How to Serve Customers with Wheat Allergies


Wheat allergies are no joke and customer concerns over wheat content should be taken seriously. While bakeries pose the highest risk, all commercial kitchens need to be cautious as this sneaky ingredient can be found in a broad assortment of food products.

A Wheat Intolerance is Not a Wheat Allergy

Many people often draw an incorrect comparison to a wheat allergy and wheat intolerance. A wheat intolerance simply means that the person cannot digest the wheat protein. A wheat allergy is an immune system response in which the person’s body attacks a specific wheat protein. A wheat intolerance may cause some digestive discomfort, but wheat allergies, like all food allergies, can be life-threatening.

Wheat Flour Substitutions for Baking

When baking for a customer with a wheat allergy, there are some simple wheat-free flours that can be substituted without affecting the finished product. You can replace every one cup of wheat flour with one of the following:

  • 7/8 cup rice flour
  • 5/8 cup potato starch flour
  • 1 cup soy flour plus ¼ cup potato starch flour
  • 1 cup corn flour

Common Ingredients That May Contain Wheat

When preparing meals for a customers with wheat allergies, read ingredient labels carefully to assure they do not contain the following:

  • Bread crumbs
  • Bulgur
  • Couscous
  • Durum
  • Emmer
  • Einkorn
  • Flour
  • Kamut
  • Semolina
  • Triticale
  • Cereal extract
  • Farina
  • Spelt

Common Foods That May Contain Wheat

Wheat may also be found in these common foods:

  • Ale
  • Baking mixes
  • Baked goods
  • Beer
  • Breaded foods
  • Breakfast cereals
  • Crackers
  • Hot dogs
  • Processed meats
  • Salad dressing
  • Sauces
  • Soups
  • Surimi
  • Batter-fried foods
  • Candy
  • Ice cream products
  • Soy sauce

*Information in this table compiled from the Food Allergy Initiative’s Website on Wheat Allergies


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  1. “A wheat intolerance (also called a gluten intolerance or Celiac disease) simply means that the person cannot digest the wheat protein.”

    Wheat intolerance is not the same as coeliac disease.

    These are simply NOT the same thing. Please review and revise your article. Coeliacs who are exposed to gluten can suffer intestinal damage. It is not merely a sick stomach.

  2. I would like to see a complete guide to food Allergies if you have one as in camp we have people who have all sorts of Allergies that I have never even knew existed.

    any help would be a grate help

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