If I travel to a new place, how can I get information on eating safely when I’m not familiar with the restaurants and other local food establishments?
Here are some tips for finding places to eat gluten-free and things to keep in mind:
- Look for GFFS-validated restaurants. These locations have been reviewed by GIG’s Gluten-Free Food Services program (GFFS) and are properly equipped to provide safe, gluten-free menu options.
- Search the GFFS database at gffs.org to identify food establishments already validated. This database currently includes several large chains and some smaller places.
- Do an internet or map search for restaurants with gluten-free options. Be aware that even places that claim to offer gluten-free items may not be safe: ingredients used might be gluten-free, but there may not be precautions in place to prevent cross-contact, etc. Call in advance and ask questions.
- Find out if there is a GIG support group in or near your destination. If so, reach out in advance to get more localized information regarding gluten-free restaurants and other resources.
- Keep a supply of non-perishable GF snacks handy to always be prepared, just in case you need backup food to eat.
- Visit a local grocery store when you arrive to pick up more GF items rather than traveling with a large supply.
- Do not rely on “glutenase”-type products that claim to break down gluten as data does not show them to be effective in addressing possible exposure due to gluten. (See above: Is there a supplement I can take so I can still eat foods that contain gluten?)