Preventing Cross-Contamination in Public and at Home

Cross-contamination in public and at home

Cross-contamination occurs when a non gluten free product or ingredient comes in contact with a gluten free product. Here are a few examples:

  1. Using a knife to spread gluten free butter on a piece of gluten bread.
  2. Touching the tip of a squeeze bottle onto a piece of gluten pastry.
  3. Using a knife to cut gluten bread then spreading gluten free ketchup with the same knife.

How do you work in a kitchen that is both gluten free and not?

Successfully sharing a kitchen with gluten free foods is as simple as separating the gluten foods and kitchen utensils. Imagine your kitchen divided in half – one side gluten preparation, the other side gluten free preparation. Use cabinets, counter and pantry space on one side for foods and utensils. This might include a separate toaster or bun warmer. Each person must remember and consider that only gluten foods must be used in that space only. This doesn’t mean that the gluten free and non gluten eaters must eat at separate tables. Note: You cannot have gluten flours in your kitchen, since inhaling airborne gluten can make you sick.

How much gluten can make a person sick?

A microscopic amount.

An amount that is the size of a pea.

An unseen crumb.

Any of these amounts can cause a day or more worth of severe and debilitating pain.

How do you store both gluten and non gluten free food in the refrigerator?

Ideally, two refrigerators would be best – but who has room for 2 in their kitchen? Foods containing gluten need to be on the bottom shelves, while non gluten must be on the top. If gluten foods spill or make crumbs, they fall down, and not onto the non gluten free foods. Mark all condiments and containers with the sign – gluten free – so there is not mix-up.

What do I need to know about cleaning in the kitchen?

Gluten residue can hide in the kitchen sink and on other sponges or cloths, so you will need your own scrub brush or sponge. Color code the gluten free sponges if necessary and make sure they are separate from the other sponges. You will also need your own towels, hot pads and your own utensils and tools. The less contact you have with gluten the better, but if you continue to have problems you may need to take more drastic measures such as designating a place in another part of the apartment or house as the GF Zone.

11/4/2015 10:00:00 PM
Julie Callicutt
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Julie is the owner of Ms. Julie's Gluten Free Foods, purveyor of homemade gluten free fruit medleys and vegetable blends for the consumer requiring a gluten free diet due to medical or nutritional reasons.
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