For Those of Us with Celiac Disease or Food Allergies: Read Your Labels!

And it happened: after a year of diligence, asking numerous questions at restaurants, double checking with family and friends about the food they served, and reading every label to look for allergens, I slipped up and ate something with gluten.

One night at a party a friend and I talked about the difficulties of living gluten free. Wanting an example of how I read a label, and the potential hidden allergens in foods, I turned over the bag of barbecue potato chips we were eating. These chips, a brand that was gluten free for years, was safe, but I could point out some of the tricky items like “Yeast Extract” versus “Torula Yeast” or “Food Starch” versus “Food Starch (Corn). To my surprise, there staring back at me, were the words: CONTAINS WHEAT. I dropped my head, my friend looked at me concerned, the host of the evening asked me if everything was OK. Shaking my head, I said, “No. They changed the recipe.”

Slipping up left me sick for a few days, but with no other lasting issues. Let my mistake be a reminder for you to read your labels so that you can be safe, stay healthy, and eat well.

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