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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Starbucks: Certified Gluten Free Sandwich is on the Way!!

I’ve heard rumblings of this for a while, but at long last it seems it’s actually going to happen.  I’ve heard from two Starbucks location managers that gluten free breakfast sandwiches are on the way.  Apparently the launch date is on on around March 21.

These are to be certified gluten free sandwiches that are sealed and toasted in their own bag.

Thank you Starbucks!!!

About, from Starbucks:”At last, a breakfast sandwich for our gluten-free friends. Tasty cherrywood-smoked Canadian bacon, an egg patty and reduced-fat white cheddar on a gluten free roll. It’s all prepared in a certified gluten-free environment and sealed for your safety. We then warm it in its own oven-safe parchment bag to avoid any cross-contamination.”  Read more on

Related: Are Starbucks Sous Vide Egg Bites Gluten Free?

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GiG: “Gluten-Removed” Beer May Be Unsafe For People With Celiac Disease


A new research study conducted by the Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG), the leader in the certification of gluten-free products and food services, indicates that beers labeled “gluten-removed” may not be safe for those with celiac disease. A first of its kind, the pilot study, “The Celiac Patient Antibody Response to Conventional and Gluten-Removed Beer,” was published online by the Journal of AOAC International, and was conducted by GIG at the University of Chicago’s Celiac Research Center. It used blood samples from individuals with celiac disease to see whether the proteins in gluten-free beer and gluten-removed beer were recognized by antibodies that were already present in the blood. It was found that no blood samples reacted to the gluten-free beer. However, a percentage of blood samples did react to the gluten-removed beer.

All I can say is… finally.  This first of it’s kind study finally gives us some objective scientific based information on this subject.  My hope was that this type of study could validate the safety of gluten-removed beers, unfortunately it seems the opposite is true.


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Gluten Free Diet is Inadequate for Many Celiac Disease Sufferers

I received this email today from the Celiac Disease Foundation…

The evidence cannot be denied:

For many, if not most, celiac disease patients, strict adherence to a gluten-free diet is an inadequate treatment for celiac disease.

Because research dollars have been so hard to come by for celiac disease, biomedical researchers are still at the beginning of understanding the short- and long-term implications of the disease. What they have learned, however, is shocking: for many more celiac disease patients than ever previously thought, even strict adherence to a gluten-free diet, while possibly tempering symptoms, does not resolve celiac disease and/or comorbidities associated with celiac disease.

These revelations have only fortified CDF’s commitment to support celiac disease research for FDA-approved treatments and a cure. You are likely aware of iCureCeliac®, our growing and revolutionary patient registry that is fundamentally and positively changing the economics of celiac disease research. We are also proud of an exciting new, strategic initiative, the Young Investigators Award (YIA). We need to keep the pipeline going of talented biomedical researchers committed to celiac disease research. Thanks to a fruitful partnership, CDF has committed $150,000 to fund the North American Society for the Study of Celiac Disease (NASSCD) Young Investigator Award. We are pleased to announce the first YIA winner, Dr. Matthew Shale, a research fellow at Stanford University School of Medicine’s Institute for Immunity, Transplantation and Infection. To understand more about his pioneering research, please watch this video.

It is urgent for our generation, and for generations to come, that we invest right now in cutting edge research to find treatments and a cure for celiac disease. CDF recognizes that urgency and is committed to making well-vetted, strategic research investments. But we cannot do this without you. Please make a tax-deductible donation of $100, $500, or whatever you can afford, to support CDF’s critical research investments, including the Young Investigator Award.


Marilyn G. Geller
Chief Executive Officer

I agree with this.  As a Celiac Disease sufferer myself [About Me], I would like to see an effective cure or therapy for all CD sufferers.

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Columbia Researchers Find Biological Explanation for Wheat Sensitivity

Close-up of wheat grain

from Columbia University Medical Center…

NEW YORK, NY (July 26, 2016)—A new study may explain why people who do not have celiac disease or wheat allergy nevertheless experience a variety of gastrointestinal and extra-intestinal symptoms after ingesting wheat and related cereals. The findings suggest that these individuals have a weakened intestinal barrier, which leads to a body-wide inflammatory immune response.

Findings from the study, which was led by researchers from Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC), were reported in the journal Gut.

