Cross-contamination (which I’ll call CC) is an important topic in regards to keeping gluten-free food gluten-free. It’s vital that everyone in your child’s life knows that even a crumb of gluten can be harmful to Celiacs, and that avoidance of CC is key to a g-free kid’s health.
Some families go 100% GF when a family member is diagnosed. When this happens you will need to replace a lot of your cookware… We, personally, replaced our pots & pans, strainers, toaster oven, cookie sheets and wooden spoons.
For economic or other reasons, some households do not go 100% GF. If you decide to prepare both gluten and gluten-free foods in your kitchen, it must be set up carefully to avoid CC of gluten into gluten-free foods. Make sure you have designated strainers, cookie sheets, pizza trays, frying pans, cooking pots, toasters, etc. and that everyone knows which ones are only for gluten-containing foods and which ones are dedicated to gluten-free foods. Divide your kitchen cupboards and fridge up so that everyone knows what’s what.
Make sure everyone understands that it’s not okay to “double dip” knives into mayo jars, peanut butter jars, mustard jars, etc. when they are using knives that were in contact with gluten bread. Better yet, use squeeze bottles so no knives are dipped in, and label peanut butter & jelly jars as GF. It does take some getting used to, but you need everyone on board, because even crumbs of gluten can cause damage to a Celiac. After a while it becomes second nature, but don’t forget to let house guests know the routine as well.
Even if your kitchen is safe, there are other issues to consider when eating elsewhere…
Socializing (family parties, friends’ birthday parties, church coffee hours, eating out at restaurants, etc.) can be tricky at first — but manageable. For those occasions you will need to be prepared to ask questions ahead of time, kindly educate people about CC, and be ready to bring something safe for your child to eat. If anyone says they would like
to make something GF for your child, please have them read the below 4 links, plus the “Supporters in the kitchen” section of this page before proceeding.
Here are four links that get more specific on cross-contamination:
- Key Steps to Prevent Cross-Contamination in the Kitchen
- Cross Contamination! The hidden culprits that can harm your health
- Keep It Clean: 8 Best Practices to Avoid Cross-Contamination in a GF Kitchen
- And, if you’re really into organizing: How to Make (and Keep) Your Kitchen GF
Pass these along to your supporters, so that they may gain a better understanding of your child’s needs. Feel free to add other helpful comments, CC tips or links below. Thanks!