Going off gluten is not easy to do, since it comes in many forms and could be hidden in everyday dishes such as sauces, processed meat, potato chips and others. Because gluten poses a serious threat to people with celiac disease or even those with non-celiac gluten sensitivity, you need to be even more careful when you’re dining out.
As a restaurant trend, gluten-free (GF) dining ranked number four last year, and even though several establishments now offer GF options on their menus, you can never really be a hundred percent sure. Keep these things in mind before you indulge in a GF meal outside your home.
[Also Read: 5 Hidden Sources Of Gluten To Be Wary Of]
- Check The Website: To ensure your restaurant is truly gluten-free, visit their website and go through their menu, studying their GF dishes and kitchen practices. If your choice of restaurant doesn’t have a website then you should call them up to avoid disappointment or worse, accidentally end up eating something with gluten.
- Inform At Reservation Time: Always make sure you inform the restaurant of your dietary needs when you are making the meal reservation, so they can update you on whether they are capable of meeting your expectations or not. This is the right time to ask if the staff has undergone any GF-related training programs, what GF options are available, how they prevent cross-contamination, if they use a dedicated fryer, and also if they use separate dishes and prep space for GF dishes.
- Talk To Your Server: Once you are at the restaurant, make it a point to inform your server about your GF limitations and check whether they can be accommodated.
- Before Eating: Even if your dish seems alright in appearance, check before you start eating and if it isn’t totally GF, don’t be afraid to send it back.
- Do Your Homework: Go online and try locating GF dining establishments on Celiaccentral.org so that you can treat yourself to a good meal outside without risking your health.