If you have celiac disease or are gluten sensitive, even trace amounts of gluten in your food can be a serious concern. Gluten cross contamination happens when regularly gluten-free foods come in contact with, and are contaminated by gluten containing foods. Cross contamination may occur during storage, preparation, cooking and consumption. It is always a good idea to stay aware of where you food has been, and absolutely necessary when you have celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity.
Avoiding Gluten Cross Contamination
Cross contamination can occur in a number of different ways and each must be addressed to completely ensure that your meals are gluten-free.
- A Completely Gluten-Free Home is your best bet at avoiding gluten cross contamination, but if you share the home with family or roommates who consume foods with gluten, you will have to take the following precautions.
- Organization is vital when gluten-free items are being stored alongside gluten containing foods. The former should always be stored above the latter in the pantry or refrigerator. Gluten-free foods and their location should be clearly labeled, as well as any utensils or cookware you use.
- Dishwashing becomes extremely important if you are gluten sensitive and must share a kitchen. Utensils, cookware and appliance must be thoroughly washed, dried and stored after every use. Do not store these items below gluten containing foods and keep them well labeled.
- Gluten-Free Appliances must be respected by all members of the household. These include, but are not limited to toasters, blenders, choppers and mixers.
- Condiment Jars and Squeezable Containers are also susceptible to gluten cross contamination. Here again the best method is to keep your own, and keep them separate. All it takes is a contaminated fork or spoon in the wrong jar to ruin the batch for you.
- Oil can be contaminated as well. If you are going to deep fry anything, you must use a fresh batch of oil and thoroughly clean the deep fryer.
These tips will help keep your food from being cross contaminated with gluten, but they are also concerns that you should be vocal about when you dine-out. It is a matter of health code these days for restaurants to be conscious of possible gluten sensitive customers. They should be practicing adequate cleanliness, but it’s still a good idea to remind your waiter of the need for clean surfaces and cookware when preparing your meal.
Related: Recovering from Gluten Contamination
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. All material provided on this Site is provided for information purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition, before undertaking any diet, exercise, other health program, or other procedure set out on this Site.