What Would You Say to this Café Owner…in 7 Words or Less?

cross contamination

Let’s end the week on a creative note, shall we?

I had a meeting in Princeton yesterday and met my good friend for a nice cup of coffee afterwards at a cool café (that shall remain nameless).

On the way out, we passed the huge dessert display case and we noticed the above (see picture).

That middle cupcake is gluten-free.

But everything else in the case was full of gluten.

There was gluten above it, below it and on both sides of it.

Now sure…I could spew my celiac venom and rant and rave. But that could take years and cost millions of lives (name the movie).

So rather than condemn the café and call them out publicly, let’s have some fun with it.

What would you say to the owner of the café about his gluten-free faux pas? And you only have 7 words to get your message across.

Why 7 words? I have no idea.

Here are a few to get you going:

– I’m a celiac. No chance in hell.

– That ain’t gluten free.

– Cross-contamination at its finest.

– Gwyneth would love this.

Let’s see what you can come up with.

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93 thoughts on “What Would You Say to this Café Owner…in 7 Words or Less?”

    1. Totally! I would give anything for the world to realize how severe this disease can be. Try not being functional til 1 or 2 or 3 pm EVERY single day and then you go EAT THAT MUFFIN!

    1. Like that one! Polite and makes the point. You used 8, but if you chop off the ‘I’ at the front, you got it in 7 words!
      ‘Love the effort, but that is dangerous.’

    1. Here in Canada all of our packaging is bilingual and I always thought it was amusing that things were labelled “sans gluten free”. And since we Canadians love to speak franglais, my description for this is …..

      Sans gluten free!

    1. Sue in Alberta

      Good one!!! When I saw the picture, I immediately thought, “Sheesh, might as well eat a Twinkie.” Then I read the challenge….you’re good.

  1. $3.75 is cheap for mini anthrax cakes!

    (I had another one, but it was mostly AARGHS! )
    Too bad, too–because it looks De-Lish!!

    Animal House. You make it too easy sometimes. 🙂

  2. Coating a GF cupcake with wheat? Really?

    Please remove the wheat from that GF cupcake.

    What’s the GF point?

    Would you like to buy a GFing clue?

    I don’t even want to know where you baked that?

    Would you like to how this is really done?

    Do you know anyone with Celiac Disease?

    How would you like your food contaminated?

    How about some ex-lax cupcakes? For perspective?

  3. I wouldn’t say a thing at all.

    Instead, I’d devour the cupcake and just be grateful that something was even listed/labelled “gluten free”. The cupcake sure looks yummy… :p

  4. The Ottawa Celiac Association posts predominantly places that also bake predominantly wheat items – on their website for all public Ottawa to see. It drives me crazy that they refuse to post for Celiacs the places in Ottawa that are 100% dedicated facilities! check them out and complain. No end of pointing this out has helped us here in Ottawa. perhaps the out of town vote will. thanks everyone for posting. This is the number one biggest thing here in Ottawa – the Celiac association does not support 100% dedicated facilities and does support contaminated bakeries. Politics?

    1. Might not be that nefarious of a reason (she said, knowing its equally likely it IS that nefarious a reason… but I’m attempting to become minutely less jaded on alternate Fridays) – it could just be desperation. The thought that there are NO good/safe options, the frustration of yet another “nope, not gonna happen” has caused more than a few celiacs to throw up their hands and decide to ‘cheat’. (I’m one of the lucky ones. Even the barest smidge of gluten in/on/around something and within 15 minutes I’ve gone bright red and I’m desperately casting about for a bathroom… and at 30 minutes, my definition of ‘bathroom’ begins to get seriously vague. Trees, shrubs, baseball cap or slow moving neighborhood dog all start morphing into giant Mr Whipples imploring me to go ahead and squeeze the Charmin! Which keeps me on a far tighter leash then the folks who luckily can just have gas, a rash, and/or a foggy headache all weekend. So me saying “No Way” has nothing to do with will power or rising above that folks without the extreme reaction can be tempted by!) The OCA might just be thinking that it’s better to have SOME option, even if there is no GOOD option in the hope. And even that might be some Pollyanna-ing on their part – if enough people go into a business in the hope of a GF goodie, if enough people specifically complain TO specific businesses, it could be the motivation for a company to work harder to partner with celiacs who want to give them money.

      For example, a local pizzaria near me here in norther Ohio (USA) only started first researching then attempting to source GF options AFTER about a year of constant hopeful pleas from local celiacs.

