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Gluten-free Risks in Restaurants

If you must eat a gluten-free diet, it can be a challenge to do so in a restaurant. In research conducted by Columbia University, they found that in the restaurants they tested, about one-third of the food labeled as gluten-free, actually contained some gluten.

In this study, data was collected from restaurants in Western states and Northeastern states. A portable gluten detection device was used. Each test included date/time, food item, restaurant name and address, presence/absence of a gluten-free label, and presence/absence of gluten. They collect 5,624 tests. Gluten was detected in 27.2% occurrences at breakfast and 34.0% occurrences at dinner. Pizza and pasta labeled as gluten-free had the highest contamination readings.

According to FDA regulation, for a food to be labeled as gluten-free, it has to have <20 ppm of gluten.



About Karen Blakeslee

The Rapid Response Center was formed in 1995 as a resource for Kansas State University Research & Extension Agents. Resource topics included Food Science, Human Nutrition, Food Service, Textiles, Home Care and other consumer topics. Since that time, the Center has grown to be of valuable assistance to Kansas State University Extension Specialists in those areas.

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