In order to ensure a safe journey, experts from the Dr. Schar Scientific Committee have now prepared a “Guideline for celiac patients”. This is intended for celiac patients and their families, who are about to go away on holiday.
Dr. Letizia Saturini, expert nutritionist at the Universitá Politecnica delle Marche and Member of the Dr. Schär Scientific Committee, emphasises that “A holiday away can be seized as an ideal opportunity to discover new aromas and recipes created with gluten free grain products”.
“If the precautionary measures, which are observed during the rest of the year, can be enhanced by a number of simple tricks, then one can visit practically any corner of the world that one wishes to see”, adds Dr. Giuseppe Caula, gastroenterologist at the Department for Internal Medicine am Presidio Ospedaliero Valdese ASL TO1 and Member of the Dr. Schär Scientific Committee.
Guideline for celiac tourists to Europe and other continents
- Circle of friends: Before setting off on holiday, get in touch with the responsible association in the respective country.
- Carefree flights: Whenen booking your ticket, be sure to make inquiries about gluten-free in-flight meals. Reference this guide before you book your travel.
- Explain needs: Wherever you travel, always carry the “Gluten free restaurant card” with you, which explains your specific nutritional needs in all languages.
- Try out new flavors: Many countries have typical dishes that are based on gluten-free grain: e.g. corn pone and tapioca cakes from Africa, fejolada from Brazil, rice pudding from Canada and numerous other delicacies.
- Green light for rice, but...also be careful when eating rice! The rice must be prepared in a pan that is free of residue of other foodstuffs that may have been cooked previously. The wooden spoon should also be used exclusively for gluten free food.
- Not only pasta contains gluten: Gluten is also a component found in numerous other foodstuffs, such as soup cubes, various types of sausage and spreading cheeses. Also be careful with einkorn pasta or kamut: Both are classed among the forbidden types of grain!
- Diversified nutrition: Fruit, vegetables, meat, fish and gluten-free types of sausage should be an integral part of your weekly diet.
- Forget fasting: Always carry a salty or sweet snack with you, so that you can overcome any difficult situations that may arise.
All tourists traveling in European countries with insufficient hygienic conditions must observe a few simple sanitary rules, so that they can avoid a so-called “traveler’s diarrhea”. It is particularly recommendable that celiac tourists observe these simple rules. Because diarrhea can sometimes be falsely diagnosed as a sudden worsening or a re-occurrence of a symptom that already existed before the diagnosis.
The following rules are to be observed:
- Only drink drinks that come from sealed bottles;
- Don’t have drinks with ice cubes in them;
- Don’t consume any unpasteurized milk products;
- Peel raw fruit or vegetables before eating;
- Don’t eat any raw or half-cooked seafood or fish;
- Only eat meat or meals that have been well cooked and are still warm;
- Don’t buy food from merchants on the street;
- Pay attention to personal hygiene and only use drinking water when cleaning your teeth, and always wash your hands before eating and after visiting the toilette;
- If you don’t have any drinking water with you, either boil the water or disinfect it before use.