Avoiding cross contamination
Gluten free food that is touched by any other gluten-containing foods during preparation, cooking and serving is considered “cross-contaminated”.
- As a coeliac, you’ll probably become sick of hearing the phrase cross-contamination, but learn to love it. It’s mostly common sense, but even the most practised person makes mistakes – so it’s really important to develop strict routines to make sure every environment is safe for you.
- As a friend, family member or parent of a coeliac, you need to be very careful to avoid cross-contamination, as even the smallest amount of gluten can cause people with coeliac disease to experience symptoms and long-term gut damage.
Tips for avoiding cross contamination
- Have separate bread boards, bread knives and toasters (or use toaster bags or a clean grill)
- Use separate areas in the kitchen for gluten free preparation – or ensure the area is thoroughly cleaned before you start food preparation. No.1 rule: Wipe down all counter tops before and after use. Crumbs like to lurk!
- Use separate butter tubs
- Use separate spoons for jam (rather than dipping gluteny knives into jam!)
- Cover the grill pan with clean foil for each use
- Choose oven chips rather than frying food in oil that has been used to cook gluten-containing foods
Learn how to politely decline - an important skill that goes far beyond being coeliac, we say! You’ll probably get people offering you food or drinks that are unsuitable, to which you must politely decline. What’s the point in undoing all that hard work? Likewise, you might be offered food that is actually gluten free, but has been stored in a way that has contaminated it. Again – be strong! Feeling well makes it worthwhile.