Chick-fil-A: New Gluten Free Bun + What’s Gluten Free at Chick-fil-A

ATLANTA (June 19, 2017) – Chick-fil-A® announced today the addition of a new Gluten-Free Bun. The addition comes in response to customers’ requests for more gluten-free/sensitive options on the menu. The new bun, which is now available in restaurants nationwide, comes individually packaged and can be ordered with any of Chick-fil-A’s sandwich offerings.

The Gluten-Free Bun is made with premium ingredients, including ancient grains quinoa and amaranth. It is enriched with vitamins and minerals and is lightly sweetened with molasses and raisins. The Gluten-Free Bun rolls out nationwide following successful tests in three cities across the country in 2016.

Data shows roughly 18 million Americans have a gluten sensitivity or preference. Chick-fil-A is one of the few quick-service restaurants to offer a gluten-free bun.

“We know our customers are looking for more gluten-sensitive alternatives. They asked, and we listened,” said Leslie Neslage, senior consultant of menu development at Chick-fil-A. “We heard positive feedback in test markets that the bun tastes better than some other gluten-free breads. That’s because instead of rice flower, we’ve made the bun with more premium ingredients like quinoa and amaranth. Our hope is that the Gluten-Free Bun addition opens up options for gluten-sensitive customers to enjoy more of our menu.”

Also worth noting – “While individually packaged and certified free of gluten, guests will be required to assemble their own sandwiches to reduce risk of cross-contamination. Chick-fil-A kitchens are not gluten-free.”  See below for a link the full news release.

Chick-fil-A has also re-added a “gluten free” list to their website.  That, and any reference to gluten, has been conspicuously absent from their site for years.

I think Chick-fil-A has been going the wrong direction with regards to gluten free for a while.  See: Chick-fil-A – A Step Backwards When It Comes to Gluten Free.  This menu addition and the additional information MAY be a sign they are changing directions.  I still have serious concerns.  Read on.

Chick-fil-A continues use phrases that make me think they are not using Celiac-safe methods.

Example: “For guests who wish to minimize their gluten intake, here is a list of additional menu items offered at Chick-fil-A. (The fine print: Due to the handcrafted nature of our food, variations in our supplier ingredients and our use of shared cooking and preparation areas, we cannot ensure that our restaurant environment or any menu item will be completely free of gluten.)” from the What’s Gluten Free at Chick-fil-A? page.  Emphasis mine.

I get it.  Their kitchens contain gluten and there’s no guarantee that cross contamination will not occur.

Troubling.  The really troubling parts of that statement are – “variations in our supplier ingredients”…”we cannot ensure that our restaurant environment or any menu item will be completely free of gluten”

Wait, what?  You mean to tell me that Chick-fil-A doesn’t have enough sway with their suppliers to work with them to guarantee certain ingredients are gluten free?  So, the honey mustard is gluten free as of some point, but supplier A decided to change something and now it’s not and we can’t do anything about it and too bad.

What about other allergens?  Can those just randomly show up in the food too?  How about “Sorry guys, the coleslaw has peanuts in it today, hope you brought your EpiPen”.

This is careless, sloppy and/or reckless.

With regards to cross contamination… In 2013 Chick-fil-A had the following on their website: “While we don’t have a gluten free prep area for these items, our procedures have been written to avoid cross contamination”

Sometime after March of 2014, the term gluten was all but expunged from Chick-fil-A’s website.  In December of 2016, the only mention I could find of the term gluten related to applesauce or something in their kids meals.  The allergen matrix made no mention of gluten.

Now that gluten seems to be a valid word again at Chick-fil-a are they still trained to avoid cross contamination?  Were they ever trained to do so?

Chick-fil-A… How about working with your suppliers to make sure they truly supply gluten free items?  How about giving people with serious gluten issues some insight as to what goes on in the kitchen and give us a clue how and if we can order safely (within reason) at your restaurants??

Or – Just say it… Celiacs and the like – stay away.  We use the term “gluten sensitive” because we’re hopping hopping on the bandwagon.

At least that way, you wouldn’t be hopping on the bandwagon at our expense.

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New: Clear Coffee…. Why?? – A commentary on our over processed food supply

I subscribe to uncrate.  The site features new/”cool” items.  I do find a lot of their content interesting.

They just posted about this… Clear Coffee – it’s clear… coffee.

My question is… why???  Is non-clear coffee an issue??  Do the processing steps required to do this provide any health benefits??  Are any of the beneficial compounds in coffee removed?  Are there any benefits at all to this?

To me it’s a sad commentary on our obsession, as a society with over-processed foods.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve eaten and periodically do eat my share of (gluten free) processed foods, but clear coffee????

