A class action lawsuit against PF Chang’s alleges that extra charges on the restaurant’s gluten-free menu violate the Americans with Disabilities Act. The lawsuit claims that celiac disease is a disability, and it is unlawful for a restaurant to force customers to pay higher prices for gluten-free dishes. The lawsuit was filed in California and is estimated in the millions of dollars.
The Celiac Disease Foundation (CDF) has issued a statement that doesn’t seem to support the lawsuit. Marilyn Geller, CEO of CDF, has this to say:
“The Celiac Disease Foundation recognizes that restaurants bear a financial burden for the employee training and other accommodations that are required to serve meals that are safe for those with celiac disease.”
Let us know what you think. Will this class action lawsuit hurt or help the gluten free community? Do you mind paying a bit more to eat out safely?
Pizza Hut, working with Udi’s and GIG (the Gluten Intolerance Group) is now offering a gluten free pizza in about a third of all stores. The one size, 10 inch pizza, (6 slices) is $9.99 for cheese and $10.99 for pepperoni. Check for Locations here.
The Udi’s® Certified Gluten-Free crust is stored in a separate container, on a separate shelf in their fridge. The cheese, marinara sauce and pepperoni are stored in a gluten-free designated kit, and every gluten-free pizza is freshly baked on designated parchment paper in their ovens. Other toppings can be added, but there is no guarantee about these being gluten free.
In addition to these storage techniques, team members who make your gluten-free pizza wear gloves and even use a designated gluten-free pizza cutter to cut your pizza to perfection.
Disclaimer? Yes, (as many restaurants do), Pizza Hut has this to say:
“While Pizza Hut® is proud to offer pizzas with gluten-free ingredients, Pizza Hut kitchens are not gluten-free environments. Due to the handcrafted nature of our menu items, variations in vendor-supplied ingredients, and the use of shared cooking and preparation areas, we cannot assure you that our restaurant environment or any menu item will be completely free of gluten.”
Are you interested in all things gluten-free in the kitchen?
Perhaps your baking and cooking skills are being challenged by the gluten-free ingredients, processes, methods etc!
Join Eileen Simon and Mariann Offtermatt the hosts of our monthly gluten-free cookbook gathering.
We’ll share our personal cookbook experiences and learn tips and tricks from each other.
We’ll also serve up a tasting from the featured book too!
Plan on attending any of the free scheduled events and share the love of cooking with other g-f home chefs! Doors open at 6:30. Meeting commences at 7:00. RSVP Now
Check with your local library to borrow the books if you do not already own them.
Monday – Feb. 23, 2015CANCELLED 7:00 – 8:30 pm Meeting Room A Discussion Feature – Let’s focus on Magazines! We’ll have copies on hand of the current issues of GlutenFree Living, Delight, GIG, Simply Gluten-free. Bring any others that you have success using.
Monday – Mar. 16, 2015 7:00 – 8:30 pm Meeting Room A Discussion Feature – Paleo Cooking from Elana’s Pantry by Elana Amsterdam
Monday – Apr. 20, 2015 7:00 – 8:30 pm Meeting Room A Discussion Feature – Blogs and More Blogs Let’s talk about the Blog World – Who’s your favorite blogger? What have you made from their site? What sites have you tried and not had success with?
Monday – May 18, 2015 7:00 – 8:30 pm Meeting Room A Discussion Feature – Blackbird Bakery by Karen Morgan
Holidays can be challenging whether you have a holiday buffet, are dining at someone’s home or entertaining yourself.
Here are some holiday tips to read through that we hope will help: Gluten Free Holiday Dining
Some members have reported having good luck with these flours using their own traditional recipes: Pillsbury GF all Purpose Flour, Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 flour (new-both seen at Marc’s), King Arthur Flour (has no gums added, so consider adding), & 123 GlutenFree Enriched Flour.
Bob’s Red Mill has a new GF pie crust mix out too! 123 GlutenFree has Pan Bars (serve with cream cheese frosting!) and Poundcake (mix makes 2!) that may even delight your gluten crowd. Check 123GlutenFree’s website for availability. Or use your favorite GF brands!
When making cookies, remember GF dough handles better when refrigerated and may spread less. Gums may help by adding structure.
Sprinkles and Colored Sugar for Cookies:
•Do-It-Yourself: McCormick food coloring is GF, (using non grain alcohol). Mix with white sugar for custom color.
•Cake Mate Decorations made by Betty Crocker under parent company Signature Brands has this to say: The company was phoned recently. They state that the decorations are made without gluten but if some are made on shared equipment, it will say so on the package. To inquire about which products are gluten free, please contact Consumer Relations by email at email@example.com or Monday – Friday 9am to 6pm at 1.877.726.8793.
