You’re invited to a potluck party at the house of an acquaintance who doesn’t yet know that you have celiac disease. What do you do?
"Bring a filling gluten-free dish to share so that you don’t have to rely on the other guests to have something that you can eat and you aren’t left hungry. Make sure to take your portion first before others start dipping into your meal with unclean utensils. It couldn’t hurt to ask your host if there are other gluten-free guests there who might benefit from keeping your dish separate and labeled so that you can share a clean, safe meal with someone else who will appreciate the opportunity."
- Jennifer North, Beyond Celiac Vice President
"Pack my own dish—or two—and be sure to be the first person to take my helping from them."
- Laura Hanley, G-Free Laura
"I show up with a delicious and filling gluten-free dish and serve myself from it first! That way, I know I’ll have at least one thing to eat and not have to worry about cross-contact. Then, I investigate. Maybe someone else at the potluck also has celiac disease and has to stay gluten-free. I see what they brought. I find the packaging and boxes that any chips or dips came out of and check labels for signs of gluten. I check out the veggies, fruits and cheese. If there is any question or doubt about content or cross-contact, I skip it. I get a refreshing beverage, find interesting people to talk to, and stop worrying about the food."
- Claire Baker, Beyond Celiac Director of Communications and New Media
"Because the holiday season is such a busy time of year, the easiest thing to do in this situation is to eat a light meal at home ahead of time, then bring a gluten-free dish you can enjoy at the party, as well as share with others. As there is always the potential for cross-contact at a potluck, it’s best to prepare two dishes of the same food - one that can be set out for everyone to enjoy, and a separate dish you can keep for yourself. Ask your host if there is a place to store your food separately in the kitchen. Of course, you will likely find other naturally gluten-free dishes at the party. In this case, try to arrive early so you can serve yourself first to avoid any cross-contact."
- EA Stewart, The Spicy RD