Welcome to Poland. It is a picturesque and interesting country. To start with we have good news for people with coeliac disease and others on a gluten-free diet who would like to visit our country. If you are on this kind of diet you can survive in Poland for sure.
Gluten free products are quite well available in:
- super- or hypermarkets, supermarkets (Lidl, Biedronka, Auchan, Real, Tesco, Carrefour),
- healthy food shops (in Polish: sklep ze zdrową żywnoscią), they are in most cities,
- some basic gluten free products may be easily found in convenient stores (Żabka).
Gluten free bread is widely available in shops mentions above, as well as some cold meats with Crossed Grain symbol or breakfast cereals (eg. Nestle).
If you come to stay for longer and you stay at Polish family, ask them to look at the list of products they can use to prepare GF meals for you: http://www.celiakia.pl/produkty-dozwolone/ . Here you have a list of licensed products with Crossed Grain logo: https://celiakia.pl/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/wykaz-produktow-licencjonowanych-styczen-2019.pdf
When staying at hotel it is also worth trying, while booking rooms, to ask hotel staff to order some gluten free products for you. If you would like to use hotel restaurant you should talk to the chef describing your diet and decide which meals are safe for you. Below you have a short text in Polish, which informs that you are on a GF diet and the main points describing it:
Jestem na diecie bezglutenowej. Nie mogę spożywać produktów zawierających pszenicę, żyto, jęczmień i owies oraz wszelkich wyrobów z ich dodatkiem, szczególnie mąki, skrobi i bułki tartej. Mogę jeść: kukurydzę, ryż, ziemniaki, soję, proso, grykę. Również wszystkie warzywa i owoce, mleko, ser biały i żółty, jajka, świeże mięso. Glutenu nie zawierają również masło, margaryny, oleje, oliwa z oliwek, cukier, pieprz i sól. Przy stosowaniu przypraw należy przeczytać na etykiecie, czy nie zawierają glutenu.
Problems can start when you decide to go to a restaurant. A list of safe restaurants is available at: www.menubezglutenu.pl. When you click on a map you will find some restaurants with gluten free menu in your area. Our project of safe eating out (MENU BEZ GLUTENU) has starded on May 2011 and the number of safe restaurants is still increasing.
In any other restaurant you have to consider carefully (together with a waiter and chef) what you can eat safely. Soups are risky because flour is often added to them. Fortunately there is a bigger choice as far as the main course is concerned. You can always choose boiled potatoes (after all Poland is a country where potatoes are the basic ingredients in dishes) or rice. As far as meat is concerned you can choose a roasted chicken (without the skin because you never know what it was sprinkled with), grilled meat (after checking what the added spices were) or a piece of meat (without sauce). Salads that go with the dishes are usually safe but always check it.
Have a good time in Poland and do not hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Polish Coeliac Society
The Polish Coeliac Society is the biggest nation-wide organization supporting people on a gluten-free diet. The mission of the Society, a public benefit organization, is the promotion of knowledge about the coeliac disease and the gluten-free diet and providing all-encompassing support for the afflicted. The organization was established in 2006 on the initiative of parents of children suffering from the disease and adult afflicted persons, their families and friends, who decided to confront the lack of awareness and knowledge of the coeliac disease in Poland and the problems encountered by people following a gluten-free diet. The Society has about 5000 members country-wide and has its branches in several Polish cities, including Warsaw, Cracow, Szczecin, Lodz, Poznan, Radom, Trojmiasto, Kielce, Elblag, Torun, Katowice and Bialystok.
Main actions and achievements of the Society:
- Website about the coeliac disease and gluten-free diet (www.celiakia.pl), a discussion forum for people following a gluten-free diet, a cooking website with recipes and products labeled with the crossed grain symbol, etc. The website of the Society is the most popular source of knowledge and place of experience sharing on this topic in Poland, visited monthly by several dozen thousand people. The members of the Society receive also the monthly newsletter “The Gluten-Free Diet.”
- Centre of Gluten Free Diet in Warsaw. The Centre provides specialized advice related to the coeliac disease and the gluten free diet with a free consultation with an experienced dietitian.
- The Society is the only organization representing Polish coeliac patients internationally. As an AOECS member (Association of European Coeliac Societies, www.aoecs.com) it takes part in international conferences about the coeliac disease and follows research and scientific data on the topic. The Society is partnered with several other European associations, learning from their experience and sharing its own.
- Since 2006 the Society organizes the International Coeliac Days in several Polish cities and holds numerous conferences devoted to the matter, including training conferences for dietitians and many gastronomical workshops and other meetings on the subject.
- The Society organizes the only in Poland gluten-free food fair Gluten Free EXPO.
- Eating out project: MENU WITHOUT GLUTEN (www.menubezglutenu.pl) – a program of professional training for restaurants, cafes, hotels, leisure centers and other establishments offering gluten free meals.
- The Society publishes free materials about the coeliac disease and gluten-free diet: the guidebook “Celiakia i dieta bezglutenowa” (Coeliac Disease and Gluten Free Diet,” a handbook for parents, information flyers “ABC diety bezglutenowej” , the magazine “Bez glutenu” and others. Guidebooks and various kinds of information flyers are distributed for free among gastroenterologists, dietitians and all people in need of information about the coeliac disease and the gluten-free diet.
- The Society cooperates with national and international food manufacturers and effectively fights for the safety and availability of gluten-free food. Since November 2009 it issues licenses for the use of the crossed grain symbol: www.przekreslonyklos.pl
- For a few years the Society has been conducting research on gluten content in food products (hundreds of products were checked in labs and in many cases a high content of gluten was discovered in spite of lack of an appropriate information on the labelling; interventions with manufacturers improved the quality of products by leading to elimination of gluten in them).
- Representatives of the Society yearly take an active part in numerous specialized conferences (mainly for pediatricians, gastroenterologists and dietitians): they distribute materials, give lectures, talk about the situation of people on a gluten-free diet, etc.
- Free materials are regularly sent to several hundred doctors and dietitians in the whole country. The Society cooperates with many medical centers, institutions and social organizations.
- The Society is a partner of organisers of vacation trips and camps for children following a gluten free diet.
- Thanks to the actions of the Society, gluten free Holy Communion is available in Poland since 2009. The Society publishes a list of parishes where such Holy Communion is always available.
- The Society is often invited to local and nation-wide media (television, radio, magazines): interviews, radio and television programs, articles about the coeliac disease and gluten-free diet.
We are a member of the AOECS.