It may be easy to avoid obvious gluten products in the office kitchen, such as bread, wheat biscuits, instant soups, canned baked beans, roasted nuts, energy bars and trail mixes. However, there are many other food products lurking in your office fridge or pantry, that may contain gluten. Either in their coatings, bindings or colourings. If you have someone at work who is gluten intolerant or coeliac, it is important that you stay alert on their behalf, so that they can participate in what the team eats and drinks.
One of the most commonly shared food items in office fridges are condiments. In the way of sauces, mayonnaises, ketchups, malt vinegars, soy sauces, teriyaki sauces, marinades and salad dressings often contain gluten. Furthermore, common lunch accompaniments, such as tabbouleh, pickled vegetables (cucumbers, beetroot and beans), preserves (relish and chutney), fried vegetables (shallots and onions) and tempura, may contain gluten. So, if you have someone who regularly stocks the pantry, ask that they check the products are always ‘gluten free’. Ask them to always check the labels, and even call the supplier, to check if the products were made on machinery that also produces gluten products.
Proteins, such as meat and dairy products, can also contain gluten. While you may think stocking up on meat is fine, think again. Processed meats and cold cuts often contain gluten products, such as starches, flavourings, breading and coating mixes, to add flavour or to help with binding. Before you stock the fridge with ham, sausage, salami or chicken, read the ingredient list carefully. Likewise, processed cheeses, commercially prepared flavoured milks and ice cream, can all contain gluten. If one of your teammates is vegetarian and gluten-free, watch out for gluten in veggie patties, imitation (faux) meat, egg substitutes, non-dairy creamers and other dairy substitutes.
There are many everyday food and drink items that can contain gluten, so if you or someone you know is gluten intolerant or coeliac, be sure to stock up the office fridge with certified gluten-free products. If you want to ensure that the office lunches are 100% gluten-free, please feel free to contact Wholesome Works today.
We pride ourselves on providing healthy and delicious office catering for the whole team, and that includes gluten free options. We specialise in gluten-free meals including breakfasts, lunches and food for office parties. If you are gluten intolerant or coeliac, what tips do you have for spotting gluten in the office fridge?