The 5 Best Things to Say When Ordering Gluten Free
When it comes to being gluten-free, dining out is still the hardest thing to do. Ask anyone who has been gluten-free for years and I guarantee they will say the same thing. That overwhelming anxiety of trying a new restaurant. The uneasy feeling of dining out no matter how safe the restaurant seems. It’s stressful to dine out but we can’t stay indoors forever. We have friends we want to hang out with, family we want to accompany. It’s important to get out and remain social but being gluten-free can make it hard to enjoy it at all. It may take years for the restaurants to get better at it but here are a few key phrases that you can say during your order to make your experience safer with a little help from Nima Sensor!
Start off your order by saying “I have celiac disease.”
Even if you're gluten-free for another medical reason, those who know about celiac disease know how serious it is. If the waiter has any idea about it, they will automatically take your order seriously and make a note to the chef.
In addition to that, say “I am extremely allergic to gluten.”
For the waiters who don’t understand what celiac disease is, the word “allergic” will automatically make them take your order seriously. The combination of “Celiac Disease” and “allergic to gluten” will get your message across. Your goal is to separate yourself from the fad dieters who come in even if being allergic to gluten isn't technically true.
Ask questions if you are ordering something with a higher risk of cross contamination.
If you want to order fries, ask if it is in a shared fryer. If you want to order a salad, ask if it comes with croutons or bread on top. If you want to order meat, ask if any bread is used on the same surface it is prepared on. If they know you are asking for an allergy, you won’t be looked at as annoying. You are a customer so you have the right to ask questions and dine safely.
Make it clear that you “need gloves changed to avoid cross contamination.”
This is the final thing that you want to mention. Even if you order something that is gluten-free, the chef may not know to change their gloves. Ask if the chef can change his/her gloves for your order to avoid cross contamination. This will avoid one of the most common sources of it in the kitchen.
Be sympathetic to them taking these extra precautions and thank them.
If the waiter is accommodating to your order, thank them! This is a lot of extra work for them to ensure that your order is gluten-free. It’s hard to dine out safely so express that to them and let them know that you greatly appreciate them taking the effort to make your order gluten-free. They will appreciate it as well.
As always, there’s never a way to ensure that there will be no cross contamination in a restaurant. However, you can use this process to make it easier for both parties. Saying these few things will get the point across that you are not a fad dieter. They will take you seriously and you’ll help them know exactly what to do for future orders as well. Doing this repeatedly at restaurants is how we can educate waiters and chefs. Unfortunately, it’s not going to come from anyone else so we need to be the ones to do it. Over time, more and more people will become aware about the seriousness of being gluten-free. We just have to do our part to enforce the seriousness of our diagnosis one order at a time.
More about Nima Sensor:
Nima Sensor is a small little portable device that allows you to test your food for gluten. All you have to do is put a small sample of your food in the capsule, twist the cap, put the capsule in the device, press the button, and wait! Once it's done, it will show you if your food you tested is under 20 ppm of gluten or not. It's truly a life safer when traveling or dining out away from home. As someone who travels a lot for work, it's been a huge help when trying to keep gluten-free the whole trip. I have used the device many times and recommend it to anyone who wants to dine out safely when on-the-go.
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What do you say to make sure your order is as safe as possible? Comment below!