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 www.chick-fil-a.com.
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… http://www.chick-fil-a.com/Food/Allergen-Gluten-Diabetic – 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 (http://www.chick-fil-a.com/Food/Allergen-Gluten-Diabetic) – 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.
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