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Jane Anderson

Subway Testing Two New Gluten-Free Menu Items: Bread and Brownie

By January 10, 2011

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Subway is testing two new gluten-free menu items: a gluten-free roll and a gluten-free brownie, according to this post at the fast food restaurant site QSRWeb.com.

The fast food chain will conduct the trial starting today at stores in Dallas and Tyler, Tex. The baked goods will arrive pre-packaged and individually wrapped, and workers will be trained on how to cut them using a pre-wrapped knife to avoid cross contamination.

On the surface, this could be good news for people with celiac disease and gluten intolerance, since options for gluten-free meals in fast food restaurants, while growing, are still pretty limited.

But it also could be a nightmare of cross contamination --I used to eat in Subway frequently pre-diagnosis, and all the sandwich ingredients, plus the preparation area, usually were covered in bread crumbs.

I honestly don't see how they could make a safe gluten-free sandwich at Subway without getting all fresh ingredients from the back (and even then I'd be wary). But I applaud them for trying, and I truly hope they come up with a way to handle it that will work.

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January 15, 2011 at 1:14 am
(1) Janice says:

It is great that Subway is making an effort to provide Gluten Free options with a roll and brownie.

The cross contamination is a concern that most restaurant workers are either not aware of or do not take seriously. I seriously doubt that during a busy lunch rush with 15-20 people in line the person behind the counter would even take the time to change their gloves.

I applaud those restaurants who honestly admit they cannot guarantee a gluten free meal and therefore will not provide a gluten free menu or gluten free items. I have been sick too many times from claims of gluten free meals.

January 19, 2011 at 8:19 am
(2) Carmen says:

I agree we have to be so careful about contamination that I don’t think they’ll be careful enogh to no make us sick.

January 20, 2011 at 8:05 pm
(3) Ginger says:

I tried the Subway gluten free bread today. It tasted very much like a “normal” hamburger bun. I enjoyed it and definitely thought it tasted above average for gluten free. It was nice to feel semi-normal being able to order a sandwich like everyone else. They washed their hands and used a plastic knife to cut it. The big problem I saw was when they cleaned the line. They brushed all of the gluten filled bread crumbs right into the first row of meats. I wouldn’t eat anything off of the first (and maybe even second) row of meats, if you are very sensitive. I got chicken from the row furthest from the line and I haven’t had any signs of getting sick yet.

January 21, 2011 at 4:08 pm
(4) Skeptic says:

Went in to a Dallas Subway today that liberally advertised new gluten-free bread. The workers there pointed at the wheat bread every time I asked for gluten-free bread. This act continued for many minutes. I kept asking for the gluten-free bread and they kept pointing to the wheat bread. After much frustration, I left.

Not only do the workers there not speak the same language as I do, don’t know the difference between gluten-free and wheat bread, but we’re supposed to trust them that they’ll not cross-contaminate when building a gluten-free sandwich.

No thanks.

I’ll save the money and stress, and bring my own lunch to work until we’re all on the same page.

And I’m perfectly happy with restaurants and fast food companies not offering any special menus at all. It’s their business if they want to offer anything like gluten-free or low cal at all.

February 5, 2011 at 12:23 pm
(5) Jackie says:

Can anyone tell me WHERE I can find the INGREDIANTS IN Subway’s GLUTEN FREE BREAD. My son is also casien free, and I have been unable to get the INGREDIANTS for just the GLUTEN FREE BREAD.

February 15, 2011 at 10:47 pm
(6) Jake says:

I had a gluten free sandwich today at the subway in DFW airport and the man behind the counter changed gloves, got out a clean plastic knife to split the bun and made me a Italian BMT sandwich. It was really good, the bread was light and very tasty. Congrats to Subway.. they have earned my business in the future and I hope they expand the gluten free menu.

February 16, 2011 at 4:21 pm
(7) Dustin says:

I tried it. I was impressed with the caution put into preparing the sandwich. The bread itself reminded me of a cross between Ezekiel bread and cornbread in texture. Wonder if I got a stale bun.

February 20, 2011 at 8:03 pm
(8) Rebekah says:

I seriously hope this expands to the other stores. While I do understand the worry of cc, there is still hope. Jimmy John’s (JJ’s) has a lettuce wrap option for all of their sandwiches and I’ve had no issues eating at multiple locations multiple times. It just takes probably trained employees and all sandwiches to be prepared on their own paper. I think subway, unlike McDonald’s or Burger King, would be the best place for something like this to occur and to be successfully implemented.

March 23, 2011 at 12:53 pm
(9) Nancy says:

Ginger and others who may or have come across the same problem: Please be sure to tell the manager before you leave. They will probably not be able to stand there and watch each employee all day/every day to make sure the employees are doing things properly. They “should,” but that may be impossible. Let them know about the crumbs being brushed into the food, let them know no one seems to understand what gluten free means, etc. Everyone needs to be trained, and that means that responsibility falls upon our shoulders.
I, too, hope this works out for Subway. OMG! That will open more doors for us, and them!

Looking forward to Subway GF bread in Tucson :)

May 22, 2011 at 10:33 pm
(10) Sarah Blanche says:

Cross-contamination isn’t an issue for everyone; there are people who suffer from gluten intolerance who do not have celiac disease. These people would greatly benefit from gluten-free options at chain eateries such as Subway.

