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Cross Contamination & Hidden Sources of Gluten

Oct 3, 2011 by

  • Cross Contamination
    If you share your home with people who can and do eat gluten you must be particularly careful to avoid cross-contamination. Gluten may be present in previously used cooking utensils, pans and equipment or non gluten foods

Suggestions to Avoid Cross Contamination

  • Get your own toaster. (If you live alone, buy a new one and retire your old, contaminated toaster.) Do not share it with gluten-containing products.
  • No double dipping! Butter dishes, jelly and peanut butter jars that are used by others that might use gluten are sources of potential contamination.
  • Make sure that the water you use to boil your gluten-free pasta (or anything else) has not been used for gluten pasta.
  • Do not use a skillet or pan that was used to cook gluten-containing ingredients for your gluten free meals. Thoroughly wash any pans, bowls, utensils and equipment such as mixers, blenders, microwave ovens, that were previously used with gluten products.
  • You cannot safely “pick out” or remove croutons from a salad. Crumbs of bread (gluten) will still remain and contaminate your food. This theory holds true for removing a bun from a burger, bread from a sandwich, scraping gravy off meat. Be safe not sorry.
  • When making a purchase in a deli or meat counter, ask the employee to clean the slicer if purchasing gluten-free meats and also to change their gloves before handling your order. They may have just handled a breaded food or something with a gluten-containing marinade.

Hidden Sources of Gluten
When I was first diagnosed I didn’t realize how many foods contained gluten. I thought I would give up bread and pasta and that would be that. How wrong I was. (Including the fact that I can and do eat very-good gluten-free bread, pasta and desserts.) Gluten may be an ingredient in many salad dressings, marinades, sauces, soups, broths, candy, snack foods, basically any prepared food. We must become excellent food detectives and label readers! Recheck labels when you shop because manufacturers change ingredients.

Wheat and other glutens may be concealed in ingredients called: seasonings and flavorings, modified food starch, malt, imitation bacon and seafood. If the label is unclear, contact the manufacturer to confirm whether the product is safe to eat. A partial list of safe products is available at www.napervillegi.com go to the celiac patient link and follow links for lists of safe foods and medications.

Over-the-Counter and Prescription Medications –
Another potential hiding place for gluten! 

Check with your pharmacist or the product manufacturer to confirm safety of a product.

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