Did you know that – at least here in the UK – people with coeliac disease may not join the police force or the armed forces?

I can understand the restriction on joining the armed forces. If they can’t guarantee provision of gluten free food in all situations, it wouldn’t be good for the health of the individual – or the morale and efficiency of their team – if they were glutened in the field.

But the police? Surely the police canteens could provide gluten free food …

There is a petition up at the Government’s E-petition site, so if you feel strongly about this, do go and sign it. You have to be a UK citizen or resident to do so, but I’d be interested to know what the situation was in other countries. Can you join the Army or the Police with celiac disease? What happens if you’re diagnosed after joining? And can you electronically petition your government on this or any other subject?


This is an old post. If any of you are coeliac and hoping to join the police, Home Office Guidelines are now that people with coeliac disease and good dietary management are likely to be deemed suitable, but that each application is judged on its own merits. It is still the case that people with coeliac disease may not join the armed forces in the UK. Again, if a member of the armed forces develops coeliac disease after joining, each case will be considered on its own merits.