When I was first diagnosed I got glutened constantly.
I had no idea what I was doing. I didn't understand how gluten can lurk in dangerous, random places. You know, like some restaurant makes chili with a roux or the waitress forgets to leave the croutons off your salad and you get some banging cross contamination.
I think we've all been there.
But now? Now? I know better. I know all the scientific terms for gluten ingredients, I know the questions to ask and generally what is safe and what has got danger zone written all over it.
I, clearly, have gotten cocky.
Saturday night I went out to a new restaurant. I order a side salad instead of fries with my burger. Asked if the burger meat contained any fillers or was it all burger - all the responsible things. I told the waitress I was allergic to wheat (this is a place where it was pretty obvious the staff was hired for being pretty not smart.)
My meal was fine - no bun on the burger, no croutons on the salad. I figured I was all good.
My burger tasted a little odd but I thought maybe it was the cheese so I yanked that off. Nope, burger still tastes odd. I grab the waitress and ask "is there anything added to meat?" Again she tells me no - OH but we do but beer in with the burger meat.
Crap and I just ate half of this burger. I would've gotten into it with her but it just didn't seem worth it. What I learned was that I'm never eating there again and that I absolutely cannot assume that the server knows anything ever.
This whole situation got me thinking about food labeling.
The foods we purchase in the grocery store are supposed to list the "big allergans" on their labels. Why aren't restaurants required to do this? Is it an idea of hiding behind proprietary information? Is it because their wholesalers won't tell them whats in stuff and they don't ask - or is it too hard to check out everything on their menu?
It just seems to me that the effort that it would take for a restaurant to list out allergans on its menu would go along way with good will. It's not like I'm the only celiac in my town and I'm sure I'm not the only celiac who has been to that restaurant and gotten sick.
It's just seems that its time for things to change. The overabundance of items in our diets have turned simple foods into death traps. And the food industry as a whole should be responding appropriately. .