Did you Know…Cross-contamination from gluten can occur in factory-produced foods, restaurant fare, and home-cooked meals?
People with gluten sensitivity, autoimmune disease, or Celiac disease often place themselves at risk when learning how to become gluten free. Cross-contamination from gluten can occur in factory-produced foods, restaurant fare, and home-cooked meals. Even minimal contamination can cause dangerous reactions and repercussions that can last for months in a Celiac individual. Consider these three crucial tips for avoiding cross-contamination when becoming gluten free:
Dining Out? Avoid Cross-Contamination by Clearly Communicating Your Needs About Being Gluten Free.
Restaurants may say they are serving gluten-free foods, but you must protect your health by asking questions about cross-contamination.
- Is the same pot of boiling water reused for the gluten-free spaghetti?
- Are batter-coated foods cooked on the same grill as the gluten-free?
- Do employees change their gloves and cutting boards when handling gluten-free foods?
Avoid restaurants and kitchens, such as pizzerias and bakeries, that cook with gluten flours even though they offer gluten-free foods. You don’t want to breathe air or buy food that is saturated with gluten particles. If you suddenly start having problems, think about where you’ve been recently.
What should you do when you’re invited to dinner? Don’t worry! Gently tell the host that your health requires eating gluten free. Ask if you can contribute some fabulous gluten-free dishes. Then see if your plate can be served first before other foods can cross-contaminate yours.
Dining In? Set a Gluten-Free Standard at Home to Avoid Cross-Contamination
As well-intentioned as people are, their habits are hard to break. Busy family members or roommates make mistakes. Foods used with bread, such as peanut butter, jams, and mayonnaise, are often accidentally contaminated with gluten. Buy and label a separate set of these items or buy them in squeeze jars.
Also acquire separate kitchen tools, such as flour sifters or food processors. Label and store them in clean plastic bags. Insist that pots, pans, grills, and utensils are washed again just before use. Keep a separate jar of oil, so potatoes are not fried with batter residues. Store gluten-free foods in the refrigerator in covered containers where they cannot be contaminated by food particles in the air.
At the Grocery? Buy Fresh and Be Vigilant!
Processed foods may lack gluten one week but not the next because manufacturers adjust recipes and change suppliers. Read the product label each time, and only purchase “certified” gluten-free foods. Remember, the more processed the food, the more likely it will contain gluten from contaminated equipment. Be aware that gluten lurks in additives such as modified food starch, malt, and soy sauce.
Why not switch tactics completely? Start cooking from scratch using only fresh produce. Turn away from processed and refined foods altogether. Try to shop from the aisles at the outer perimeter of the store where all the fresh food is kept. In time, your friends and family will crave your delicious recipes, you will avoid cross-contamination, and everyone will benefit from eating more nutritiously. Turn going gluten free into a rewarding experience for everyone!