either way, I hope I’m never so unlucky to be at your mercy while trying to get a safe meal. (Ha ha!)

  13. I feel like so many restaurants are jumping on the gluten free bandwagon that their only concern is being able to say they serve gluten free – not actually serve it correctly. I’ve found the best restaurants to eat at are those who chose to start serving gluten free from a personal experience where a family member has Celiac or sever food allergies. My favorite restaurant to go is in NYC (Bistango) and the waitstaff is trained for the first question to ask you is ‘does anyone at the table have any food allergies?” before they just go ahead and serve bread to the table. I also feel that PF Changs’ idea to serve the gluten free dishes on separate plates is a way to cut the confusion as to what is and what isn’t gluten free coming from the kitchen. Although PF Changs may need to add more staff training on food allergies and Celiacs, they are off to a great start by making sure there is communication between the wait staff and the cooks preparing the meal. Also, as the restaurant patron, you are able to be reassured when you see your meal served on the designated gluten free plate. Perhaps this could be insight into how to properly serve a dedicated gluten free menu in addition to the regular dining menu where all parties (the patron, server and cook) can know they are serving (and being served) a meal specifically prepared for someone with a food intolerance or CD. In March I will be competing for Miss New Jersey International representing Celiac Disease awareness. I feel that although Celiac Disease and gluten free living has received a lot of media attention lately it’s still widely misunderstood as being a fad diet, and the ultimate outcome for those of us with Celiacs will be negative until more and more people are informed and educated on what gluten actually is and the long term health issues associated with Celiacs.

  14. I am the Wine Buyer and Host Supervisor at a 2mth old restaurant in Charleston, SC called Burwell’s Stone Fire Grill. I was diagnosed gluten intolerant in 07 after 9yrs of misdiagnosis and finally diagnosed with Celiac Disease and Crohn’s Disease back in 2011 when my symptoms worsened. From the onset of the menu planning, the Executive Chef, Pastry Chef and I went over every dish, item by item and found ways to make more dishes gluten-free. During staff orientation we held an allergy class and went over the 8 main allergens with both the kitchen and the service staff. Now into our 2nd menu change, I am proud to say that our staff is well versed with CD and “hidden gluten”, down to the various alcohols that contain it. Whenever we have a new dish or special, Chef and I go through it and tag it “safe” or “not gf”. From the host perspective, they are all trained to ask each reservation they take over the phone and/or when confirming reservations, whether or not there are any dietary restrictions and this information is relayed to the servers when the guest is seated. I have been in the Food Industry since 1993 (even worked at the Raw Bar at the Chart House in Coconut Grove, FL – sorry about your experience) and while it takes effort, getting everyone trained and on the same page is more than doable, it just makes more business sense realistically because the last thing I want to do is alienate anyone from coming in to dine with us.

  15. When a restaurant offers a gluten-free meal, I feel that it is their responsibility to train their wait staff to be vigilant and to educate their kitchen staff on cross-contamination procedures. They are advertising a specific service to a very specific niche group, and if they are gaining customers and not serving their needs, then that is false advertising. It is the responsibility of every celiac who has been glutened to speak to the restaurant where it occurred, and to patiently educate them as to the error of their ways. You are a paying customer. If you bought a dress that was advertised as a size 7 and it fit like a size 12, you would feel cheated and bring it back. Unfortunately, we cannot return a glutened meal (although the thought is amusing and sometimes tempting). Please hold your restaurant accountable so that they do not profit from false advertising, and people do not get sick.

    1. If the wait and food preparation staff don’t know what the ingrediients are, ask to see the bottle, package etc.
      The other thing I always ask for in a salad is that the preparation people change their gloves. When ordering eggs, etc. if the grill is not dedicated, they must cook mine in a skillet. They aren’t happy but my accidents happen at potlucks, not restaurants. Friends never remember everything that went into a recipe and certainly never read ingredient lists on the package.

  16. My husband, too, is Celiac and extremely sensitive to even the tiniest amounts of gluten, making him sick violently ill from a few hours to a much longer period of time. His intestinal track is subject becoming infected when he ingests gluten. We have had more near misses that I can count.

    Here is what we have found works for us: Call the restaurant ahead of time and speak first with the manager and then the chef. We carry a very explicit “Chef’s Card” that we, aka, I, demand be taken to the chef along with a paper copy of the order. When the food arrives, we inspect it thoroughly. We have also been known to thank the folks and walk out of the restaurant.

    We have also found that higher end restaurants, particularly privately owned establishments, in high tourist areas do the best job. These folks do not have a building full of high ticket attorneys to fight corporate battles. If someone gets sick, then their insurance and their license that are on the line.

    My husband’s health, is my number one priority, and I take no chances, often embarrassing him in restaurants. Being his vocal advocate helps to keep him safe.

    Speak up; speak loudly and demand accountability.!

    Dr. Jacquelyn P. Horne

  17. I never go out to eat for that reason. I also was told something was gluten free only to have the waiter come out with the ‘gluten free’ version asking-“Who is eating the gluten free chicken”…15 minutes after everyone including me had eaten….I can no longer trust…..

