Risk Assessments (to be continued for life?)

Hiya GFrees..

Hope you’re all okay.

Just wanted to share today’s ‘HANGRY-hungry/angry’ moment with you all…

So, I went out of town for the day with my family and as we were returning home in the evening, my mum suggested we ate out. I was adamant on going to Indigo – a pure vegetarian Indian restaurant because I knew my dad would be happy going there and also, after being diagnosed, I had once looked at their menu and spoke to the manager and a waiter who went through some of the foods I was able to eat.


As I opened the menu, there was the following note:


Let’s consider some of the foods that I wanted to order:

oriental oriental snacks starters

When I was placing the order, I asked the waiter if the indo-chinese foods (Shanghai Potatoes, Shanghai Mogo, Schezwan Fried Rice and Schezwan Mogo) were definitely gluten-free. He said he would speak to someone and make sure. Upon his return to our table, the waiter reported that the Schezwan dishes were not gluten-free because they contained soya sauce. I did not complain about this because I was totally aware of the fact that some soya sauces contain wheat and this was also stated in the note as I opened the menu.

I had placed my order on Shanghai Potatoes and Shanghai Mogo however, a couple of minutes later, the waiter returned to our table to report that the potatoes and mogo were fried in the same oil as all of the other wheat/gluten-containing foods. He asked if this was of concern or whether I was happy to continue with the order. At this point (bearing in mind I was super hungry because I had only had breakfast) I was becoming really frustrated because I felt that I was getting mixed signals – the menu was saying one thing and the waiter was saying something else. I kindly asked if they could use some fresh oil to make my dish, but they said that due to being busy, this was not possible. So, I sat there, watching as my family indulged. My family asked if I’d like to go elsewhere but I knew they were hungry too, so I said I would just quickly make myself dinner when I got home.

I wasn’t tempted whilst my family ate. I think I’ve learned to deal with this – to some extent anyway. But what I was most frustrated about was that the symbols were very misleading and I felt that they needed to pay more attention to the seriousness of cross-contamination.

I feel that many Indian restaurants need educating about cross-contamination. I am grateful that the waiter was very honest and inquired about the small details. However, the fact that I had spoke to the someone who works at the restaurant in the past and he had guided me to dishes I was able to eat means that the restaurant and it’s employees are very misinformed about coeliac disease and the importance of gluten-free foods for coeliacs.

Do you think the menu/symbols were misleading? Or was I just being unreasonable because I was hungry? But surely if they know a dish has soya sauce (for example the Schezwan dishes) and they’ve clearly stated in the note near the front of the menu that the soya sauce contains ‘wheat gluten’ they should have ‘GL’ next to the Schezwan dishes! Confusing.com :/

I sure hope to look in to food allergy labelling and how I can raise awareness, particularly within Indian restaurants. Simply because I may be blatantly aware of certain dishes not being suitable and not being gluten-free but others may not.