Celiac Disease

I have celiac disease which is an autoimmune disease with no cure (not to be confused with a wheat allergy or a lifestyle choice). If you have kindly invited me to dinner (or to a restaurant) then I apologetically ask you to ensure you totally abstain from using the following ingredients or get a guarantee from the restaurant manager that at least one dish can be prepared gluten-free with no chance of cross contamination. If these challenging constraints are too difficult to meet then I kindly ask you to un-invite me to dinner: I will take absolutely no offense.

For a list of things I can’t eat please look at this Mayo Clinic web page. Even the tiniest spec of gluten is a problem for me. Specifically, I must not eat anything that has more than 20 parts per million of gluten. Bread has around 12,000 parts per million of gluten so even a minuscule spot will make me sick. Examples of things to either totally avoid or check the labeling of are listed below. The general advice is to check the label of every single ingredient to see if it contains wheat, rye, malt, couscous, triticale, bulgur, durum flour, farin, Graham flour, kamut, semolina, spelt, or oats. Check the labels of things that you would never imagine containing gluten. PLEASE TOTALLY AVOID (or check the label of):

Also, please try to avoid cross contamination. Try not to use knives, cutting boards etc. that have had any gluten-containing material on them without first very carefully washing them. Please do not use any pots or pans made from Teflon or other non-stick materials because no matter how well you clean them they will retain some traces of gluten from previous uses. Ideally, don’t use a wooden chopping board that has ever had bread on it. However, I understand that there is only so much you can reasonably do, so I don’t expect anything more than a best effort. I live in a mixed household that contains wheat flour and other glutenated ingredients and despite my best effort I still regularly glutenate myself.

To a first approximation, all unprocessed ingredients are gluten-free unless they are made from or contain wheat or barley. Here’s a list of some ingredients which are gluten-free if they are unprocessed:

Please try to avoid ingredients from bulk bins at supermarkets due to possible contamination.

More information:

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