What Food Safety Means for Those with Celiac Disease

Eating at a Meeting Podcast Episode 70

Smiling woman wearing a blue and white striped scarf over a gray jacket. She is Margaret Clegg of MI Gluten Free Gal who has celiac diseaseWhat Food Safety Means for Those with Celiac Disease

Having celiac disease means you need to be diligent about what you eat ALL THE TIME. Although the disease is manageable and treatable with a completely gluten-free diet, it can be overwhelming with the considerable lifestyle changes it requires when eating at home, at restaurants and at events. Safe food handling, preparation, storage and service is a necessity.

In this episode, Margaret Clegg, author of MI Gluten Free Gal, shares her “hands-on” experience of living with celiac disease for almost two decades and what food safety means to her and the millions of other people living with it.

What do safe, inclusive & sustainable food and beverage experiences look like to you?

Safe food experiences look like cook and wait staff who understand that Celiac Disease is serious, and will take precautions preparing and serving my food. That includes using clean gloves, using clean cookware, and being willing to listen and answer questions i have, with patience.

Do you have an example of a situation that negatively effected you and/or other individuals or groups’ food and beverage experience?

I once went to a restaurant where croutons were on my salad, and pork was on my husband’s sandwich. (He has a pork intolerance.) Staff tried to blow us off, and we left.

What do you wish people knew about what you do?

My goal is to help people with Celiac Disease and gluten intolerances live a normal life, and have safe dining experiences. I take people’s trust seriously, and try to answer all questions sincerely. I ask that people treat others with the same kindness on my social media channels.

What is a best practice you use/or have seen to create safe and inclusive F&B experiences?

I love when restaurants use special plates for gluten free meals, such as PF Chang’s. Or colored food picks, that Red Robin uses.

What is your favorite food and your favorite drink?

I love a lot of food. It would be hard to pick just one. But i’d have to say french fries, cooked in a dedicated fryer.

I drink mostly water, but when i want an “adult” beverage, I love JK’s Farmhouse Ciders, made right here in Michigan. It’s from an organic orchard, and the owner is just the kindest man. It’s like talking to Johnny Appleseed!


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