How to Serve Customers with Wheat Allergies


Though bakeries pose the highest risk, all commercial kitchens need to be cautious when serving customers with a wheat allergy because wheat can be found in a broad assortment of food products and ingredients.

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 (also called a gluten intolerance or Celiac disease) 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 a wheat allergy, 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 and without affecting the finished product. You can replace every 1 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 customer that has a wheat allergy, 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


About Author

Maggie Moulatsiotis

Maggie is the Director of Marketing at, a pescetarian and a newly minted DIY and home cook extraordinaire. She lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband and very cute puppy, Puka.

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