Is Your Food Really Gluten Free? Use This Device to Find Out – Nima Sensor Unboxing and Review
Unlike many product reviews and videos you see on the internet, in which individuals receive products for free or discounted in exchange for their reviews, this review and video was created by a PAYING customer. This post is not sponsored by, nor endorsed by Nima. What you see is what you get, no holds barred.
Reducing the Uncertainty
If you are gluten intolerant, Celiac, or allergic to gluten, it is likely a nightmare to eat out at restaurants or even at houses of friends or relatives. Why? There are many misconceptions about gluten, and many people do not know what gluten really is. One trending question on Google is, “Does rice contain gluten?” and in Spanish, “Arroz contiene gluten?” The short answer is no, rice does not contain gluten, but it could be cross contaminated with wheat, barley, rye, couscous, or other gluten containing foods during processing or transportation.
As a gluten intolerant individual, I have not gotten sick after eating rice. However, Celiacs will want to be especially careful of cross contamination. That’s where the Nima gluten sensor is extremely convenient, as it introduces a level of certainty in an otherwise stressful situation.
Hidden Sources of Gluten
There are many hidden sources of gluten, including:
- Salad dressings (malt vinegar, flour, soy sauce)
- This includes RANCH dressing! A majority of restaurants thicken their ranch with flour! Make sure to ask if it’s gluten free.
- Salad toppings, like candied nuts
- French fries (cross contamination from batter/breaded items)
- Soup (barley or flour as thickening agent)
- Eggs at restaurants (some restaurants thicken scrambled eggs and omelettes with pancake batter)
- Multi-grain tortilla chips or tortillas (especially at restaurants like Chili’s, their tortilla chips contain wheat flour and corn and are not gluten free)
- Candy bars
- Milkshakes (made with malt)
- Cosmetics, including lipstick and chapstick, which are easy to consume
- Medication (my thyroid medication “Synthroid” contained gluten and made me very ill)
- Spices and seasonings (be sure to check the label)
- Sushi (imitation crab, rice vinegar, sesame seeds, any sauces, wasabi)
Nima is sensitive to at least 20 ppm
Nima can help alleviate your worries and stress, making eating out more enjoyable. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guideline on labeling a food to be “gluten free” dictates there must be less than 20 ppm of gluten found in the product. Nima is able to detect lower levels of gluten and has a low false positive rate. With this device, you can stop worrying if the chef, wait staff or manager remembered to mark your order “gluten free”.
How to Order Gluten Free Food in a Restaurant
Do Your Homework
Research the restaurant ahead of time online. Look for gluten free menus on respective restaurants. If no gluten free menus are available, call the restaurant during a time when the restaurant is least busy (during non-meal times, like 3 pm). Ask to speak to the manager about the gluten free options. If the restaurant doesn’t answer the phone or gives non-committal answers, like “I THINK we have gluten free options” or “Come in and the wait staff will go over the menu with you”, it’s a good indicator they are not sensitive to food limitations. Think carefully about whether or not you want to risk eating there.
Ask for a Manager
After arriving at the restaurant and being seated, ask to speak to a manager about the menu, because you have food allergies. Specifically say you have a food allergy (even if you are Celiac or intolerant). Explain to the manager your allergy, and let him or her walk you through the safe menu items. Make sure they understand the importance of your concerns. This is the best way to ensure that the limitations from your order will be followed.
Check Your Food
Once your order arrives, visually inspect the food. If you are allergic to tomatoes, like me, check for tomato seeds, as this is the best way to tell if your dish has been contaminated. Many times, the wait staff will tell me they are bell peppers, but I know the difference between tomato seeds and bell pepper seeds. If you have a Nima gluten sensor, you can check a pea sized sample of your food and get results in a few minutes. Watch the video below to see how it works!
Reader feedback: What’s your biggest pain point about eating out?