Since my celiac diagnosis, I’ve always struggled with the fact that pretty much the entire focus of celiac disease is on food.
When I went to the Celiac Awareness Tour in Philly last month, it was pretty much all about the food.
It was just vendor after vendor trying to get my business.
Where was the “Celiac Awareness” part?
But I’ve come to realize that perhaps this is the way it needs to be.
There is no cure for celiac disease. It’s a life-long affliction.
And gluten-free food is our drug. It keeps us alive. And because of that, I get it.
But you would think that because of this focus, we could avoid incidents like the following (from a comment on yesterday’s post):
Six months ago I was with my family at a Red Robin in Charlotte, NC, and was ordering from the gluten-free selections. I quizzed the waiter who obviously knew nothing about gluten or cross-contamination so I asked to speak to the manager. The manager answered the questions right, indicated that they were trained in safety, and told me hamburger was cooked on a separate area. She aso added that their GF hamburger buns were the tastiest she had ever had.
My burger came out and before I took a bite I happened to notice that my bun had little sesame seeds and looked just like everyone elses. I called her back to question it and sure enough I had the regular bun. I then had to go into a LENGTHY description of why they could not take that burger and merely switch buns. She seemed annoyed. Ultimately my trust was blown so I watched my husband, our daughters/spouses, and my granddaughter eat while I held the four-month-old granddaughter and ate nothing..
They felt bad, I felt bad, and after a fun day our evening ended on a sad note. Even worse we only chose Red Robin because my loved ones were searching for a place where I could eat safely. They wanted to eat at a different restaurant..
I want to tell the “celebrities” who adopt this as fad diet and food preparers/servers who think this is a “celebrity fad diet” that THIS is our life..Our problem doesn’t just affect us, it affects everyone who is in our lives. Thankfully I noticed it before I took a bite. If I had been the only one getting a burger, I would have never known to even question the bun after the manager’s glowing description.
I know…mistakes happen. But we simply cannot afford to have these mistakes. We can’t.
When we eat at your restaurant, you are like a pharmacist filling our prescription.
You must fill that prescription exactly as required or your “patient” gets sick.
Do restaurants want this responsibility? Probably not.
What’s the solution, besides celiacs never eating out? I don’t know.