“Our study shows that the symptoms reported by individuals with this condition are not imagined, as some people have suggested,” said study co-author Peter H. Green, MD, the Phyllis and Ivan Seidenberg Professor of Medicine at CUMC and director of the Celiac Disease Center. “It demonstrates that there is a biological basis for these symptoms in a significant number of these patients.”

Keep Reading

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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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A Pill to Treat Celiac Disease? Be a Part of the Clinical Study


The University of Chicago Medicine Celiac Disease Center plans to conduct a clinical study on a pill to treat Celiac Disease.

from the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center…

A Pill to Treat Celiac Disease?

Now enrolling patients to a clinical study!

You may be eligible for this study if:

  • You have celiac disease
  • You are 18 years of age or older
  • You have been on a gluten-free diet for at least one year
  • You are willing to eat bread containing gluten


Testing of Montelukast (a drug that has been approved by the FDA for treatment of asthma) for the treatment of Celiac Disease.
If enrolled, you will be given the drug or a placebo and asked to:

  • Travel to the Chicagoland area for 6 study visits over a 3 month period
  • Have multiple blood draws, endoscopy with biopsy and brushings, and provide stool samples
  • Answer some questions regarding your health


University of Chicago Medical Center
Subjects will be reimbursed up to $160.00 if all visits are completed and will receive parking vouchers. If you are interested, please contact:

Meaghan Peterson at 773-702-9743

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News: iCureCeliac Yields Surprising Findings


iCureCeliac has released their first quarterly report.

About iCureCeliac:

iCureCeliac™ Reports First Quarter Progress – Celiac Disease Foundation


iCureCeliac™ is an initiative by and for individuals living with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity who understand the need to contribute their ideas and their health data to fuel research. It is the only celiac disease patient registry that is nonprofit, patient-governed, and is part of a larger nationwide research network, called PCORnet. As part of PCORnet, iCureCeliac™ is able to contribute health data to many research efforts, while also providing celiac researchers access to data from people all over the world.

Launched in February 2016 by Celiac Disease Foundation, iCureCeliac™ has already contributed to two research studies. The first is to study the effects of a drug for refractory celiac disease. The second is to study arsenic exposure in the gluten-free diet. With more than 1,200 participants registered in its first four months, iCureCeliac™ is shaping the type of research that is most important to you – the patient.

Read the full report… iCureCeliac – The First Four Months

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News: Gluten-free Food Products Market to reach $4.89 Billion by 2021

via GlobeNewswire…

Gluten-free Food Products Market to reach US$4.89 bn by 2021; Driven by Rising Number of Celiac Disease Patients across the globe: TMR

Gluten Free Food (Gluten Free Bakery Products, Gluten Free Baby Food, Gluten Free Pasta, Gluten Free Ready Meals) Market – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast 2015/2016 – 2021

/EIN News/ — Albany, NY, June 22, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Transparency Market Research (TMR) has announced the addition of a new market study on the global gluten-free food products market. The report is titled “Gluten Free Food Market – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast 2015 – 2021.” According to the report, in terms of revenue, the global gluten-free food market, which was valued at US$2.84 bn in 2014 is projected to reach US$4.89 bn by 2021, expanding at a 7.7% CAGR from 2015 to 2021.

Gluten-free food products are eatables that do not contain any traces of gluten, which is a protein composite found in barley, rye, wheat, and all their species. A gluten-free diet is a treatment for people diagnosed with celiac disease. People with celiac disease react abnormally to gluten, causing bowel damage, and thus need gluten-free food. Gluten-free diet is also recommended for non-celiac disease patients, who might develop allergies or discomfort when they eat products containing gluten. This is termed as non-celiac disease gluten sensitivity. [Read the Complete News Release]

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News: New Protein Isolated for Use in GF Foods


Two inventors (Virna Cerne and Ombretta Polenghi) have come up with a substitute protein for gluten.  Zein is a protein isolated from corn and can provide an elasticity similar to gluten”

“Today the gluten-free products include a lot of fiber but the fiber cannot be really elastic,” says Cerne. “Once the zein protein is isolated, it can be added to different gluten-free flours like rice or corn flour and it solves the problem of no elasticity.”

Read the full article at Quartz – Food scientists say they’ve found a way to make gluten-free bread taste delicious at last

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