Experts are urging food businesses to take gluten seriously, following research that foods are commonly labelled as 'gluten free' despite containing potentially harmful levels of gluten.
Coeliac Australia has launched a new campaign to draw awareness to the issue, calling on businesses to use resources available to provide genuine gluten free options.
"For people with coeliac disease, the only treatment that they have available to them is a strict gluten-free diet," Cathy Di Bella, Coeliac Australia partnerships and sponsorships manager told the Hit Newsroom.
"So every time they go outside of home, they're putting a lot of faith in food businesses to give them a strict gluten-free meal.
"Just little bits of gluten - so we're talking 1/100th of a slice of bread - regularly in a diet can lead to some really serious long-term health consequences.
"Gluten-free is now the most popular dietary claim on a menu today, but it means that because it's grown so quickly, many chefs don't know how to treat gluten seriously."
The research conducted by Coeliac Australia found that 79 per cent of diners believe they had been exposed to gluten while eating out and 90 per cent worry about falling ill due to potential gluten exposure.
Of the 2,500 people in the study, 75 per cent want to avoid eating out in social situations due to the fear of contamination.