There are many traditional foods for Hanukkah (or Chanukkah) that can be made gluten-free and still taste like you remember. Latkes are an easy adaption. Take any latke recipe and substitute gluten-free bread crumbs for regular breadcrumbs. I recommend Kinnikinnick Panko Breadcrumbs for all breadcrumb substitutions. Your latkes will taste great but, the heavy smell from cooking them will still fill your house. I found the Kinnikinnick Panko crumbs at Earth Fare and Mustard Seed.
Streit’s Gluten Free Matzo Ball Soup mix is excellent and tastes exactly the same as the regular mix. I found it at Giant Eagle. I always use a gluten-free chicken broth or homemade broth and really haven’t use the broth that comes in the mix. Everyone has had the matzoh ball that was like a hockey puck and to avoid that, follow the directions on the package carefully. I like to make small matzoh balls and lightly form them. I think not packing them tightly is the key.
I like the brisket recipes that call for beer, onions and Heinz chili sauce. If you make sure the chili sauce and beer and any other ingredients are gluten-free you should be fine. Make sure the beer is really gluten-free! The secret to great brisket is to add lots and lots of onions, more than the recipe calls for, and to cook it the day before. Chill it over night and slice it while cold then before serving warm it in the oven in its own sauce. If you are going to someone’s home for brisket you might make them a care package of the gluten-free ingredients then you can safely eat it or offer to make it and bring it to them.
One last note last Passover there were GF Passover products for sale that are made in Israel that had no directions on them. I also tried their website with no luck. With that said the Gluten-Free Matzo I bought was good.
Rapid Medical Research, Inc.’s Celiac Study is getting ready to end and they’re looking for a few more people who have celiac disease and are following a gluten-free diet but still have symptoms. Those who qualify and choose to participate will receive the study medication and study-related exams at no cost and will be compensated for their time and travel.
Please visit the study website at www.celiactionstudy.com to learn more. Questions at 1-888-460-2275 or 216-682-0320, Option 1. Contact:
Director of Marketing
Rapid Medical Research
Parkway Medical Building
3619 Park East Drive
Cleveland, OH 44122
RECALL! Staphylococcal Contamination.
Gluten Free Bell and Evans Breaded Chicken Nuggets and Breasts.
Dispose of or return to store.
USDA Seal on front of package (at bottom) has “P-516″ inside image. Company suggests the sell-by-date is August, 9, 2015. Questions? Call Murray’s Customer Service: (717) 273-9361.
To return: Receipt may not be needed if you explain this is a recall involving food safety. Store may issue a gift card instead of cash reimbursement. Original cost is approximately $7.59. Recall involves 12-oz. boxes of Bell & Evans Gluten Free Breaded Chicken Breast Nuggets and 10.5-oz. boxes of Bell & Evans Gluten Free Breaded Chicken Breast.
Giant Eagle will be having a Gluten Free Tasting Fair from 11am-3pm at two of its Market District Stores in Solon & Green. The fairs will feature gluten-free products from Glutino, More than Gourmet, Udi’s, Bakery on Main, Clif Bar and more. You will be able to speak with a Giant Eagle Registered Dietitian at the Solon store.
The Market District Stores may have a larger selection of GF products than other Giant Eagle locations. A new store will be opening in Strongsville on Oct. 9th and is planning a gluten free cooking class on Nov.5th. Details soon. A Cuyahoga Falls Market District is slated to open in 2015.
Market District Solon 34310 Aurora Road Solon OH 44139 (440) 248-4400
Market District Green 1700 Corporate Woods Parkway Uniontown OH 44685 (330) 896-4456
The Gluten Free Labeling Act has gone into effect as of Aug. 5th, 2014. Food labeled gluten free must not contain more than 20 parts per million of gluten or suffer a penalty. Labeling is voluntary, so those on the gluten free diet still need to read labels on undesignated packaging. There is hope that the gluten free designation will apply to restaurants that offer a gluten free menu, but the FDA has not commented on enforcing standards. Groups like the American Celiac Disease Alliance are following up with the FDA.
The final rule applies to all FDA-regulated foods, but EXCLUDES foods whose labeling is regulated by the US Department of Agriculture and the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, such as most meats, poultry, certain egg products and most alcoholic beverages. The USDA and TTB however voluntarily may follow the FDA GF standards on many products. On alcohol made from prohibited grains, then rendered gluten free with enzymes, the TTB states:
“Consistent with the new FDA regulations, TTB will continue to consider “gluten-free” label claims for alcohol beverages that are made from gluten-containing grains to be misleading to consumers who are seeking to avoid the consumption of gluten for health reasons. However, products made from gluten-containing grains may be labeled with a statement that the product was “Processed,” “Treated,” or “Crafted” to remove gluten, if that claim is made together with a qualifying statement that warns the consumer that the gluten content of the product cannot be determined and that the product may contain gluten.”
