Is Seafood Safe for Celiacs? Not Necessarily!

gluten free mussels FBNew worry for celiacs?

  • I overheard a fish store owner sharing how he ‘cleans’ mussels. “Put a pinch of flour in a bowl of salted water. The mussels will ingest the flour, then disgorge everything inside of them.”

Ina Garten’s post on Mussels in White Wine confirms the practice:

  • “To clean the mussels, put them in a large bowl with 2 quarts of water and the flour and soak for 30 minutes, or until the mussels disgorge any sand. Drain the mussels, then remove the “beard” from each with your fingers. If they’re dirty, scrub the mussels with a brush under running water. Discard any mussels whose shells aren’t tightly shut.”

The Celiac Scene is horrified! Do celiacs need to worry that mussels ‘cleaned’ this way either don’t finish expelling the gluten or have not been  rinsed properly before going into the cooking pot?

  • How common is this practice?
  • Do celiacs need to ask servers how their mussels were prepared?
  • Could residual gluten be present in the mussel itself or in the ‘beard’ if not properly rinsed and removed?

Just when you think seafood as a food group is safe for celiacs, one needs to ‘dive deeper ‘ on how the meal is prepared.

We welcome your thoughts in the filed below!