Friday, April 1, 2011

Confusion Reigns at Restaurants

After a very enjoyable Canadian Celiac Association Chapter Dinner at a White Spot restaurant in Victoria, BC, a celiac diner inspired by our review of the amazing gluten-free yam fries, deep fried in dedicated oil, was informed by her server that the fries were not safe for celiacs. Please follow the correspondence below between The Celiac Scene™ and a very conscientious White Spot manager.

If you feel it is time for White Spot's Head Office to make life easier for both celiacs and the staff alike by creating a definitive celiac-friendly menu, please make your interest know to Corporate Whitespot.

tiffany said...
After reading about the White Spots dedicated deep fryer on Caledonia, I went there (while I was in town last) specifically for the yam fries. But the chef's looked at the yam fries and saw "this product has been produced in a facility that also manufactures products with wheat .... etc" on it and came back to me with that news. I opted out of the fries but was very glad that they took the time to look into it for me and give me the option. Not all restaurants look that carefully!

February 8, 2011 7:10 PM said...
Thanks, Tiffany. This is very disconcerting considering at least a dozen of us celiacs consumed the yam fries with vigour. I will be in touch with the manager and post their response.

March 28, 2011 1:53 PM said...
As a result of Tiffany's experience, I contacted the manager of the White Spot in question and received this assuring reply, "I read through our allergy information again and it definitely says that they are gluten free. I even went so far as to read the label on both the blackening spice bottle and the box of the sweet potato fries. There is no mention of wheat or gluten on any ingredient list, nor is there a reference to either being manufactured in a facility that has wheat products in it. I'm not sure why someone would have said that. I am going to forward this email to our people at head office just to ensure we do our due diligence here. I will get back to you ASAP when I get a response."

General Manager
White Spot Restaurant
710 Caledonia Ave
Victoria, BC

April 1, 2011 8:04 AM


  1. Thanks for looking into this Ellen!

  2. The verdict is in! Laura, the White Spot manager at Caledonia assured us that not only is their deep fryer dedicated to frying only GF items, each fryer gets filtered separately and no previously used oil is ever added to the fryer that cooks the sweet potato fries, and we always cook them in that dedicated fryer. Laura also sent me the ingredient list for the seasoning on the sweet potato fries and it does not contain any gluten. So while your server erred on the side of safety in recommending that you NOT eat the fries, it looks like White Spot could do a better job of training their staff so that diners can enjoy those items that are actually safe. Next time you are in town, enjoy a huge order!

  3. Fantastic :) Can't wait to try some!