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.
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.
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
When preparing meals for a customer that has a wheat allergy, read ingredient labels carefully to assure they do not contain the following:
Wheat may also be found in these common foods:
Ice cream products