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Gluten FriendlyI started working with the restaurants in our area about a decade ago when my son and husband were diagnosed with Celiac Disease. I always joked that in our county, there wasn’t much to do but go out to movies and dinner and when you were diagnosed celiac early in this century, not many restaurants thought is was a big deal or knew how to even start providing for this new group of people. That left you with just movies. We loved being able to go out to eat and made it our priority to make it safe for us again!

Now with all the legality and lawsuits, restaurants want to protect themselves and stay clear of the term Gluten-Free as much as they can even though many of their dishes can be considered Gluten-Free.

Many have started using GLUTEN FRIENDLY.

Say What?!

It didn’t bother me the first couple times I heard it, at least you knew they were trying and had some type of training. Then I went through the stages of trying to educate the staff as to why it wasn’t Gluten Friendly food. They each had the same canned corporate answer of not being able to guarantee that the food is gluten free so that is why they call it Gluten Friendly.

Ahhhhh….. If I didn’t care about the restaurants, I would drop it. But I do. I watched them evolve over the years and feel part of it and want to be proud of who they are now.

I sent this letter today to one of my favorite chains.  If it helps you, you may use it when talking with yours. Good luck!

8/29/17

The industry loves that your restaurants are providing Gluten-Free options! The Celiac and Gluten-Free community want to say ‘Thank You’!

Many establishments avoid using the term ‘Gluten-Free’ as they know the risks of cross contact with gluten and don’t want to be held liable if someone gets sick inadvertently. They have started to use other terms to help identify that they can service the Gluten-Free community while still protecting themselves.

Some are using the term, Gluten Friendly. We find that your restaurants are using this term as well. Many of your ingredients are Gluten-Free, your staff knows how to prevent cross contact, but this term is incorrect for what you are trying to portray.

Can you please reconsider the use of this term as it implies something different than having Gluten-Free options. Gluten-Free Friendly would be more appropriate, thus implying that you are doing your best to offer Gluten-Free options but have no guarantee because of cross contact with other gluten items.

Family Friendly – I can bring my kids to it

Dog Friendly – My dogs can tag along

Diabetic Friendly – I can grab it for my diabetic friend

GLUTEN FRIENDLY would imply that it has plenty of gluten for those people who want to inundate their diet with wheat, barley and rye… Exactly opposite of what a Celiac or Gluten-Free person is looking for.

Some say ‘leave them alone, don’t rock the boat.’ Other say, ‘at least they are trying.’ Some try to educate the servers.  Others roll their eyes. Some don’t notice at all.

But continued use of this term, just points out some ignorance on your part. I have always been under the impression that it is our job as a Celiac and Gluten-Free community to help educate those whom are serving us.

Thank you for paying attention the small things that make a HUGE difference for our community.

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