Wheat Versus Meat

| Working | March 15, 2016

(I have Celiac Disease, an auto-immune disorder that causes my body to attack my digestive tract whenever I eat gluten. My wife and I walk into a local deli known for its ham. There are two women conversing behind the counter and no other customers.)

Me: “Hey, I have a question. I can’t eat gluten, so I need to know if you clean the tongs and ladles before I order anything.”

Girl #1: “Um… No, why would we?”

Me: “Well, cross-contamination, and you’re kind of supposed to for health and safety reasons.”

(I’m already starting to get nervous, but I’m really hungry right now, so I push forward.)

Me: “Could you just tell me what might have gluten in it?”

Girl #2: “What’s gluten?”

Me: “Uh, it’s anything that has wheat, rye, or barley.”

Girl #1: “Well, that’s everything here.”

Me: *blinking, a little dumbfounded* “What do you mean?” *I clearly see several products that have no sauce, and look like they were only baked or sliced*

Girl #2: “The animals eat wheat, right?”

Girl #1: “So that could be in the meat.”

Me: “It… doesn’t work that way.”

Girl #1: “Well, we can’t be sure.”

(At this point, I was fed up. I turned around and said my thanks for their help and got the heck out of there. I recently learned that the deli closed some time later.)

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