The neighborhood butcher shop is coming back, and that’s good news for the Greater Cleveland GF Community. Smaller shops mean you can ask where meat comes from, what exactly is in the meat, and in some cases, if the animals have been raised humanely. Saucisson (prepared at the Cleveland Culinary Launch Kitchen) sells their sausages and pork at Farmers Markets.
The Butcher & the Brewer (find them on Facebook) is a butcher shop, brewery and restaurant, now open on E. 4th St. The Sausage Shoppein Old Brooklyn knows gluten free. Look for the Meat & Curing Co. to open soon near the West Side Market, headed by Adam Lambert formerly of Bar Cento.
Can you take gluten free food on an airplane in your carry on bag?
Jane Anderson from celiacdisease.about.com did a great job summarizing GF airplane travel:
The TSA should allow any form of solid food, although it will have to go through x-ray. Gluten-free items such as cookies, brownies, pretzels, chips, crackers and dry cereal, chicken, roast beef, ham, as well as fruit & GF bread should be allowed through security.
If it is liquid or gel-like (i.e. a dip, a spread, a dressing or even gel packs) it is more of a problem. These things aren’t banned, but only 3 oz. of each is allowed and must fit in 1 quart sized zip lock bag along with your toothpaste, shampoo, etc. Read more from celiacdisease.about.com
…And Some Mainstream Companies are Adding GF versions!
1) Walmart has a line of gluten free products from their Great Value line.
2) The Fresh Market chain also has their own line of GF products. In Shaker Hts., there is one at 20233 Van Aken Blvd.
3) Meijer has its own GF pasta
4) Giant Eagle has its own GF version of Corn Chex
5) Aldi’s has increased their gluten free offerings and are actively advertising them.
6) Freschetta brand now has 2 certified GF pizzas: Four Cheese Medley, and Pepperoni, both are thin crust and were spotted at Kroger’s for $9.99.
7) Breton Crackers now has 2 GF flavors: Original with Flax and Herb and Garlic, certified GF.
If you spot any other stores doing the same, please reply and let our members know. Tell us which ones you like and which ones to skip. We’d love to hear from you!
Chex Gluten Free Oatmeal is available at Marc’s – 2/$5.
The packaging is labeled “gluten free” but the ingredient listing just says “whole grain oats”.
So, I was unsure whether pure gluten free oats were used in this product.
A statement on the company’s facebook page is reassuring:
The oats used for the oats & oatmeal products are sourced from a vertically integrated gluten free oat source. We also validate our cleaning and changeover methods at the plants for any system/line that will run a gluten free product. Ongoing verification gluten testing is performed at the finished product level. As such, any General Mills product that contains a “gluten free” claim meets the safety and regulatory definition of less than 20 ppm. While there are many “gluten free” certification bodies, General Mills’ standards meet and/or exceed the qualifications defined by these organizations. Therefore, you can be confident that our “gluten free” products are safe and meet global certification and regulatory standards.
Have you tried it? Have you seen it in other stores?
Omission beer is a barley based beer. It cannot be labeled as gluten free by the TTB or FDA because its source is a prohibited grain (barley). Enzymes are added to break down the gluten after brewing. The test used by Omission to see if there is any residual gluten is the Competitive Elisa Test which is a controversial test. So when Omission says the beer is under 20 parts per million, the results are in doubt because the test is in doubt by experts. Tricia Thompson MS RD, “The Gluten Free Dietitian” states: Experts who I trust immensely agree that they can NOT say for certain at this point in time whether Omission beer is safe for people with celiac disease to drink based on the data that has been released by Omission.” Please read: https://www.glutenfreewatchdog.org/reportUploads/Gluten_Removed_Barley_Based_Beers_Jan_14.pdf
Dr. Fasano seemed to agree with Tricia Thomson when he stated that “the purpose of the R5 ELISA is to test for cross contamination with naturally occurring gluten, not gluten that is artificially manipulated or degraded by an enzyme.” (Credit: Celiac Community Foundation of Northern California)
I know many might have an emotional reaction to hear this news. What further complicates this is that stores like Heinen’s or Giant Eagle may have a display of Omission beer in their gluten free aisles. Please question Heinen’s or Giant Eagle on this choice; and before you purchase, please look into this issue so you choose the gluten free beer that is safe for you.
Welcome to our new website… and “pardon our dust”, as we tinker to better serve the celiac/gluten free community. Formerly a Chapter of the Celiac Disease Foundation, we are now the Northeast Ohio Celiac Network (NEOCN), recommitting our energies to local needs. More visible on your mobile and tablet devices, this website is also now interactive! Please talk to us through your comments at the end of any post! Let us know (and let your fellow members know) about your local gluten free experiences! Together we can make Northeast Ohio gluten free friendly.
May 9th, 2014 Zumbathon was a wonderful success! Pictures above are the Zumbathon teachers that volunteered their time to raise funds for both the Celiac Disease Foundation and the NEO Celiac Network! Pictured are also Judy and Marylou passing out gluten free goodies and having a great time!