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Gluten Free Guerrillas
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Well that turned out to be a very eventful day at the hospital!

Arrived at the ********** hospital in Sheffield 9.45am in preparation for Sue's opp. ( my wife) Sue finally went to theatre at 3.15pm, as she was going to be out for a hour or so and recovery for another hour I decided to go to the hospital cafeteria for some food as I hadn't eaten since 7 am. The organic meatballs and pasta in tomato sauce looked tasty, I was assured that the meal was gluten free several times, the allergy advice chalk board said it contained milk. I enjoyed the meal and went back to the waiting room for Sue to return to the ward.

I suddenly felt that gluten poisoning feeling, Iv'e had Coeliac disease since birth. I am 67 years old so a long time I was violently ill and suppressed the urge to pass out several times after several hurried rushes to the nearest loo, I ended up in a hospital bed πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ Looks like I had an allergic reaction to the food.

We are waiting for the outcome of investigations.......Sue is fine and gorgeous, everything went well...we finally got home very late last night after i recovered well enough to leave the hospital.....You just can't make it up πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Yes The meal contained wheat.

I have just got to laugh its so crazy!

10 Replies
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Sounds "par for the course"! Ask for the cook next time. And complain to the Hospital!

They should have guidelines in place to prevent poisoning patients and visitors. Gives them a bad look!

Seriously tho, I would follow it through if you can, and make sure the canteen is so much more aware of what they are putting into their food. That means educating them! Maybe they used wheaten cornflour instead of corn flour; etc, all things gluten intolerant people know. Talk to hospital dietitian, ward sister, and climb the ladder to the top.

You can make a difference!!!!


Jen xxx

PS. Hope you and your wife are both recovering well.


Sounds like the hospital owe you one big apology! Do pursue it if you can - if only to prevent it happening again.

As with so many things with life, not reported = didn’t happen (which is not the case for you here).

I hope you feel better soon.


Omg. I have an appt there with gluten ataxia unit next week! Remind me not to eat anything. Sounds like they gave you gluten pasta from the level of reaction. You poor thing. Glad Sue is ok xx


That is shocking in a hospital setting. Was it actual wheat pasta or cross contamination? They really need to train catering staff better than that. Please make a formal complaint, it is the only way they have a chance to improve their procedures.


I wouldn't put it past them to have used gluten free pasta, teamed with non GF meatballs!

Just read the final comment at the bottom, and yep!


I spent three days in hospital a few years ago for a minor op, although the op was done under the NHS, the hospital was a very posh private hospital, anyway, the menu came round and as the hospital already knew I have coeliac disease, the lady showed me the GF menu, and the first meal on it was steak and Guinness pie so I queried it, and after the lady asked the chef about it, she told me that I can't have it obviously because of the Guinness, but also because the pastry and gravy wasn't GF either.

If we can't eat safely in a hospital, where can we eat with confidence?

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When my son was being investigated for coeliac disease he had to have a gastroscopy, you cannot eat for quite a few hours prior to this procedure and following it they would not discharge him unless he could swallow food.

Yes no GF food available, this was not so bad as he was only going to eliminate GF food following the gastroscopy, however about 8 months later he was due to have a colonoscopy to rule out any further problems following his diagnosis of coeliac disease.

This time we went prepared with food to eat following the procedure as again he couldn't eat for a significant time before the procedure and yes they still didn't have any GF food available ( other than a dry bread roll , which couldn't even be toasted due to cross contamination in the toaster).

This was in a clinic that was constantly doing investigations for coeliac disease.

Appalling is the only way to describe it really, I wonder how people go on if they are too unwell to speak up for themselves when they are admitted to hospital.


Hi everyone thanks for your comments.

Firstly, I have only very high praise for the NHS, over the last few years I have had nothing but 1st class service and gluten free food when I have had to stay, the meals were very good and tasty.

Back to our nightmare time last week. I have had an apology from the catering manager who has informed me that the meatballs contained wheat although her second in command denied it three times over the phone. I had to inform trading standards just to make sure they get their act together, the catering manager has said they are conducting an investigation.

When I purchased the meal I was shown the pasta they use which was gluten free which gave me confidence that the whole meal was gluten free as I was told.

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We had to spend 3 days in hospital last year - not admitted, just by someone's bedside. Food options were very limited for visitors. It was chips with cheese for lunch and chips with chilli for dinner, and packets of crisps from the vending machine for breakfast.

When we asked about whether the chips were gluten free, the girl looked at us like we were faddy. We asked if the cheese was gluten free, and she virtually laughed at us! You'd like to think a hospital that conducts endoscopies, and that has countless staff with CD, would have slightly better educated caterers.


It's sounds like you have had a a bad experience which is the total opposite to my own here in South Yorkshire. The care and attention I have had has been excellent, even for day outpatient visit for a colonoscpy, after the procedure in the recovery ward their was gluten free toast, gluten free biscuits tea a coffee for me the nurses attention was superb, as I have said I have high praise for the 5 hospitals in our area with the exception of last week. I am sure what happened to me won't happen again as they will tighten up the chain of command


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