September 26, 2011 at 4:40 pm
(11) Andrea says:

I just tried the Gluten Free sandwich from Subway. The gal stopped what she was doing completely, washed her hands put gloves on, then she got the bread (which was stored in a completely different area), she never touched anything else while making only my sandwich. She had another worker open the oven for her so she couldn’t risk cross contamination.
I was extremely impressed. it did cost one dollar more, but well worth it if your hungry on the go.

January 12, 2012 at 1:54 pm
(12) Jamie says:

I have personally eaten at two of the subways where they have gluten free bread and brownies. I must say that I was very impressed how staff went out of their way to ensure no cross contamination occurred. There was separate storage for lettuce and other condiments used on sandwiches for gluten free customers. The employees changed their gloves and cleaned the prep surface as well as made sure the bread never touched any thing other than the paper used to wrap the sandwich. You would have thought they were put in charge of holding something that was breakable. They were extremely careful. I am very impressed! By the way…the bread is awesome and doesn’t crumble like Jasons deli gf bread. The brownies are delicious too!

February 7, 2012 at 3:40 pm
(13) Kris says:

I searched Subway’s website for a list of the ingredients in the GF bread. Finally, I called my local Portland, Oregon, Subway. The manager returned my call and read me the GF bread ingredients. The top three are egg whites, corn starch (modified), tapioca starch…no teff, no soy. Made on equipment shared with soy.

June 6, 2012 at 12:35 am
(14) Jessi says:

I personally work at a subway. I make it my responsiblity to go out of my way to make gluten free sandwiches safe. When a customer asks for a gluten free sandwich or salad. I will clean up my work station, wash my hands, change my gloves. I use a disposible on time use knife to cut the sandwich. We have to toast the sandwich first to finish the baking process. I don’t touch any surface that could cross contaminate with bread crumbs. I use products that aren’t in the bain. So that if there is a chance of bread crumbs I don’t want someone getting sick. I make it my priority to make subway a safe place for people who are allergic to gluten.

October 12, 2012 at 5:18 pm
(15) Darren says:

KUDOS to SUBWAY….You guys rock on the GF bread. I personally havent tried it yet but after reading here on this site i cant wait.!!! Good Job SUBWAY, you guys are leading the way to restaurants having GF foods that are delicious too.

October 18, 2012 at 10:05 pm
(16) Kate says:

I am so happy Subway has gluten free options. I read above that the bread has modified corn starch. I was told not eat anything with modified corn starch in it because it could have some wheat in it since it is ‘modified’. Any thoughts??

October 19, 2012 at 7:49 am
(17) celiacdisease says:

Modified corn starch doesn’t have wheat in it, so I wouldn’t worry about that ingredient in something that’s labeled “gluten-free.”

November 1, 2012 at 11:29 am
(18) michelle says:

I was cautious the first time I tried their GF sandwiches, but I must say, they are fantastic. What a lifesaver for those of us that have gone so long without a sandwich on decent bread! The employees are always very cautious & use separate utensils, 2 pairs of gloves & never touch anything else. They will also pull meat from the middle of the pan (not the top layers, just in case) or from the back if you ask. They have been trained very well. Thanks Subway, I can finally have lunch with my co-workers again!

January 11, 2013 at 3:05 pm
(19) Michael says:

I understand this post was made a while ago, but Jane, you would sound a lot less pesimistic and judgemental had you visited a Subway that offered G-Free options.
My visits have been nothing but satisfactory! :) Your atricle would have been a lot more helpful to readers had you wrote about your experience, rather than an uneducated opinion.
Just my thoughts!

March 9, 2013 at 7:16 pm
(20) Donna in Bend says:

The Subway in Bend Oregon on Simpson carries Gluten free. When you order gluten-free, they clean the area so there is no wheat crumbs and they don’t touch the roll, they either only touch the paper the roll sits on or change gloves or both. The roll stood up to the tuna salad I had, looked small but was plenty of food, especialy after the great gluten free brownie I got from Subway. Hope more company start to do this.

June 21, 2013 at 10:56 pm
(21) Gena says:

Does the Milwaukee, WI area offer GF bread at Subway?

September 11, 2013 at 5:48 pm
(22) subway worker says:

I’m so tired of dumbasses coming in to work..of course all the food touches at some point. Just buy from the grocery store and make your own food. You get more for your money and are assured safety. Thats not our job to worry about yoyr safety. I have crohns and I never go around telling people to pick off tomatoes and acidic things at mcdonalds. It was my fault for going there. I know crohns is not the same as celiac but poiny is be on top of your own issues and take charge.

December 22, 2013 at 1:52 pm
(23) me says:

Thanks for trying…but i dont think i will. Chains dont train employees or employees dont care. In n out does a great job of setting up a seamless system. Other chains should follow suit…what every gluten free person wants…to make a huge scene with 30 people in line behind him or her…with every person thinking im doing it becausr il some type of fanatic.

December 22, 2013 at 1:55 pm
(24) me says:

Thanks for trying…but i dont think i will. Chains dont train employees or employees dont care. In n out does a great job of setting up a seamless system. Other chains should follow suit…what every gluten free person wants…to make a huge scene with 30 people in line behind him or her…with every person thinking im doing it becausr il some type of fanatic.

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