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NOTE: As of Sep/Oct 2019, Wetherspoon has chosen to remove its gluten free menu.
A lot of people have been visiting this post recently and I am sad to report that Wetherspoon has chosen to remove its gluten free menu. The pub chain used to have a specific menu (as below) which was gluten free, but now it has chosen to remove this. When I questioned them, they cited cross contamination risks.
I will post the full response from Wetherspoon below but I just wanted to say personally I am really sad about this. I know there have been some issues with Wetherspoon in the past.
Apparently they fry the halloumi fries in the same oil as the chips, which are not gluten free - yet they were on the gluten free menu!? They allegedly claimed this killed off the gluten - which is simply not true.
But to completely remove all traces of a gluten free menu is a real step backwards. It's such a shame they couldn't put better processes in place.
Instead, customers will now be 'treated' to the dreaded blue allergen folder, where you have to sift through every element of a meal to try and figure out what the hell you can eat.
Why has Wetherspoon removed its gluten free menu?
When I asked Wetherspoon for a statement, this was what I received via the press team from Wetherspoon chief executive John Hutson. I am pasting in full as I think anyone searching for Wetherspoon's gluten free options deserves to be able to read it:
Allergen information has been the subject of greater scrutiny by operators and government agencies alike, in an effort to better provide customers with accurate information, and this is why we do not feel we are able to label our meals as ‘gluten free’ going forward.
Whilst a number of meals do not have any gluten containing ingredients, we cannot make claims about the complete absence of allergens when there is a risk of cross contamination within the kitchen, however small.
Our meals and cooking processes have not changed, and we have undertaken extensive testing at a UKAS (United Kingdom’s National Accreditation Body) accredited laboratory, which did not identify cross contamination.
Despite this, we cannot guarantee that specific meals will be allergen free in every kitchen, and for every meal sold, because of the inherent risk of cross contamination.
The law requires us to provide information about 14 specific allergens in the food and drink sold, and this information is available at the bar.
The ‘Allergen Guide’, currently in a blue folder, provides information on the allergens contained within dishes or drinks, and also explains the cross contamination risk.
Our staff are trained to provide the allergen guide when it is requested, and to pass on any particular dietary requirements to the kitchen and floor staff when these are highlighted by customers. They are not able to offer advice or make recommendations.
I apologise for any inconvenience caused as a result of the withdrawal of the ‘gluten free’ menu but we feel the changes we have made are the safest way to provide information.
2016 post: What WAS on the gluten free menu at Wetherspoon?
Note: I wanted to keep the original post below so you could see what WAS gluten free at Wetherspoon. This might help if you are visiting the pub and making choices on food - but always check with the staff and see what they say.
So today during my marvellous breakfast with the girls on my course in Wetherspoon, I picked up “Our Foodie Guide” from the condiments table!
This guide is amazingly useful – I’ve been impressed for a while with Wetherspoon’s acceptance and help with gluten free eating, and I felt that this deserved a mention!
Their labelling is great, their gluten free crumble is delicious, and they even advise and give extra options of GF meals!
One thing to be noted is their chips contain gluten, so you can order any meals with a jacket potato instead of chips to keep it gluten free.
So, here’s the low-down, courtesy of the foodie guide, on what you can eat in Wetherspoons!! (Although they can’t guarantee any of the products are free from traces of gluten, the following are made with gluten free ingredients)
- Jacket potato with baked beans
- Jacket potato with mature cheddar cheese
- Jacket potato with tuna mayo
- Gammon steak and free range eggs (ask for jacket potato not chips)
- Cod fillet (on the afternoon deal)
- 5oz gammon steak (on the afternoon deal – with jacket potato)
- Salmon salad
- Salmon fillet (ask for jacket potato not chips)
- Ham and eggs (ask for jacket potato not chips)
- 8oz Sirloin steak (ask for jacket potato not chips)
- 8oz Rump steak (ask for jacket potato not chips)
- 28-day-matured British Isles 10oz rib-eye steak (ask for jacket potato not chips)
- Mixed grill (ask for jacket potato not chips)
- Skinny steak
- Chicken Tikka Masala (ask for extra poppadums instead of the naan bread)
- Sweet potato, chickpea and spinach curry (ask for extra poppadums instead of the naan bread)
- Full rack of BBQ ribs
- Chicken and rib combo
- Tandoori chicken
Gluten free desserts
- Bramley apple, pear and raspberry crumble with ice cream or custard
- Fresh fruit and ice cream
- Ice cream sundae with strawberry and blueberry compote, banana & cream
- Naked burrito
- Small nachos
Chicken Club (Wednesday)
- Peri-peri chicken breast and pepper skewers
- Peri-peri boneless chicken breast
- Peri-peri half roast chicken (ask for side salad and dressing or rice)
- Grilled halloumi
- Half rack BBQ pork ribs
- Mini corn on the cob
Curry Club (Thursday)
On Thursday 3pm-10pm, Wetherspoons also offer the following curry club dishes that are gluten free – just make sure to ask for all of them with extra poppadums instead of the naan bread which isn’t gluten free!
- Chicken Korma
- Lamb Rogan Josh
- Beef Madras
- Sweet potato, chickpea and spinach curry
- Chicken Jalfrezi
- Chicken tikka masala
- Poppadums with mango chutney
- Tandoori chicken skewers
- Side salad
- Half rack BBQ pork ribs
- Grilled halloumi
- Mini corns on cob
- Fresh fruit
- Fresh fruit and organic, greek style yoghurt
- MOMA gluten-free porridge
Or make up your own breakfast from the following items:
- Fried egg
- Baked beans
- Flat mushroom
Please note: Wetherspoons no longer offer this gluten free menu, instead always refer to the allergen folder and double check with staff what is safe re: cross contamination processes.
What do you think about Wetherspoon removing its gluten free menu? A disappointing step in the wrong direction, or does an allergen folder make dining easier if, for example, you have multiple allergens? Let me know what you think in the comments below!