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Panera Bread–Summer 2012 Updated Information

After doing some behind-the-scenes work on my blog last week, I noticed that many people find my blog by searching for gluten-free Panera Bread information.  Panera Bread has offered gluten-free choices for years, but they have never had any gluten-free baked goods on the menu.  I emailed them last week to get the current list of their menu items that are free of gluten and will be sharing them below.  Since Panera Bread has predominantly bread items, there is a risk of cross-contamination. 

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This is the response I received from Panera:

Dear Kimberly,
Thank you for contacting Panera Bread. I have included below a list of our menu items that do not contain gluten-containing ingredients. However, because we bake fresh bread daily in our bakery-cafes and bread is core to our menu, we simply cannot ensure that there has been no contact between these items, or any other menu items, and gluten.

Not all of the items listed are currently on our menu and some new menu items have not yet been evaluated for the purposes of inclusion on this list. However, you can find complete ingredients listings for current menu items on our website. (When you choose a menu item in our online Nutrition Calculator, click on the "ingredients" link for ingredients information for that item.)

Please note that nutritional information on our website is updated periodically. New products may be available in our bakery-cafes before a periodic update of this site. In addition, some menu items may be available only on a regional, test or seasonal basis. Nutritional information about these menu items is available at the participating bakery-cafes. Tests of new recipes of existing products may be conducted from time to time in certain markets. These new recipes may contain different/additional ingredients, including allergens, as compared to the original version. For the most update-to-date information, please call or visit your nearest bakery-cafe to speak with a manager.

Thank you again for contacting us. We appreciate your business and value your comments.
Sincerely,
Casey
Customer Comment Coordinator

PRODUCTS WITHOUT GLUTEN CONTAINING INGREDIENTS- Panera Bread **
**Although we try to meet your special requirements, we cannot ensure that these items have not come into contact with gluten in our bakery-café.
** Gorgonzola and bleu cheeses are commonly made with mold incubated on wheat. Some may choose to avoid these cheeses for this reason and you may substitute another cheese if you prefer. Items containing these ingredients are indicated below with (G) or (BC).
Salads: (including the salad dressing) (source of modified food starch is corn)
• Greek Salad
• Caesar Salad (without croutons)
• Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad (without croutons)
• Asian Sesame Chicken Salad (without Won Ton noodles)
• Classic Cafe Salad
• Fuji Apple Chicken Salad & Roasted Turkey Fuji Apple Salad (G)
• Chopped Chicken Cobb Salad & Chopped Chicken Cobb with Avocado Salad (G)
• BBQ Chopped Chicken Salad
• Seasonal Fruit Cups
• Chopped Steak & Blue Cheese (without crispy onions) (BC)
• Thai Chopped Chicken Salad (without wontons, vinaigrette, and peanut sauce)
• Strawberry Poppyseed & Chicken Salad
Salad Dressings:
• Balsamic Vinaigrette
• Caesar
• Greek/Herb Vinaigrette
• Asian Sesame Vinaigrette
• White Balsamic Fuji Apple Vinaigrette
• BBQ Ranch
• BBQ Sauce
• Cabernet Sauce
• Blue Cheese Vinaigrette
• Light Buttermilk Ranch
• Fat Free Poppyseed Dressing
Soups:
• Low Fat Vegetarian Black Bean
• Creamy Tomato (without croutons)
• Low Fat Chicken Tortilla with or without the tortilla strips
• Vegetarian Summer Corn Chowder
Beverages:
• Coffee- all varieties
• Juice, both apple and orange
• Lemonade
• Milk
• Soda, fountain and bottled
• Brewed Tea, tea bags, Chai Tea (hot & iced) and green tea
• All lattes, espresso drinks & Frozen beverages
• Low-Fat Smoothies
• Hot Chocolate
Spreads:
• All Cream Cheese Spread flavors
MISC:
• Panera Bread Potato Chips
• All meats (including roast beef, ham, turkey, roasted turkey, salami, bacon, ABF citrus pepper chicken, smoked chicken, Salmon [seasonal], Lobster [select areas only], all natural sausage patty).
• All cheeses (see gorgonzola and blue cheese reference above)

I haven’t had any issues getting glutened when eating Panera, though it is not something I do often.  When I do eat at Panera, I always speak with the manager on duty to make sure that the employee handling my food changes his or her gloves and is subsequently the only employee to handle my food.  I love the Chai Tea Lattes, Low-Fat Vegetarian Black Bean soup, and Greek Salad! 

Do you eat at Panera Bread gluten-free?  What is your favorite menu item?

12 comments to Panera Bread–Summer 2012 Updated Information

  • celiacinthecity

    Thanks for the updated info, Kim — I am a big fan of the black bean soup and the greek salad too!

  • vanmick

    i absolutely love the fuji apple salad with either chicken or roasted turkey!!! So healthy and very tasty. I really like Panera's-just dont get the chance to go very often….

  • Dana

    I love Panera too, and I've read online that we could eat the chicken that is in the salad. But the other day I ordered the chopped BBQ chicken salad without the tortilla strips and when I told the girl I had a gluten allergy and asked her to have them change their gloves, she looked at me like I was crazy and said…"you can have that??". So I told her I was surprised too but I read it online, so it had to be true,lol! As I was waiting for my order she came back over to inform me that the chicken was seasoned with something that contained gluten! I was crushed and very concerned for my fellow celiacs. Please be advised and also please let me know if anyone has experienced any problems because I am confused and hoping she was wrong.

  • Interesting. When I asked at Panera Bread if the Greek salad was gluten-free, the cashier looked at me like I was speaking Chinese or something. So I explained what gluten was, she told me not only did the Greek salad dressing have gluten in it, so did everything on the menu. My most unhelpful gluten-free experience at a restaurant. Ever. Needless to say I've never gone back.

  • Marcia K

    What I want to know is, who is this Casey at Panera? Tell this sweet person thanks for the great information! Also please ask Casey why Panera makes its customers and prospects turn to generous and gracious OUTSIDERS for this information? Why can't we rely on Panera to publish this information, since they do have it? Come on, Panera. Why wait until you're legally required to identify what has gluten in it?

  • Bread is my most favorite one for my breakfast food. Most of the time I'll try to have it in my breakfast. Your bread writing is able to makes me more impress to enjoy more this delicious bread. Your bread Ingredients is very easy to collect and such kind of food is also most attractive for me. Which helps me a lot to keep well my health.

  • I always like to enjoy some difference and delicious food and in this time I've seen your writing which is recipe concerning. Your recipe ingredient prepare method is able to makes me impress to enjoy this recipe in my home. But one more thing is that your Panera bread has predominantly bread items is more attractive to me.

  • This was an interesting article. I look forward to more. I think there are a lot of people who are going to benefit from your postings.

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