Gluten Free at Chipotle - New Desserts Bring High Cross Contamination Risks

The following below has been updated with new information provided by Chipotle as of 5/25/17


Most of you know that many of the foods at Chipotle are gluten-free or at least safe to an extent. Cross contamination is possible at any restaurant but, for the most part, Chipotle seems to do a pretty good job. There are few foods to cross contaminate with, which is nice, but this could all change within the next year. You may have recently heard that Chipotle will be releasing new Wheat Flour Desserts (buñuelos). Why does this matter to you? Well it’s important to know now that this new item will come with a lot of cross contamination issues for those of us who are gluten-free. Unfortunately, the chips on their menu will no longer be safe for those with celiac disease as well. This will only be in select locations for now but it looks like it may roll out into every location in the near future. Read why below.


Important Notice: Corn items from Chipotle are already unsafe for those with celiac disease or a gluten intolerance
Many people don't know this but the corn items on Chipotle's menu are already unsafe for those with celiac disease or a gluten intolerance. This includes the corn salsa, corn tortillas, chips, and more. This information has been sourced below and can be found directly on their website.
Sourced from Chipotle.com Allergen Page

It is rare that the staff will be aware of this too so it is very important to know before you dine at your Chipotle establishment. This information on corn currently applies to every Chipotle.


The following below only applies if Chipotle desserts are being sold at your restaurant location (Testing is only in New York right now)

Chipotle chips will no longer be gluten-free:
It's important to know that the the chips may not have been 100% safe before but now it will be 100% contaminated. This is because the flour tortillas for this new dessert item are going to be made in the same fryer as the Chipotle chips. A customer service representative from Chipotle confirmed that, “The frying oil used to make our tortilla chips will be used to fry our new buñuelos which will no longer make our tortilla chips gluten-free.” Right now they are being made off site but this will change if the desserts expand to more stores in the future. If you see the new Chipotle desserts at a Chipotle you go to, absolutely avoid the chips too since they will no longer be gluten-free.

The New Chipotle Dessert (buñuelos) Unveiled 

Risk for other potential cross contaminated items: (updated)
Before now, flour tortillas were the only source of cross contamination. But now with the new addition of these desserts, cross contamination will be much more likely. Gloves are always worn but it is possible that the staff will go from touching the buñuelos to touching other ingredients. This poses as a new risk for the meats or other ingredients to be cross contaminated since the staff may be touching the wheat flour buñuelos during the preparation process. Ask the staff to change gloves when you order and proceed with caution once these desserts show up on the menu.



How to still eat safely at Chipotle:
It’s obvious that these new changes will bring a higher cross contamination risk and it’s unfortunate that this is happening to a common restaurant that many of us eat at. I strongly advise each of you to pay attention to the menus next time you go to Chipotle so that you know that these cross contamination risks will be in effect. Surely, you don’t want to avoid Chipotle completely and you really don’t have to. My best advice is to order a veggie bowl with no meats or corn items and always ask the staff members to change their gloves. Be aware of what you order and make sure they use untouched sour cream, cheese, guacamole, and lettuce if you get it too. There has always been a risk of cross contamination at Chipotle but unfortunately these desserts will only make it higher. Ordering this way will at least be the safest way to order your food and make the most of the situation that you’re given.

Note: Unfortunately, foods at Chipotle are not targeted to the gluten-free consumers but they have been "naturally gluten-free". It does not look like Chipotle will plan on accommodating to the gluten-free consumer for these desserts in the near future. To read more about the desserts, click hereIf you want to voice your concern, try contacting Chipotle through the "contact us" page.
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5 comments:

  1. Wow, I had no idea this was even coming. What a bummer!

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  2. The chips were never gluten free in the first place due to the statement on chipotle's website saying their corn may be commingled with wheat while in the field! Just a heads up to anyone who is extremely sensitive that the corn chips are not safe!

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  3. This is truly disappointing. Thanks for updating us, Taylor!

    ReplyDelete