As a coeliac, you’ll probably become sick of hearing the phrase cross-contamination, but learn to love it. Have gluten on your mind, then it won’t be in your body! It’s mostly common sense, but even the most practised veteran can make mistakes – so it’s vastly important when you’re in such a new and possibly daunting environment to think about what will be safe for you to eat.
Think about where and how the food has been prepared…
Ways to avoid cross-contamination
No.1 rule: Wipe down all counter tops before and after use. Crumbs like to lurk!
Have your own separate cooking utensils (they can be picked up very cheaply nowadays) too, along with a washing up sponge and set of tea towels. It’s very common for most students (coeliac and non-coeliac) to have their own kitchen bits and bobs. Ikea and Wilkos are great for picking up great kitchen items on the cheap.
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.
It’s also a good idea to educate others about the coeliac condition as and when you can. You can read more on that here.