Celiac Disease - Wheaton,IL

Updated on July 17, 2010
J.V. asks from Wheaton, IL
5 answers

I am becoming very good friends with a woman who has celiac diease, and I have a few questions. We are having them for dinner and I make a french tort that I would love to serve. It is a true flour-less (you don't even flour the pan), but my friend says she won't eat it because I will be using a pan that I also make flour cakes in. What I don't understand is how using the same pan matters, when it has been cleaned and sterilized? She also won't eat anything off a grill if bread products have been put on it.

She has no problem making bread sandwiches for her children, or even playing with play dough --and she isn't anal about washing her hands immediately after either. While it is different in that she isn't putting a food product in her mouth, I'd think the level of contamination would be about the same --I mean, how can a grill that gets up to 500 degrees still have gluten on it?

I want to be a supportive friends, but to me this also means providing food for her that she can eat, but it really seems like she won't eat anything unless she has made it. I understand that she gets really sick, but I am also a super clean cook that is willing to do whatever it takes to make food for her! I'm even going to suggest that she give me her pan to make the cake in.

Am I missing something?

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answers from Atlanta on

I don't think you're missing anything. Courtney and Jenny hit it on the head. You are a new friend, and as much as she likes you, she doesn't know in her heart of hearts that you completely understand the consequences of just one mistake. She is going overboard about the grill but I remember going overboard when I had a kid with seizures. It's human (mommy) nature. I never EVER had a friend that really got it, as much as they really wanted to.

Be patient with her and show her you are responsible and you do care for her. She'll come around if you are.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Orlando on

There are TONS of things that have gluten in them that you wouldn't think or be aware of. One of my best friends has a husband with celiac disease, and his mom is really bad about not telling him all of the ingredients. He's gotten sick many times eating her cooking, and it's so unpleasant and painful for him.

I've made food for them each time they've had a new baby, and I make certain to ask them ahead of time about each ingredient and show them boxes of things I'm making. Even if it's not typically something that would contain gluten, I look for a brand that guarantees that it's gluten-free, as it may be exposed to it in the factory or something. It may be that she is concerned that you will inadvertently use something that will make her sick, so she'd rather not chance it. Don't be offended! Like you said, people with celiac disease can get REALLY sick if they are exposed to something they are allergic to!!!!

I would just ask her if she's comfortable having you cook for her, and then if she is, show her the exact recipe and double-check each ingredient. Tell her that you will use one of those disposable pans that you buy to bring people food in. Let her know that your concern is for HER feelings and HER safety, and don't be hurt. It's nothing personal against you!!!! I'm sure she appreciates what you're trying to do for her.

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answers from Raleigh on

It probably is fear, Celiac is definately one of those diseases that takes a lot of research and a lot of knowledge just to get through each day. A good friend has celiac, as do her two children, having talked to her on many occassions, it's amazing how much foods one would expect to be gluten free are not. While I understand you point about the grill, I would say she's just not willing to take the risk, because the internal reaction to gluten can be so severe and painful she may just not be willing to take the risk when she doesn't know. I would talk to her about exactly what she is comfortable with and what she isn't, ask her advice on something like the tort and she may be able to work through her concerns to, otherwise I know a great gluten-free bakery!

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answers from Washington DC on

Cross contamination can happen at any point. From the mixing bowl that had a spec of something from the food before to the cutting board. A friend got sick because his wife used a knife to butter her roll. some of the roll got into the butter, which he didn't see, and then he used the same knife to butter his potato. He had a HUGE breakout!

Restaurants that specialize in Celiacs - Outback Steakhouse, Cheeseburger in Paradise, and the rest of that group, have dedicated bowls, pans, fryers for cooking.

What I do when they come to my house is that I show them the menu. I keep all of the boxes so that they can review the ingredients. They are also welcome to bring a dish from home for themselves if they are uncomfortable with the possibility of cross-contamination.




answers from Chicago on

I also have a very good friend with Celiac's. I don't make anything for her from scratch, but I do make boxed treats for her that state "gluten free" on the box. There is gluten in TONS of things that you wouldn't think of. There is gluten in oats and vanilla extract. Maltodextrin is something you need to look for also, because it is contaminated with wheat. I always cook for my friend with a glass pan and make sure that there is NOTHING else being cooked in the kitchen at the same time, so I don't risk cross-contamination with her food. I wash my hands thoroughly before and after handling her food, too. One speck of gluten will make my friend sick, and she can't even breathe it in, or she'll get sick. It's very serious, so I understand your friend's trepidation. Why don't you ask her if you can use a glass pan? Would that work? If not, you can buy something already made at Whole Foods just for her. Guaranteed to be gluten-free and then she could also read the label. Good luck!

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