In an effort to serve those with wheat and gluten allergies, Burger King joins other fast food restaurants, such as Wendy’s and McDonald’s, with offering customers a menu listing of items that are gluten-free.
Gluten is the prime protein in grass-related grains, such as wheat, barley, and rye. People with an autoimmune disorder called celiac disease must avoid foods that contain the gluten protein because it disrupts the structure of the lining in the small intestine, leading to an impairment of nutrient absorption. Avoiding gluten can keep the villi of the intestine from becoming damaged and prevent gastrointestinal upset and malnutrition.
There are about 40,000 to 60,000 people in the United States diagnosed with celiac disease, but the number of those who are sensitive or intolerant to gluten may be higher.
Eating out is especially difficult for those with a gluten sensitivity, because wheat flour is used in many products for texture, breading, and as a flavoring or stabilizing agent. Many restaurants and dining establishments are offering customers information on the ingredients used in their foods, not only for those with celiac disease, but also for those with other food allergies, such as a peanut, egg, or milk allergy.
Burger King marketing representatives state that the company is offering the menu listing as part of the “Have It Your Way” brand promise. “We understand that our guests have individual dietary needs,” said Cindy Syracuse, senior director of cultural marketing for Burger King Corp. “With our Gluten-Sensitive list, we’re making it easier for our guests to identify these choices.”
The full gluten-free menu list can be found at the Burger King website, at www.bk.com.
For more on restaurants that offer gluten free choices, visit http://glutenfreemenus.net/