      There is also the sometimes near impossibility of being 100% sure an item IS 100% safe. From the field to the customers hand, accidents can happen – even in companies that ONLY do GF (and therefore, one would think they would be error proof… and that sadly isn’t the case. Any time a human has their mitts on something, you have to allow for the little gremlins of stupidity to hit) accidents can happen. Someone doesn’t wash their hands, a board isn’t bleached, a knife gets moved from one kitchen area to the other and more. By one saying “Contains no gluten ingredients” a business (and by extension the OCA) can have some coverage from lawsuits and liability is something would happen. Having 100% GF on a label can also lure celiacs into a false sense of security and really, no matter what, no matter how often something has been eaten before, we need to label read to protect ourselves. Giving a bit of flex into the labeling keeps folks checking and paying attention.

      Another option that might be the OCA attempting some form of butt covering could simply be they have gotten burned in the past. A cookie company was GF until a week ago, the website isn’t updated in time, and if someone gets sick enough, someone could attempt to make the OCA partially responsible in a court case. By refusing to give Super Celiac stamps of approval to companies, the list makers absolve themselves of any future guilt.

      That being said? Politics and all it’s nasty bedfellows could just as easily be the case too.

      Annnnddd there my Pollyanna mask bursts into flames. Dangit, I’ll have to try holder to hold onto it. Next time, anyway!

      1. I have been involved in GF manufacturing with CSA certification (<5ppm). I am aware of the mislabeling, omission of non-GF facilities on products, cross contaminations possibilities even with GF certification organization seals with products and in restaurants. And Gluten Friendly, what's that? They're all clueless! My nutritionist said I could come back anytime, since I knew more than her. You are probably just as knowledgeable. We need to educate them, even if they don't want to hear. I would have bought the cupcake and then destroy it in front of the person who put it in the case. Maybe say, "if you kid had a peanut allergy, would you give him the cupcake with just 1 peanut on the frosting? Bet not! I try to eat only CSA products. I'm just as sensitive.

    2. It’s because the CCA has changed their mandate to target all people who avoid gluten, and not just Celiacs. The result, in my opinion, is that now they’re catering to the diet fadders who are perfectly okay with the contaminated cupcake. The CCA seems to have forgotten about the needs of Celiacs – i.e. that we need 100 per cent.

  5. “ZOMG! Cupcake force fields!”

    “Someone sneezed on that cupcake, have another?”

    “Clowns to the left, jokers to the right, here I am”
    -Stuck in the middle with you, Stealers wheel

    (Awesome contest)

  6. No chance in heck! I’m scared to come near it. Thanks for teasing anyways. Thanks but no thanks, please research your customers!

  7. I ordered a gluten-free hamburger bread at a burger restaurant in Oslo. The chef actually asked me if he had to cut the bread with a clean knife and use a cutting board that was free from gluten crumbs….
    I told him that he didn’t have to, but that I’d appreciate not ending up in a hospital or to spend the next few days around a toilet… I also added: “I’m a celiac, not a hipster”.
    Luckily he got my sarcasm, used a clean knife and cutting board.

  8. Excuse me, that cupcake’s not kosher, either.

    Excuse me, that cupcake’s not unobjectionable.

    You need to talk to the Star Wars bartender.

    Excuse me, you have an unpremeditated oxymoron.

    Are you trolling for idiots?

    You’re about to lose your sense of decency?

    Actually, I am looking to buy a bridge.

    Could I define cross-contamination for you?

    Cross-contamination, it’s a bitch, isn’t it?

    That cupcake is not on fleek.

    No thanks, I don’t do online gaming either.

    That cupcake is hella wrong.

    That cupcake is sickening.

  9. Christine Heynen

    -Dream on, O ignorant one
    -Learn from a REAL GF bakery!
    -Not in THIS GF life time
    -For hipster GF maniacs only
    -Through the lips and out as shits
    -Wanna trade your body for mine?

  10. It’s 2017 and we’re still seeing this?

    Yeah, I saw the same thing at a cafe this morning — in a hospital, no less. Didn’t tell them those seven words but definitely thought them. Sad!

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I AM someone who's been gluten-free since 2007 due to a diagnosis of severe celiac disease. I'm someone who can steer you in the right direction when it comes to going gluten-free. And I'm someone who will always give you the naked truth about going gluten free.

I AM NOT someone who embraces this gluten-free craziness. I didn’t find freedom, a better life or any of that other crap when I got diagnosed. With all due respect to Hunter S. Thompson, I found fear and loathing of an unknown world. But if I can share my wisdom, tell my stories and make the transition easier on you, I’ve done my job.

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