Gluten Free Watchdog Now Testing Restaurant Menu Items for GlutenTricia Thompson
After years of good intentions, Gluten Free Watchdog has started testing menu items represented as gluten-free.
What is being tested? Early testing is focusing on nationwide chain restaurants that state in writing and verbally that their menu items marked gluten-free are appropriate for folks with celiac disease.
What is the protocol for collecting samples and sending them to the lab? Subscribers to Gluten Free Watchdog are facilitating this testing. Volunteers are purchasing the same menu item from chain restaurant locations across the country. Items are shipped overnight to Bia Diagnostics for testing.
What type of testing is being done on the menu items? Approximately 7 ounces (or the entire menu item) is homogenized and tested in duplicate using the sandwich R5 ELISA and the competitive R5 ELISA when necessary. The sandwich ELISA quantifies intact gluten protein and the competitive ELISA detects gluten that has been partially broken down.
Additional data collection: Subscribers are also making phone calls to restaurants in their area to ask whether the menu item in question is appropriate for a person with celiac disease. Gluten Free Watchdog is also communicating with the corporate offices of restaurants and sharing information learned through testing and phone calls.
Thank you to everyone who is helping to facilitate testing and gather information. It takes a Gluten Free Watchdog village.