  18. Christmas of 2011 was a memorable event for me as well as my husband. We were attending a private party with friends and I was just into my 4th month of being diagnosed. I was asking everyone what was in the dish that they had prepared to serve. One friend, a woman fairly new to our group was trying to show off for her husband-to-be and proudly told me all the “ingredients” in her stuffed mushroom caps.
    Everything was acceptable and I took one bite and instantly knew I was in trouble. 10 minutes later I was in the bathroom followed by 4 more trips. Trying all the time to pretend everything was fine. After the last trip, I briefly explained to my husband that we were leaving – NOW. Could barely get up the steps myself and had to have help getting in and out of the car. Turns out, the woman purchased the item and it did include bread crumbs. Needless to say I am very careful and do not accept invites to her home!

  19. I work at Domino’s where they have a gluten free “crust”. We have had lots of responses to our gf pizza. I have found however…that many people don’t care. I explain to them myself about “yes”, the crust is gluten free, but from the moment they put it on the pizza screen it is no longer a gf pizza because of cross contamination issues. It is no longer gluten free. Most people claim their “doctor” says it’s ok to cheat. WTH?? I myself have been gf for over14 years and I don’t cheat. They either don’t even have a clue or don’t care about looking into their disease and blindly do whatever the doctor says. What doctor, tells his patients that it’s ok to cheat? Out of all the gf pizza’s I have sold (with the ok it’s your body attitude after I have fully explained to them cross contamination) only 2 have been grateful for the advice. I am so happy to hear that more and more people are stepping up and are being responsible for their diets.

    I myself do not go out to dinner much. The cross contamination is far to high for me. I always take my own food with me whenever I go out. Yes, it does change your life..I feel so much healthier now, I get to try different grains and foods I would have never tried before. I am at my target weight , my skin is better, and just everything is better since I have been off gluten, corn, and milk. I am not embarrassed to ask how things are prepared and where, what precautions they take etc., as it is MY body, not theirs I am trying to protect.

    1. I’m actually really surprised a the number of people in this post who report having acute reactions to trace amounts of gluten. Just thought I’d provide a different perspective – as someone who isn’t overly concerned with the “may contain traces of wheat” warnings on product labels or picking croutons off a salad when a waiter clearly can’t do their job competently. I’ve been living with Celiac disease for over 5 years (diagnosed by blood test and endoscopy/biopsy). I immediately felt relief on the gluten-free diet from bathroom (loose fatty stools, diarrhea, etc.) and other symptoms (fatigue, vitamin deficiencies, etc.) but I think it’s important to note that not everyone with Celiac needs to be as careful as you may think. I was very careful at first but more and more I’m starting to relax as I’ve realised that I don’t have reactions to trace amounts of gluten. I still avoid obvious gluten whenever possible (like leftover bread crumbs in a margarine container), but I’ve just toned in down a notch when I’m at restaurants because generally I can tell whether something will be gluten-free based on the ingredients. If it’s a nicer restaurant I’ll point out to the server that I have to eat on a gluten-free diet and ask them to confirm that what I’ve ordered will be ok, but not always. I’ll also do things like indulge in eating the top half of a piece of cheesecake (leaving the bottom/crust behind). While it’s common knowledge that you should avoid gluten as much as possible, doctors and researchers have known for some time that a large number of patients with celiac disease can tolerate foods with minimal amounts of gluten. My husband also happens to be a doctor and approves of my more relaxed approach since it works for me. All that being said, by all means, if you have acute reactions to trace amounts of gluten then insist on all methods of preventing cross-contamination or don’t eat out at all – those reactions must be awful and I’m just lucky that I don’t react in that way. But I also suggest asking yourself, “Was it the tiny bit of gluten that made me sick? Or the wine? Or the rich (often high fat content) restaurant food?”

  20. Hey folks. Massachusetts is doing this, the entire state. It’s called Ming’s law and every single restaurant must identify the eight top allergens in all of the items on their menu. The protocols are that every restaurant employee must be trained in all the major allergens (plus gluten) and understand cross contamination concerns as well. In addition, at least one staff person per shift must be trained to follow and deliver a gluten-free or allergen-free meal from start to finish. Go to any MA restaurant and ask for a gluten-free option and you’ll be amazed at the attention you get. I have not obviously eaten at EVERY restaurant, but those I have eaten at have been amazingly attentive and knowledgeable. Here’s more on the legislation that is helping diners with food allergies and intolerances stay safe.

    Beth Hillson, celiac since 1976

  21. Sorry to hear you were glutened. 🙁 It’s unfortunate this happens, especially when the restaurant has a separate gluten free menu – you would think the staff would be trained properly and informed re: cross contamination. Sometimes speaking to the manager however is not any better. I recently had an experience at a restaurant, which does not have a separate gluten free menu, but says they can accommodate gluten free. When I asked about the sides to accompany my entree, I was told by the manager that any could work. I was very surprised that the fries would be gluten free (since it never seems they are given the fryer situation – ugh!). He assured me they would be, to which I then proceeded to ask, well aren’t your chicken fingers cooked in the same fryer? He responded ‘it should still be ok’. I then informed no, it wouldn’t be ok as the fries would then be cross contaminated. You cannot cook the fries in the same oil as breaded chicken fingers and say they are gluten free. Needless to say I went with the grilled veggies. Surprisingly though, in this case the waiter was more educated. When I told him what the manager had told me, he had a shocked look on his face and told me that not only would the fries not be gluten free (b/c of the deep fryer), but they are also not made in house so he couldn’t guarantee if they are simply potatoes or what else may have been added to them. Given the growing number of people having to change to a gluten free diet, it’s unfortunate that more restaurants aren’t taking the time to train their staff to ensure patrons don’t get sick and can comfortably enjoy a nice meal out.

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