I worked in restaurants for many years and like this person, I know that the information that we had about Celiac disease was so poor and inaccurate. I remember one chef telling me what a celiac person might get for symptoms if they got “glutened”. He said “they will get a tummy ache for a couple of days”.
It made me mad then, because I knew better and he was going to go on teaching many more cooks and servers his incredibly, insensitive information!
Wow…check out the following email I received yesterday.
It is honest, sad and scary all wrapped into one.
It is from a long-time restaurant server who spent years not taking celiac disease seriously for her customers.
She is now being tested for celiac disease.
Here is her confession.
This is my apology.
I am sorry. I am very very sorry.
Until I recently began the roller coaster ride of medical testing in an attempt to discover if I have Celiac disease, I had no idea. I didn’t know about cross contamination. I didn’t know that a small amount of gluten could hurt someone for so long.
I worked for many years as a server and I had no idea. I worked in many different restaurants, in many different kitchens with many different chefs, and still I had no idea.
I thought I understood what it meant if a customer told me they had Celiac disease.
If a nut or other allergy was mentioned, I went out of my way to make sure the meal was delivered as safely as possible. But I never received any training about Celiac disease.
I can vividly recall a plate of gluten free pasta being served up – head chef plates it, generous helping of sauce. And the sous-chef, without thinking, adds fresh garlic bread to the side of the plate.
I pick it up, whisk the garlic bread off and deliver the plate to the customer.
What happened to that poor person?? This never would have happened with shellfish or nuts in the case of an allergy.
And so for this I apologize. I don’t know how to make it better.
How many servers are out there simply whisking garlic bread off the plate? How many crumbs are falling into our meals?
I’m still trying to discover what exactly my relationship with gluten needs to be, but in the process I’m discovering a community. They help me in the grocery store and reading their stories here are helping me too.
Thanks Gluten Dude!
And sorry everyone.
This is not about karma. She did not have this disease “coming to her”.
This is about the ignorance of the restaurant industry.
It’s about the continued harm the pseudo gluten-free crowd is causing us.
It’s about Kim Kardashian and Miley Cyrus and Gwyneth Paltrow and Lady Gaga all contributing to the over-exposure of gluten-free.
Hell…I’m sick of hearing about it.
And lastly, it’s about somebody coming to grips with her past and her future.