Recommended Reading: The Paleo Cure | Eat Dirt

Also: What’s With Wheat Movie

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Nima: 40% Of “Gluten Free” Foods Tested Outside the Home… NOT Gluten Free

I pre-ordered the Nima Sensor.  If you’re not familiar the Nima Sensor is an on the go gluten detection device.  A pea sized sample and a couple of minutes tell you if the sample contains gluten.

I have not received my Nima Sensor yet.  Delivery has been delayed on at least two occasions.  That’s been a bit frustrating for me, but I understand it.  But still… Nima… Send me my sensor!  Update: my Nima shipped the day after this post went live.  Yay!

Ok, enough venting, back to the subject at hand.  While skulking around Nima’s website for clues as to when I’ll actually get my sensor, I came across an article that says in part…

In our early data from pre-order customers on the Nima app, we have seen that 40 percent of foods tested outside of the home that were supposed to be gluten-free have come back positive for gluten

One of the cool things about Nima is you can share your test results and view test results of other users.  The fact that an estimated 40% of supposedly gluten free food outside the home actually contains gluten is frustrating to me, but not surprising.  It’s been my experience that restaurant staff are, generally speaking, either poorly trained or just do not care.  It’s my hope that real time feedback will be a force for good when it comes to eating out gluten free.

Related: Gluten Content Tests

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Are Starbucks Sous Vide Egg Bites Gluten Free?

On January 10, 2017 Starbucks released new Sous Vide Egg Bites at some US locations.  At launch, two versions were available “Egg White and Roasted Pepper” and “Bacon and Gruyere”.

As of this posting, both of these are billed as “wheat free”.

A motto article on these says, in part… “A representative for Starbucks said that the bites were inspired by gluten free customers who would peel the bread off of their sandwiches.”

I live in a relatively small town.  We have two Starbucks locations.  I speak to staff at both regularly and both locations know I have Celiac Disease and must eat and drink completely gluten free.  People at both locations gave me a heads up that these were on the way and told me they were gluten free.  Multiple staff at each location said the same thing.  I’ve also read as much from others on social media.

Are they gluten free?

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Nutritional Information on Starbucks Website. The nutritional information (see link below) for both versions says…

“We cannot guarantee that any of our products are free from allergens (including dairy, eggs, soy, tree nuts, wheat and others) as we use shared equipment to store, prepare and serve them.”

There is no indication in online nutrition information to suggest that these are GF.  No gluten free claims.

Inspection of the box these arrive in.  While at my local Starbucks, I asked to look at the box these come in and, again… no gluten free claims.

Starbucks Customer Care.  I emailed Starbucks Customer Care with the question of are Starbucks Sous Vide Egg Bites gluten free?

First Response: The first response was, in part… “The delicious new sous vide egg bites are wheat free. I hope you are able to try them soon.”

Second Response: I replied back stating that wheat free does not equal gluten free and asked the same question again.  The second response was… a list of ingredients for both versions.  Of course GF status is impossible figure out from the ingredients as “natural flavors” is listed multiple times.  That response also came with the standard “We cannot guarantee…” language.  If these are made with gluten free ingredients… Starbucks certainly isn’t jumping at the chance to tell anyone.

Third Response: After pointing out that it’s impossible to tell if these are gluten free from the ingredients the response I received, in part… “The Sous Vide Egg Bites are not listed as gluten-free. We urge our customers with dietary concerns to proceed with caution as we cannot guarantee that any of our products, including the items that are prepared with gluten, are free from allergens (including dairy, eggs, soy, tree nuts, wheat and others) as we use shared equipment to store, prepare and serve them.”

Third time’s the charm, I guess.

Preparation and Cross Contamination.  Beyond ingredients, GF preparation is an issue.  A manager suggested that they would use clean tongs and use fresh paper to warm them on.  As a Celiac, I would not be comfortable with that.  It would still be baked in a chock-full-of-gluten oven.

Conclusion.  This all leads me to the conclusion that Starbucks Sous Vide Egg Bites are not gluten free.

Starbucks continues to be generally unwelcoming to people that must eat gluten free for medical reasons.  It’s my understanding that official guidance from Starbucks suggests that we eat no site prepared food or drink items from a Starbucks location.  Things like almond milk, caramel syrup and more that could easily be sourced gluten free are not.

Let me be clear, I do not expect Starbucks to have on site dedicated GF facilities at each location.

What I would like to see is Starbucks… 1. Source GF ingredients – milks, syrups, sauces whenever possible – and it’s possible for many things, 2.  Clearly communicate gluten content via nutritional information and 3. Offer a few truly gluten free menu items.  Gluten free sandwiches could arrive in sealed toaster capable bags.  Gluten free pastries could arrived sealed and remain sealed until sold.

