Eating out in Finland

Eating out gluten-free is generally viewed simple in Finland. Most restaurants indicate by menu symbols which dishes can be prepared gluten-free. Menus are normally also available in English. McDonald’s and Hesburger offer gluten-free burgers and the nationwide pizza chains Rosso and Kotipizza prepare gluten-free pizzas on request. 

Attention: If you do not use oats in your diet, make sure to ask your dish without oats!


Few useful words and phrases

Here are some usefull words and phrases you might need when visiting Finland. Short translations of gluten-free diet in eight languages can be found here.

Coeliac disease =  keliakia

I have coeliac disease = Minulla on keliakia

I cannot eat wheat, rye, barley or oats = En voi syödä vehnää, ruista, ohraa tai kauraa  

Gluten-free = gluteeniton

Very low gluten = erittäin vähägluteeninen

Wheat starch = vehnätärkkelys 

I have coeliac disease and have to follow a glutenfree diet. = Sairastan keliakiaa ja noudatan gluteenitonta ruokavaliota.

Does this food contain wheat, rye, barley or oats? =  Sisältääkö tämä ruoka vehnää, ohraa, ruista tai kauraa?  

I can eat food containing for example rice, maize, potatoes, vegetables and fruit, eggs, cheese, milk and fish. =  Voin syödä annoksen, joka sisältää esim. riisiä, maissia, perunaa, kasviksia, hedelmiä, munia, juustoa, maitoa, lihaa tai kalaa.

Without sauce, please. = Ilman kastiketta, kiitos.

Thank you for your help. = Kiitos avusta.

Gluten-free Service Symbol

Finnish Coeliac Society has developed the gluten-free service symbol to make gluten-free eating out easier. The caterer can inform his/her clients about gluten-free options with the symbol, and the client can trust the gluten-free know-how of the restaurant bearing it. 
The first gluten-free service symbols were granted in April 2017, and the number keeps increasing. 

Gluten-free service symbol on the restaurant’s door, menu or website tells that the company is dedicated in safe gluten-free food. The licensing system created by the Coeliac Society is based on AOECS’s (Association of European Coeliac Societies) standards. There are several different looking national coeliac society symbols in use in Europe at the moment. The aim of AOECS is to get a common service symbol across Europe in the future. 

To be eligible for the symbol, the company has to go through training, tests and onsite audits. Most important thing in the gluten-free food services is the thorough in-house control plan in place. Everything on offer does not need to be gluten-free.