Eateries: They’re doing their best

On Saturday I met with the owner of a Hamilton fish and chip shop. She’d asked me for advice on how to make her products gluten-free (and then how to ensure they stay gluten-free right through to serving).

The owner, whose real name I won’t reveal to protect her privacy (I’ll call her Jane), doesn’t have food allergies but does want to be able to provide for a growing market of gluteys. She’s not doing gluten-free at the moment, but knew that if she did go down that route, she’d have to do it properly. 

After talking to her for a while about how to handle food ‘the glutey way’, it got me thinking about the many times in the past when I’ve felt really peeved off with a cafe who has done gluten-free badly.

By badly I mean they’ve mis-labelled their food as gluten-free, offered limited or no gluten-free food or inadvertently contaminated the food while serving.

This lack of knowledge of glutey-prep-and-serving-guidelines is not uncommon. 

Let’s be real, unless you’ve personally experienced glutey-induced problems or know someone who has, then it’s not likely you’d know quite the level of careful food handling, preparation and serving required to do gluten-free safely.

I know Jane learnt a lot from our discussion, but surprisingly so did I.

What did I learn from talking to Jane? Eatery owners are doing their best. The mis-labeling and other dodgey glutey-food dealings are 99% caused by people not knowing how to do gluten-free properly. 

So what can we do? Take responsibility for keeping ourselves safe. It’s easy: stop, look and listen (just like crossing the street).


yourself from just ordering without doing your homework – assumptions could make you sick.  

Have a good


 at the products e.g. in the cabinet – do the gluten-free products touch the regular glutey-filled products? 

Always ask the pertinent questions to ensure that gluten-free products really are gluten-free e.g. are those chips cooked in a gluten-free vat? and


to what the food handler has to say. If you don’t think they’ve got a full understanding of gluten-free, don’t risk it.


Glutey Girl

One thought on “Eateries: They’re doing their best

  1. Excellent points. Until you have experienced the result of trace contamination you probably wouldn't believe it! Even some spices have gluten in them. What can be done to advise the industry? Better to not offer GF at all then to have food labled as GF only because of the content id the handling has contaminated it.


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