I’ve heard and read rumblings of additional gluten free offerings in the works, including certified gluten free sandwich options.  Not sure if there is any truth to those, but I hope they are accurate.

To Starbucks… If you all need to know a little more about gluten intolerance and Celiac Disease, walk out the front of your headquarters and take a right.  A block and a half down you’ll find Ghostfish Brewing Company (See: Hello Seattle… Gluten Free Trip Report).  Have a pint of GF beer and talk with the Brewmaster about the effects of Celiac Disease.  Read your emails and online customer feedback.  Celiac disease and other gluten related health issues are serious and life altering.  You have a huge market presence and could be a market leader in this area.

News Release – New Starbucks Sous Vide Egg Bites | Nutritional Information – Egg White & Red Pepper – Bacon & Gruyere

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Chick-fil-A – A Step Backwards When It Comes to Gluten Free


Chik-fil-A was one of my pre Celiac diagnosis favorite fast food restaurants.  Maybe my all time favorite.  I mourned the loss of being able to eat freely at CFA after being diagnosed.

After diagnosis, I was happy to learn that I had at least a couple options at Chik-fil-A including the waffle fries, grilled nuggets and a few sides.  Recently, looking around Chick-fil-A’s website, I noticed a few changes.

1.  Chick-fil-A no longer officially mentions which menu items contain gluten.  Their allergen matrix (linked below) lists only wheat, not specifically gluten.

2.  When I emailed Chick-fil-A about a list of gluten free menu items, I received the following response…

Because food allergies or intolerances can be very serious or even life threatening, Chick-fil-A believes equipping customers with ingredient information is the best way we can help. You and your physician can then make an informed decision whether any particular menu item is safe for your particular allergy or intolerance. Again, we encourage you to read through the ingredient statements we provide so you can make an informed decision. Ingredient and allergen information can be found at

Well… not so much as gluten isn’t listed in the allergen matrix.  Maybe a case of a hastily sent canned response, but still, not real helpful.

3.  This page… – which once contained gluten specific information is gone.  It redirects to an unrelated page.

4.  A list of gluten free menu items, dated March 20,2014 is still available.  I received a copy when I asked customer service a second time.  Compare verbiage on that with previous information…


Here is a screenshot of the top portion of the 2014 document.  In part it reads “Please note that we do not have a gluten free prep area in our kitchens” compare to a previous version…


Here is a screenshot of the top part of this page ( – now removed for CFA’s site – from 2013.  In part it says… “While we don’t have a gluten free prep area for these items, our procedures have been written to avoid cross contamination”

The more recent statement says nothing about procedures to avoid cross contamination.

5.  As of this posting, a search for the term gluten on Chick-fil-A’s site yields three results – one talks about Chick-fil-A’s grilled entree lineup, another talks about kid’s meals and the final talks about organic juice boxes.

Instead of getting better at gluten free, in my opinion, Chick-fil-A seems to be getting worse.  Considering their relatively simple menu and their focus on customer service, this is a big disappointment to me.

I know some people with gluten related conditions rely on CFA especially when traveling.

Chick-fil-A… Please work to make your gluten free offerings, procedures and communications better.

Update: Chick-fil-A: New Gluten Free Bun + What’s Gluten Free at Chick-fil-A

Related: Chick-fil-A Allergen List | 2013 Gluten Free Information (via | Chick-fil-A 2014 Gluten Free Menu Items List | GF Chick-fil-A Nugget Copycat Recipe

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A New GF Thing I Actually Like: King Arthur Gluten Free Pancake Mix


King Arthur Flour Gluten Free Pancake Mix

  • Makes about sixteen 4 inch pancakes.
  • Certified Gluten-Free by GFCO, non-gmo ingredients
  • Certified Kosher

I had the chance to try these over the weekend and they turn out.. amazing.  Moist, fluffy and taste great.  Even my son, who eats gluten and periodically snubs his nose at GF items agreed that these taste better most pancakes.  I’m adding these to my running Gluten Free Things I Actually Like post.

King Arthur Gluten Free Pancake Mix, 15 Ounce

AlsoGluten Free Things I Actually Like

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Always check ingredients to confirm gluten free status.  If in doubt, contact the manufacturer with questions.

A Missing Nutritional Link for Me?


Jennifer Esposito is a well known actor, bakery owner and author of the book Jennifer’s Way.  If you haven’t read Jennifer’s Way, I think you should.  It is, at times, a heartbreaking story about how serious Celiac Disease can be.  If you have a doubter or know someone in the medical field, this would make a great gift.

