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?

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Here are some tips for finding places to eat gluten-free and things to keep in mind: 

  1. 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.   
  2. Search the GFFS database at gffs.org to identify food establishments already validated. This database currently includes several large chains and some smaller places. 
  3. 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-contactetc. Call in advance and ask questions. 
  4. 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.   
  5. Keep a supply of non-perishable GF snacks handy to always be prepared, just in case you need backup food to eat.   
  6. Visit a local grocery store when you arrive to pick up more GF items rather than traveling with a large supply.  
  7. 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?)