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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).