How to Avoid Gluten Cross-Contamination in Your Kitchen

3 of 7 in Series: The Essentials of Sharing a Kitchen with Gluten

When you’re sharing a kitchen with gluten, gluten can contaminate (or glutenate?) your food in several ways. Crumbs seem to throw themselves off gluten-containing breads and other foods, turning perfectly good gluten-free zones into danger zones in the blink of an eye.

Cleanliness isn’t an option anymore; it’s crucial to maintaining the purity of your gluten-free lifestyle.

Enemy No. 1 in the gluten-free-friendly kitchen is the almighty crumb. Crumbs fly off bread — and not only gluten-containing bread — like sparks in a fireworks display, and they’re everywhere.

When you work really hard to prepare a delicious gluten-free sandwich and then set it on the counter in a pile of gluten-containing crumbs, you are, literally, eating a gluten-containing sandwich, and your efforts to find, buy, and compile gluten-free makings are all for naught.

Even a few crumbs from gluten-containing breads or crackers can turn your gluten-free food into a toxic treat for someone with serious celiac disease. Be diligent about cleaning crumbs, and remember the golden rule: When in doubt, leave it out. If you’re not sure that your meal is uncontaminated, don’t eat it.

So what about gluten-free crumbs? Do you have to be obsessive about wiping those up? Yes, if you’re sharing your kitchen with gluten. Not for the sake of good hygiene as much as because you can’t tell whether they’re gluten-free by looking at them, so you never know for sure whether you’re setting your sandwich in gluten or not.

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