Well it happens, sometimes I get glutened despite my best efforts. And if anything I always feel really disappointed – I really want restaurants to do well, not just for my health but because I just don’t like writing bad things about people!
I wouldn’t be much of a good citizen if I just had a tirade in cyberspace and didn’t help people to improve for next time, so in true consultant style, I have a little process:
I had a cursory search around for a letter template to send to suspected restaurants, but couldn’t find one – so here’s mine incase you want to adapt it for your own forays into coeliac activism. If you get glutened, I would urge you to let the restaurant know rather than just avoiding them in future – otherwise us coeliacs will never seen an improvement in the options open to us.
I wanted to write following my recent experience dining at your restaurant on <insert date and time>. I suffer from coeliac disease, and as such require a diet free from gluten (found in wheat, rye, barley and oat products) or am otherwise at risk of damage occurring to my intestine which in the long term can lead to osteoporosis and bowel cancer.
On this occasion I was dining with friends whilst reviewing your restaurant for my blog about gluten free eating in London. Whilst we had a pleasant experience and the staff were very friendly and helpful, and seemed knowledgeable about gluten, I wanted to let you know that I have been suffering the symptoms of ingesting gluten following our visit. I ordered the <insert name of yummy dish that has poisoned you>. I made my dietary needs clear to the waitress who assured me that she would check with the chef and adapt the dish if required to ensure it was free from gluten.
Whilst there were no obvious gluten-containing ingredients in the dish it may be that the chef made a mistake, or that cross-contamination has occurred in your kitchen. I appreciate that in a busy kitchen it can be difficult to ensure a 100% gluten free preparation environment; but I wanted to give you the opportunity to investigate the situation and the dish I was served, and to ensure that your staff are aware of the importance of minimising cross-contamination when catering for coeliacs.
As a courtesy, I wanted to let you know that I will be writing my experience up for my blog, and I hope that I can include a reply from you with my review to reassure future coeliac diners. Please let me know if I can help by providing any more information.
Many thanks and kind regards,
(Not so) Gluten Free B