celebrity diets have ruined wheat allergy understanding

Added on 16 Feb, 2005 . There are .

Yes, it's true. I'm personally getting sick of reading that yet another celebrity has decided that they have a wheat allergy, just because it's fashionable.

This vanity allergy suffering is spoiling it for all genuine wheat intolerant or allergic sufferers.

I've been on the end of some malicious purposeful food contamination because the cook/chef didn't believe me when I told them I have a severe wheat allergy, and I put the blame firmly in the celebrity 'it's fashionable to have a food allergy' camp. For goodness sake, if you can eat normal food then get a life, don't hijack genuine sufferers allergies.

One notable incident was staying in a bed & breakfast in Scotland, I explained that I needed to have 'safe' scrambled eggs and bacon, and was firmly told that there was no such thing as a wheat allergy. The next morning at breakfast, yes, you guessed it, I ate the scrambled eggs and bacon and was immediately ill. No fun if you're riding a motorbike through the Highlands and need to keep finding a loo.

So my advice is that when you visit a restaurant if possible tell them in advance before you turn up, it will give them time to make allowances if they need to. Make sure that they understand that it is a genuine health issue.

When I order a meal I tell the waiting staff that I have a hospital diagnosed wheat allergy, which is perfectly true. But it emphasises to them that it's not some faddy celeb diet fashion that I'm following.

On the flip side, some restaurants really do make a huge effort. North America is very switched on to food allergies, a cynic might say it's because they'll get sued if they don't take care. But I personally think that it's all about customer service, and the fact that they like to give good service, always.

At one restaurant in Canada the chef had no suitable main courses, so the chef himself walked out of the kitchen to a neighbouring restaurant to scrounge some fresh fish from them to cook. What fabulous service.

Would you get that in the UK?