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Serving Customers with Wheat Allergies

Serving Customers with Wheat Allergies

Serving 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 flour1
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
 
 
*Information in this table compiled from the Food Allergy Initiative’s Website on Wheat Allergies http://www.faiusa.org/?page=wheat
Common Foods the 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 http://www.faiusa.org/?page=wheat

1 Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network, “Tips for Managing a Wheat Allergy,” http://www.foodallergy.org/allergens/wheat.html (accessed October 12, 2008).

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