A growing number of large restaurant chains — Domino's Pizza being one of the largest — are introducing and promoting gluten-free menus, citing increasing demand from consumers.
What the term “gluten free” reflects, however, can vary greatly from one restaurant to another, prompting those most at risk to call for a more standardized definition.
Wheat, rye and barley are the three sources of gluten protein that can cause health problems for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. For them, even gluten-free ingredients can become unsafe through cross contamination in restaurant kitchens.
A gluten-free food cannot be fried in the same oil as foods containing gluten, for example. Shared cutting boards or knives can also introduce trace amounts of gluten to an otherwise gluten-free dish.
About 1 in 133 Americans — or roughly 3 million people — are diagnosed with celiac disease, but another 18 million are estimated to have non-celiac gluten sensitivity. A growing number of consumers also say they avoid gluten for various other reasons — including those that feel a gluten-free diet is more healthful.
Take a look at five restaurant chains offering or testing gluten-free menus, in addition to their traditional offerings, and how they do it.
First up: Chevys Fresh Mex