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Gluten Free Guerrillas
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Dining out with allergies, coeliac disease or intolerances? Pls complete our 5 minute survey

We compiled a survey last year to get an overview on your experiences when eating out with food allergies, intolerance's and coeliac disease. This survey is very similar to the previous one, we are looking to understand what changes have occurred and if you feel that food businesses are becoming more knowledgeable. Your experiences should be based on your eating out experiences from January - August 2016 and should take 5 - 10 minutes dependent on you wanting to supply additional information.

Please go to surveymonkey.co.uk/r/FB7SGZL to complete the survey.

The data compiled will be used for an event I am attending in September to highlight good and bad practice and to give the industry an insight into the free from customer and how they can still improve going forward.

Please note I am not receiving payment for this information, and if you would like details regarding the event please email me at consultancy@fatc.co.uk

Thank you


7 Replies

Thank you for doing this. I will fill out your survey but wanted to add a comment here too.

Earlier this year I had a spate of being "glutened" following eating out at various places offering GF options. After one incident when I had ordered GF food from their menu and half way through eating it got suspicious that it wasn't in fact what I had ordered, I questioned yet again that it was GF. I was told after the waiter came back "sorry the chef is going a bit mad today"!! I let them know in no uncertain terms that they had poisoned me and the chef going "a bit mad" was not good enough! I reported them to trading standards and the food standards agency and as you would expect by the time they were inspected, they had all their ducks in a row. I was told they would not take a prosecution forward, despite the place in question admitting to me both in writing and verbally that they had "made a mistake", this was because of the food standards agency could not mount a prosecution against their defence of "due diligence". It seems that these businesses only have to show that they are taking all reasonable steps and if they do fail and they mount a defence of due diligence then they would likely win. This is set against the fact that I know that this is a large chain who have had similar numerous complaints made against them, because this particular branch had not they just got a warning. It seems no one collects data for big companies with chains as a whole for the food standard agency and big companies will subcontract out to a company to deal with their food hygiene issue for them. Therefore complaints about their branches are not collated together so that they can see that a company is failing in their standards. The particular place where I was poisoned has got a five star rating which hardly reflects its standard given the sloppy attitude I encountered! I am now left to take out a private prosecution against them even though they admit their guilt.

I ask what is the point in having all these laws if the people who are supposed to uphold them and protect the public will simply say we either don't have the funds to fight a case or the companies have found a loop hole in the laws as they stand.


Please can you email me via consultancy@fatc.co.uk to get a few more details, I am aware that chains are a nightmare and tend to use elearning as a training tools, if anything at all. But would be interested to know which chain as I have heard of issues with other chains thank you. I am also chasing up ano situation similar to yours there is also a funding problem within local authorities.


I now refuse to eat in any of the hotels that mass produce the food, that serve buffet style and as for chain coffee shops and the like, they are also on my do not go to list. the staff don't care or can't be bothered. one place I asked if I could have a Gluten free menu ...'ya ya , you can have gluten'....I thanked the server politely and left. I was told at another establishment, 'oh you can have soup or salad'. I asked is the soup gluten free the reply 'I know the cook opens cans when requested. I had to think about that one. Of course I didn't eat there.


I don't know if anyone else has noticed but Starbucks and Costa have both suddenly stopped the Wraps that they did which were GF. I cant seem to find out whats going on. On the other hand M&S have just increased their range of GF sandwiches by adding two wraps into the GF range.


That's really disappointing - Costa's wraps are one of my go-to lunches when I'm out & about!


I think that cafes and restaurants should be obliged to have a few dishes/foods available to be GF. Pre Coeliac I used to enjoy going in Starbucks or similar with my family and having the cakes or the shortbread. Now all I can have is GF Brownie (what is the obsession with flipping Brownies?) and some rice crispy bar. It has now ruined a family experience.

M&S have increased their range but the shelves are often empty as they don't restock quickly enough


Have any of you tried eating in a motorway service station? Its impossible!!! They are all full of concessions now and most of them get about 2 GF sandwiches in their orders so when they are gone thats it. Now that it seems that Starbucks and Costa seem to have stopped GF options Im not sure what these places think people with medical conditions are supposed to eat. There is nothing in McDonalds that Id eat and all the other places would be a risk for cross contamination. Those places are a nightmare! As you say, before they are allowed to be given the franchise they should be forced to accommodate people with allergies properly!

Perhaps there is a Petition in there somewhere!!

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