Restaurant Correspondence: Culver’s


Prior to being diagnosed with Celiac Disease Culver’s was a favorite spot when we were hungry for a burger.  Culver’s is a Midwest Chain, but is quickly growing beyond the Midwest – Culver’s Website – locations

I knew that Culvers had a gluten free bun (I believe it’s Udi’s).  That is available for $1 more.  I ate there early on (prior to being officially diagnosed) when I was trying to eliminate gluten – without really knowing how pervasive the stuff is.  The bun was served to me in a separate wrapped package.  All in all it was a pretty tasty bun.

I was interested to know what cross contamination procedures, if any Culver’s has.  So, I used the customer contact from to ask.

A challenge to Culvers…  After reading their response, my biggest concern is with the toppings.  They do say they are held in separate containers to limit cross contact, but I read that to mean cross contact with other ingredients, not necessarily gluten.  I call upon Culver’s to implement an allergy protocol that includes equipment and training to serve a safe meal to gluten intolerant people.  There’s no reason why select toppings couldn’t be obtained from untainted stores.  That combined with washing hands and changing aprons would go a very long way.  I invite Culver’s to rethink this for the good of millions of Americans who have issues with gluten.  I would be happy to be the first one to spread the word after it’s implemented.

Note: This is their response to me personally and does not (as far as I know) constitute an official company position on the matter.  You should talk to Culver’s directly for up to the minute information.  You should also verify ingredients and procedures with each restaurant prior to consuming.  Policies, procedures, menu offerings and ingredients change over time.

Response dated 5/18/16:

Thank you for taking time to contact Culver’s. Attached is a Gluten Guide which identifies menu items that do not contain gluten. Condiments including pickles, lettuce, tomatoes, onion and cheese are held in a separate container to limit cross-contact with other condiments; ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise will be provided in packets. Individuals preparing a gluten friendly meal must wash their hands prior to handling any ingredients and the bun is served in a sealed package for you to assemble your sandwich. None of our restaurants have a dedicated fryer for the Crinkle Cut Fries. We recommend guests concerned about cross-contact avoid the fries.

Food safety is a top priority in our restaurants. Similar to other restaurants, we are not allergen-free environments and there is a potential for cross-contact in our kitchens from normal preparation and cooking procedures. We ask that you inform the cashier of your food allergy or special dietary need when ordering so we can take extra special care when preparing your meal.

We hope this helps!



More info – Culver’s Allergen Grid | Culver’s Mindful Choices Around Gluten

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

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