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Coeliac disorder: 'Staff in some restaurants just roll their eyes'


Annie Hoey

Annie Hoey

Annie Hoey

COELIAC Annie Hoey said that restaurant staff have "rolled their eyes" at her when she asked whether they had gluten-free options available.

The 26-year-old Drogheda native, who was diagnosed with the disorder five years ago, said: "You get an awful lot of restaurants where you go in and ask if they have any gluten-free options, and they roll their eyes at you.

"Some restaurants think it's a dietary preference as opposed to a dietary requirement," said Ms Hoey, who is Vice President for Equality and Citizenship at the Union of Students in Ireland (USI).

"There'll be places where I'll have heard of people who work in kitchens and they will put gluten-free bread into the normal toaster, with that kind of carelessness, like 'Aw, they'll be fine'.

"When I have a reaction, it can take a little while. It wouldn't necessarily be two minutes after I've eaten the food. I turn into a big balloon; my tummy gets very, very swollen. It's quite painful."

Irish Independent