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Carrabba's Italian Grill - False Gluten Free Menu (with a DISCLAIMER?!)

Updated on April 4, 2011
Restaurant Entrance
Restaurant Entrance

About the Chain

As I soon plan to, once again, travel to the United States of America, I have been looking up a number of gluten free restaurant destinations that may be worth stopping by. So, I took a moment to search for (google) restaurants that offered gluten free menus around the areas of which I will be staying in. It appears as though Carrabba's offers a designated gluten free menu of which is available for perusal online. It is located in approximately 32 states of the country, and this place (at first sight) appears to offer quite some good selection for for diners with Celiac (Coeliac) Disease. That is, until the 'fine print' beneath all other text on the menu 'greets you' as you get ready to order!


Observing the Disclaimer

The main text Reads: "This menu and the information on it are provided by Carrabba’s Italian Grill, in cooperation with the Gluten intolerance Group (“GIG”), as a service to our customers. Carrabba’s and GIG assume no responsibility for its use and any resulting liability or consequential damages are denied. Cynthia Kupper, a Registered Dietitian with GIG, prepared this information (which has not been verified by Carrabba’s.)"


Excerpt from the proposed FDA Food Labeling Regulations:

FDA proposes to define the term "gluten-free" to mean that a food bearing this claim in its labeling does not contain any one of the following:

  • An ingredient that is a prohibited grain

  • An ingredient that is derived from a prohibited grain and that has not been processed to remove gluten

  • An ingredient that is derived from a prohibited grain and that has been processed to remove gluten, if the use of that ingredient results in the presence of 20 parts per million (ppm) or more gluten in the food or

  • 20 ppm or more gluten

Addressing the Law:

Based on the proposed food law in the United States, it is illegal to advertise a product as gluten free UNLESS IT IS! How hard is it for businesses to understand this?

Why do they exploit our dietary requirements instead of just lay it out in an allergens grid format?

Leave your comments below and bring your own views across. To be honest, this destination is a no-no for ANY celiac out there and it STINKS that this food organisation is exploiting celiacs and SUCKING MONEY OUT OF US like we're simply some NICHE Target Group!


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      Emma R. 6 years ago

      Kelly, I have followed some of your comments over recent months. I have noted that you go out of your way to find things wrong with businesses who are trying hard to offer gluten-free alternatives for celiacs. It is becoming apparent to me that you do not understand that businesses put in a disclaimer for legal reasons. The disclaimers are there as a precautionary measure so that businesses don't get sued. That does NOT mean that there is gluten in the foods that they serve as gluten-free. They have to protect themselves from customers that go to restaurants in the view to looking for something they can sue for. If someone throws up like a pig the day after eating out does not have to have anything to do with gluten, it could just as easily be because of over eating and/or drinking. But if a restaurant has served someone who is a celiac a gluten-free meal it's likely that that person blames the gluten and sues the restaurant. Before you continue your 'career' at giving reputable businesses a bad name and making other gluten-intolerant people feel paranoid about eating out, I suggest you talk to a lawyer who can explain to you once and for all about 'disclaimers as a precautionary measure'.

      Best regards,

      Emma R.

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      me 6 years ago

      Carrabba's is a great restaurant that bends over backwards to help customers with celiac disease. Any time I've eaten there (I've been to at least 5 different Carrabba's locations), they've had the chef come out and talk to me, explain exactly what was in the dishes on the GF menu, and explain to me all of the precautions they take (clean pans and utensils, change of gloves before preparing GF meals, etc). It's honestly kind of horrifying that you are slandering business that do a great service to the celiac community without any evidence that are doing any harm. You've never even been to Carrabba's, and you have no evidence that their food is unsafe. It's only because of blogs like yours that accuse restaurants of all manner of wrongdoing (usually with no evidence) that restaurants feel the need to add disclaimers. They are doing everything they can to make sure the food is safe, but with things like this being posted on the internet, who can blame them for trying to protect themselves against lawsuits and accusations?