Is it safe to order gluten-free beer or hard cider on tap? Or is there a risk of cross-contact, particularly if a gluten-containing beer was previously in the tap line?

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Theoretically, a tap line should be flushed and cleaned before a new item, such as a gluten-free beer or cider, is put into it. Unfortunately, there are no standards to follow for cleaning a tap line and no guarantee that the cleaning even happens.  

Before ordering and consuming a gluten-free drink from a tap, ask the establishment’s wait staff or manager questions about what was in the tap line previously and how it was cleaned before the gluten-free beverage was tappedAt that pointit boils down to your personal judgement as to the quality of the answers received from staffThe safer option is to order beer labeled gluten-free in accordance with FDA regulations or, for additional assurance, that is GFCO third-party certified as gluten-free. bottled drinks rather than those coming from a tap.