The Crossed Grain symbol is a registered trademark and protected across the European Union, Switzerland, Norway, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia and Bosnia Herzegovina.
The symbol provides buyers with a quick reference point whilst out shopping. This is particularly important when the consumer is unsure on the gluten status of a product, or whilst travelling and unable to understand the language in which the label is displayed. It is a quality and safety guarantee as all producers wishing to use it must conform to high and safe standards of production. Clic here for more information.
Every year FACE publishes a product listing of foods that are “safe for coeliacs.” It contains gluten-free products listed by manufacturer. This is a highly valued publication for coeliacs because it makes it easier to shop gluten-free. Basically, the “Safe for Coeliacs” product listing is a guide to eating gluten-free safely.
It is put together using information provided by the manufacturers themselves and takes into account current product-safety regulations, manufacturing processes, and an evaluation of the ingredients listing for products sold in Spain. It contains a wide variety of products listed by brand name, including meats, flours and derivatives, dairy products, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, pre-cooked items, and many, many more categories.
In Spain there is a large variety of restaurants ranging from typical Spanish fare to international cuisine (Asian, Italian, French, Argentine…). Whenever eating out at a restaurant, we should keep the following considerations in mind:
- Let the maître or waiter know that you are coeliac and that you need to follow a gluten-free diet.
- Discuss the menu items that you think might be suitable for you.
- Don’t be afraid to ask about ingredients and how the dish is prepared. Not everyone is familiar with Coeliac Disease or the gluten-free diet and even those who are familiar with it may not be as knowledgeable as you.
- There are gluten-free dishes that can be found on the great majority of menus in restaurants (salads, grilled fish and meat, egg omelets, homemade desserts, fruit, etc). Just ask a few questions to make sure about the ingredients and preparation.
- If you are ordering fried potatoes, ask if they can be prepared in a separate frypan. Keep in mind, though, that restaurants increasingly use fryers that are exclusively for potatoes since the frying temperature is not the same one used for other fried foods and because it makes for a better visual presentation by keeping small bits of fried foods from mixing with the fries.
- Also ask for a clean fry pan when ordering a grilled dish. Sometimes flour is sprinkled on the normal grilling surface to keep things from sticking, and this represents a clear danger for cross contamination.
- If you like bread, sweet rolls, or pasta, bring along a couple packages of these items when you travel--just in case. You can have the restaurant cook your pasta for you.
Many of the associations / federations that belong to FACE have their own listing of restaurants where you can get gluten-free fare.Click here to view (a map of Spain will appear).
Additionally, FACE has forged contacts with nationwide chains and has provided the necessary training on how to tend to a coeliac customer and how to prepare a gluten-free meal with all the necessary assurances. Click here to view
FACEMOVIL is an app for mobile devices that offers assistance to coeliacas anywhere and anytime. It contains and updated list of gluten-free
If you live abroad, you are going to visit Spain, and you want this app click here
FACE has been all too aware of the problems facing coeliacs when traveling, particularly with regards to lodging. The Federation was moved to contact hotel chains in search of a quality commitment for coeliacs. In the form of a collaborative agreements, these hotel and restaurant chains commit themselves to putting together a gluten-free menu prepared with products bearing the “Controlado por FACE” Quality Label, which makes for an added guarantee. Additionally, they receive training about the disease, the gluten-free diet, and how best to approach the preparation, handling, and presentation of gluten-free dishes. FACE is always available to answer any questions that may arise.
When reserving a room at one of these hotels, a coeliac need only explain his or her situation and the hotel will handle the rest.
The hotel chains are as follows
Associations / federations belonging to FACE also have lists of hotels that offer gluten-free food. For more information about those regional listings, you’ll need to contact the appropriate association / federation. Click here and you will be directed to the map of Spain.
As for hotels in general, many offer gluten-free menus. But make sure you make your needs clear prior to making the reservation, since establishments that have been sympathetic to the needs of coeliacs may have changed ownership or may have undergone other changes that affect the recommendation you may have received about a particular hotel from someone that stayed there previously.
Useful Words and Phrases
Here is a list of terms and phrases that may come in handy when visiting Spain:
- Enfermedad celiaca = celiac disease
- Yo soy celiaco = I’m coeliac
- No puedo comer productos que tengan como ingrediente: trigo, centeno, cebada o avena = I cannot eat things that contain wheat, rye, barley or oats.
- Libre de gluten = gluten-free
- Almidón de trigo = wheat starch
- Soy celiaco y debo seguir una dieta sin gluten = I’m coeliac and must follow a gluten-free diet
- Esta comida contiene trigo, centeno, cebada o avena? = Does this dish contain wheat, rye, barley, or oats?
- Puedo comer alimentos que contengan arroz, patatas, verduras y frutas, huevos, queso, leche y pescado = I can eat dishes with rice, potatoes, vegetables, fruit, eggs, cheese, milk, and fish.
- Sin salsa por favor = No sauce please!
- Gracias por su ayuda = Thank you for your help!
This explanatory card may also come in handy when travelling in Spain. You can give it to the cook. Click here for explanatory card in Spanish.
Mazorca is a magazine published for the coeliac community. It covers a variety of issues related to coeliac disease, such as:
- Medical articles about the disease
- Testimonials from coeliacs about how they manage the gluten-free diet.
- Information about gluten-free products
- Events organized and held by the different associations / federations belonging to FACE
- Symposiums and Conventions in which FACE is a participant
- Information about publications related to coeliac disease
The magazine is a useful source for finding out about new breakthroughs in research related to this condition.