Caution: Wok Box Restaurants serve wheat-free NOT gluten free sauces.
TheCeliacScene.com has been receiving suggestions that local Wok Box franchisees are indicating that they can provide gluten-free options. However, in cooperation with proactive members of the Vancouver Chapter of the Canadian Celiac Association and a Wok Box restaurant in their area, TheCeliacScene.com was provided with the following information about Wok Box sauces from their corporate office in May 2011:
“Currently the sauces we produce that are wheat free are Mongolian, Szechuan, Pan Thai, Jungle and Bulgogi. To be wheat free you must have these sauces paired with rice or rice noodles. ...it is merely impossible to say we are (Gluten Free) due to the list of products we use to make the sauces. ...there is no way we can guarantee this (providing gluten free meals) to the customer and or be responsible for someone getting an adverse reaction. "
Unfortunately, TheCeliacScene.com continues to receive information, as recently as June 25, 2011, that Wok Box franchisees are promoting, perhaps unknowingly, their wheat-free dishes as being gluten free.
TheCeliacScene.com put in a call to Ray Ho, Wok Box Marketing Manager on June 30th, 2011 to inform him about the gluten-free claims his franchisees were making. He was made aware of the difference between wheat free and gluten free and of the seriousness of making such claims for customers with celiac disease. I invited him to make a statement in these regards that would capture Wok Box’s concern for his gluten free customers. This was his written reply on July 7th:
“Before we proceed to claim or disclaim gluten in our products, we feel it is necessary to take another closer look at the products (that are currently labelled wheat free) by carefully checking all ingredients to see if there are, in fact, any gluten in them.”
TheCeliacScene.com is concerned that Wok Box would allow a pervasive misconception to persist while they undertake to determine, after the fact, whether the gluten-free claims that their franchisees are making can be empirically corroborated.
Diners adhering to a gluten-free diet may wish to refrain from consuming food that Wok Box franchisees promote as being gluten free while Wok Box deliberates on their ingredients and their commitment to their customers’ safety.
Thank you for your attention.