A little while back, I was reading through posts on Jennifer’s website and I came across… Frustrated Celiac? Vigilant gluten-free eater yet STILL FEEL BAD? Missing Link…MTHFR?.  I knew that Jennifer continued to struggle with symptoms even after going strictly gluten free (and more).  It seems that MTHR was an issue she was experiencing.  I’ll nutshell her broad strokes… MTHR is a condition that prevents breakdown and absorption of certain B-vitamins.  More detailed information can be found linked in her article.

Even though I have felt much, much better since going strictly gluten free I wouldn’t say that I have felt 100%.  I continue to have periodic issues.  Tingling skin, tinnitus and (although I didn’t really realize it – keep reading) fatigue to name a few.

I thought I’d give it a shot.  I ended up sourcing these two vitamins…

Jarrow Formulas Methyl Folate 5-MTHF, Supports Brain, Memory, Cardiovascular Health, 400 Mcg, 60 Caps – More Info on Jarrow Formulas Website

Jarrow Formulas Methylcobalamin (Methyl B12), Supports Brain Cells, 5000 mcg, 60 Lozenges – More Info on Jarrow Formulas Website

Fine and dandy.

The following day I decided to try and dig into my Tinnitus a little more.

I went about Googling tinnitus and celiac together and came to this article…  Diabetes, Celiac Disease and Tinnitus – The Vitamin B12 Link.

In my opinion that’s a great article.  I’ll quote a section toward the end…

In both diabetes and celiac disease, it is critical to supplement with optimal doses of multivitamins and at least 400 mcg of Vitamin B12 a day. B12 can better be absorbed by your body by using a sublingual (under the tongue), or subcutaneous injection (under the skin) form of B12. -Dr Mark Rosenberg, M.D.

That made sense to me, so again, I turned to Amazon.  I searched b12 lozenge.  At that time, one of the first results was…

Jarrow Formulas Methylcobalamin (Methyl B12), Supports Brain Cells, 5000 mcg, 60 Lozenges

I clicked on that only to find I had ordered it the day before.  Okay, now we’re talking.

After taking this combo for a little over a week… I have noticed a substantial difference.  Both the tingling and Tinnitus have decreased (although they have not totally gone away).  I’ve also experienced a noticeable change in energy level.  I didn’t think fatigue continued to be a major factor, but I think it has been.  I wasn’t even aware until I experienced this boost in energy.  I will concede that it’s possible that this was a coincidence.  I cannot tell you without a doubt that my progress is solely because of these two new vitamins.  I think they are playing a key part, but that’s only a guess at this point.

I’ll update this post over time, but at this point, I’m optimistic.

Before making a change to your supplement or vitamin regimine, talk to your doctor or healthcare professional to see what vitamins and supplements are right for you.

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$50 Red Robin Gift Card on eBay Deals + My GF Experience at Red Robin


As of this posting, eBay Deals is featuring a $50 Red Robin Gift Card for $45.  Prices and availability can change quickly.  Check the offering page to see if this is still available.

Red Robin Gift Card || eBay Daily Deals

I have Celiac Disease [About Me].  Personally, I’ve had great success eating gluten free at Red Robin.  Always ask the appropriate questions for your dietary needs.

I suggest using Find Me Gluten Free to look up restaurant reviews.  Also… do the gluten free community a favor and add fair reviews to Find Me Gluten Free and suggest locations that may not be listed.  Help us learn from your experience.

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Do the Gluten Free Community a Favor….


“Find Me Gluten Free” for iOS (also available on Android), is my go-to app for finding gluten free restaurants.  I love the user reviews and ratings as well as the “find near me feature”.

If you decide to give it a try, I would encourage you to rate and review restaurants you go to, both good and bad.  If it’s a good location, also head over to the more mainstream and give it a good review there.  You can also suggest new restaurants for Find me Gluten Free to add to their list.  We want to spread good information and support great gluten-free-friendly businesses.

When you rate an add businesses on Find Me Gluten Free you are doing the gluten free community a service.  We learn from your experience and you learn from ours.

“Find Me Gluten Free” on iTunes and Google Play

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Is it safe to drink gluten-removed beers?


Most “gluten-removed” beers are made using gluten containing ingredients like… barley.  During fermentation an enzyme is used that breaks down gluten.  The real issue is whether or not the things that are left (peptides) cause a negative reaction in those who (like me) have Celiac Disease.  Personally… I would love to see some of the bigger breweries that produce these beers, like Omission, band together to commission additional scientific research in this area, including a double blind study on the actual effects of drinking gluten removed beers on those suffer from Celiac Disease.

Gluten Free Watchdog (I’m a subscriber!)… has an excellent paper detailing this issue.  See: Is Barley-Based “Gluten-Removed” Beer Safe for People with Celiac Disease?

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