Eating gluten-free? Beware at restaurants
One-third of supposed “gluten-free” restaurant meals actually contain trace levels of gluten, according to a study conducted by Columbia University’s Celiac Disease Center. More than 800 investigators performed 5,600 gluten tests in restaurants over 18 months and found that 27 percent of breakfast meals and 35 percent of dinners labeled gluten-free actually contained gluten. For the 1 percent of Americans living with celiac disease, this is of concern because even a tiny amount of gluten can severely damage their intestinal lining.
There are currently no federal regulations on gluten-free claims in restaurants, so if you have celiac disease or are sensitive to gluten, be vigilant when dining out: Ask questions about food preparation, and consider bringing a gluten sensor such as Nima ($289, nimasensor.com) or EZ Gluten test kits ($60 for a five-pack, ezgluten.com).