Hu-NOT- Gluten Free-Always Ask Questions!
NOT Gluten Free!
I’m really fired up, right now! Yesterday, we moved our daughter to Logan, Utah to go to the University there. We decided to try a place that had good reviews on Find Me Gluten Free. We wanted her to have a nice dinner after moving and setting up her apartment, all day!
We had heard about HuHot and thought we would give it a try. It looked so promising. I had heard people mention it was a good place to go in Logan when you are gf and it had an 88% on Find Me Gluten Free. We have found some wonderful gems using this app! http://www.findmeglutenfree.com/
They thought they knew what they were talking about
The staff was wonderful, but had to go print a new gf list. (Which actually turned out to be the Allergy/Nutrition information from their website.) The server told us how they scrub down the grill, use dividers, use special allergy/gf bowls and brought us a gf soy sauce.
When we looked at the allergy/nutrition menu we were shocked. Things the server was telling us were gf, definitely were not! We didn’t think they were. For example: potstickers! In fact, the majority of the menu contains wheat!!!! https://pnicug7ne42wgqzj1vbyjy1a-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/allergy-nutrition-chart.11×17.rev_.07.15.pdf
At the bottom of the allergy/nutrition sheet they have the following:
“ALL LISTED SAUCES ARE GLUTEN FREE AND MSG FREE.
Wheat has been processed to meet FDA standards for Gluten Free foods.”
Processed to meet FDA standards?
If a products ingredient contains gluten, it is not considered gluten free! There is NO process that removes the gluten!!!
(This is information I had to find out about and is followed up in Part 2 and below.) There are no FDA standards for restaurants (Actually, there are some guidelines see Part 2.) Are they talking about FDA standards for manufactured foods? Are their restaurants regularly testing the food to make sure it is within those guidelines? Highly doubtful! There are FDA rules/standards and laws but no one is really watching to make sure they are staying within those rules. (They do periodic checks but nothing on a regular basis and this is just for food products, not the final product at a restaurant. The FDA follows up mainly when there are complaints about a product.)
Oh, wait, restaurants were addressed in the following:
“Given the public health significance of gluten-free labeling, FDA also encouraged the restaurant industry to move quickly to ensure that its use of gluten-free labeling was consistent with the federal definition.”
The Kitchen Process and Ingredients are Both Important!
So, what are they scrubbing down the grill and taking all the other precautions for? According to them, we can eat everything on their menu because of a “special process”. There’s more to being gluten free than just having a good gf process. (i.e: scrubbing grill, dividers, and bowls.) If you don’t use the right ingredients; it’s not gf! Likewise, if you are using all the right gf ingredients and taking no precautions to cut down on cross contact; you aren’t safe for gf eaters!
Really it is up to consumers to be watchful, mindful and draw attention to those who are NOT doing it well and putting many people at risk!
So, I wrote the following review for Find Me Gluten Free:
“I am shocked that anyone finds this place safe to eat when they are gluten free! We went in so hopeful and our hopes were raised even further when they mentioned the care they go to in making sure it was gf. The special bowls, the dividers, scrubbing down the grill etc. But then the server mentioned no cross contamination of shell fish. That was the first red flag. Shell fish are not a worry for people who are gluten free. Perhaps he just mentioned it because of shell fish allergies not meaning to imply that it had anything to do with gf.
They were careful to bring us a soy sauce that was gf, but then told us it was safe to eat their sauces; most contain regular soy sauce. What the server and manager told us are different than what it says on their allergy guide that can be found on line. They said their potstickers were gf; they clearly have wheat! Their allergy guide claims that all wheat on their menu has been processed to meet FDA guidelines. WHAT?! Anyone, who knows anything about gluten and gluten free knows that is IMPOSSIBLE! Their menu is laden with gluten and is NOT safe for people with celiac and gluten intolerance. When we talked to the server and manager about this they just shrugged and said that’s how they were trained and no one has ever gotten sick there.
We chose not to eat here; we want our daughter to have a good first week at college and not be dealing with being glutened.”
Miracle Process, No Need to Be Gluten Free (Wishful thinking!)
If there was a process that could truly make wheat gf and safe for those with celiac and gluten intolerance they would be a millionaire and it would be big news, every where!
This is the second time I have run across this kind of blatant disregard for the health of those who have celiac or are gluten intolerant.
Small Rant About Kneader’s
The first, was Kneader’s who was telling people that they have special ovens that could cook out the gluten. Someone would make a killing on those ovens!!! Occasionally, I still hear that someone has been told that Kneader’s is a safe place to eat. They have a “gluten friendly” menu! When I talked to the corporate office (several years ago) I told them that they absolutely have a “gluten friendly” menu; everything contains gluten but it isn’t gluten free or safe and they are misrepresenting their products. They are very friendly to gluten. There is no such thing as friendly gluten when you have celiac or are gluten intolerant!
I absolutely hate the term “gluten friendly”!!! It is so misleading and ambiguous.
Kneader’s rant, over!
Things to learn from this:
- Don’t flat out trust an app, even if the reviews look good.
- Always ask questions.
- Check out any information the company has made available.
- If anything makes you uncomfortable about eating somewhere, don’t, walk out!
- Be wary of anyone who claims to have a “special process” or “special oven that can remove or change the gluten.
- Be educated so you can easily spot the problems.
- Write good and bad reviews! (for every bad review, I like to leave a good review for somewhere else. I haven’t found any where in Logan I feel comfortable writing a good review about. Hopefully soon.)
- There’s more to being gluten free than having the right process or the right ingredients.
Follow Up Hu-Not Gluten Free! Part 2