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  • Writer's pictureAli

How to get a gluten-free restaurant card in another language

Planning a holiday for the summer? Got everything sorted except...the fact you don't speak the language and need to explain your gluten-free diet? Don't worry. Below you'll find links to card translations, enabling you to relax in a restaurant when ordering your food.

Going on holiday with everything...and some gluten-free food.

  1. This is the first site recommended by Coeliac UK. The card doesn't go into great detail about cross contamination, but it does get the basics across, and it's free. You can click directly onto the English translation if you want to see exactly what's written on the card.

  2. If you'd rather have something slightly more thorough, you can buy a bundle of cards at this site for $4.99 (with options such as PayPal to make payment). You can get the English version for free and can scroll down the page to click on the card to see what's written on it. That said, it doesn't mention oats, and although these often aren't included in main courses at restaurants, an increasing number of places are using oat milk in drinks and sweet treats like biscuits.

  3. The third site recommended by Coeliac UK is this one, where the card is translated into another language from the following:

Dietary alert card

I have an allergy/intolerance to gluten, wheat, rye, barley, oats, soy sauce and all the derivatives. Eating foods, sauces or garnishes containing these ingredients will make me ill. Can you assist me in making my choice from your menu?

As with the second site, you need to buy the cards (starting at a fiver). It makes a clear message but there's also the danger it'll scare some restaurants away from giving you anything, unlike the free card that states basic foods you can have like meat, fruit, vegetables, eggs and potatoes.

I'd recommend choosing the card that makes you feel the most reassured. I'd also suggest printing out 3 copies and laminating them. This may seem over the top, but relying on my mobile phone in the past hasn't worked when there's been no reception or a long flight has worn down my battery, and there have been times when I've accidentally left my card in a restaurant or spilled water over it (hence the need for lamination).

What are your experiences of using a coeliac translation card abroad? Do share them below!

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