drink on table with pasta straw and caption 'pov you're both gluten free and the bar puts pasta straws in your drinks' (l) person with drink on table with pasta straw and caption 'pov you're both gluten free and the bar puts pasta straws in your drinks' (c) drink on table with pasta straw and caption 'pov you're both gluten free and the bar puts pasta straws in your drinks' (r)

@thatgingerabroad/TikTok by Caterina Cox

‘The gluten is now in the drink’: Customers with celiac disease receive drinks with pasta straws

‘Literally having to ask if the straws are gluten-free each time.’


Braden Bjella


Since 2018, there’s been a growing fervor around plastic straws. The disposable straws, which are largely unnecessary unless required by disability, had been roundly criticized for their one-time use nature and the fact that they can be harmful to sea turtles.

As a result, many restaurants opted to phase them out. In some cases, products were redesigned so straws were not needed. In others, alternatives were found to plastic straws, including straws made out of bamboo, seaweed, grass, and of course, paper.

One such alternative is a pasta straw. This alternative is beloved for its rigidity, biodegradability, and relatively low cost.

However, the proliferation of pasta straws can spell danger for those with gluten issues, as TikTok user Ella (@thatgingerabroad) notes in a video with over 2.5 million views.

In the video, two drinks can be seen with pasta straws.

“pov you’re both gluten-free and the bar puts pasta straws in your drinks,” Ella writes in the text overlaying the video.

@thatgingerabroad lol we still drank from them but felt so wrong😭 #glutenfree #glutenfreeabroad #pastastraw #pastastraws #glutenfreelife #coeliac #coeliacabroad #RefreshingDrinks #FavouriteDrink #TheHappyHour #travellife #traveltiktok #travel #fyp #foryou #2023travelgoals #2023travel #2023bucketlist #wheretotravelnext #cheaptravel #traveldayvlog #europe #summertravel #summertravels #citybreak #citybreaks #citybreakholiday #beachvibes #beach #beachholiday #2022travel #flight #catchflights #airport #travelbucketlist #traveling #traveltok #traveltips #travelthrowback #TravelMemories #traveldiaries #dreamtrip #dreamvacation #christmasbreak #Weekendtrips #vacation #vacationmode #vacationingreece #flightmode #viewfromabove #clouds #viewfromclouds #afterlifequote #dontworryaboutyourpast #bookthattrip #bookthatflight #nextadventure #nextadventureloading #livelife #nuremberg #bar #cocktails ♬ original sound – Julian Burzynski

It’s unclear whether the straws in the video would actually present a problem for someone with Celiac disease, as there are several gluten-free pasta straws on the market.

If the straws do, in fact, contain gluten, experts advise that those with Celiac disease should avoid them.

In a question-and-answer section of the National Celiac Association website, Katarina Mollo MEd, RDN, LDN says that pasta straws are unsafe for those with Celiac disease, suggesting alternatives like forgoing the straw or using straws made from gluten-free materials.

Celiac disease, frequently spelled coeliac disease in the U.K., is an immune disease that causes intestine lining inflammation and other medical complications when one consumes gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley, per the Celiac Disease Foundation.

Ella appears to be at a location of the German chain restaurant Sausalitos, which began removing plastic straws from their locations in 2018.

While it’s unclear whether the specific straws used by the people in the video contained gluten, a menu from a location dated to July 2022 warns that “our pasta drinking straws contain gluten.” That said, the patent for the restaurant’s pasta straw claims it also covers “gluten-free pasta.”

Ella says that the two “still drank from them but felt so wrong,” tagging the video with #coeliac and #coeliacabroad.

In the comments section, users shared their thoughts on Ella’s predicament.

“I got celiac and I would cry,” wrote one user.

“When this happens to me I send it back and order a completely different drink instead just to be safe,” said another.

“Literally having to ask if the straws are gluten free each time,” recalled a third.

The Daily Dot reached out to Sausalitos via email and Ella via TikTok DM.

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