A Gluten Free Kitchen and Cross Contamination: What You Don't Know CAN Hurt You!
Before going shopping it is important to prepare your home.
Whether you will have a completely gluten free kitchen and household or a mixed household will determine how you will need to approach this.
In either case however, you will need to invest in some new appliances and utensils. You will also want to rearrange your kitchen and pantry if you are a mixed household
to avoid kitchen cross contamination.
In a household where some people will continue to use wheat-containing foods, a knife in the peanut butter with breadcrumbs on it or in the mustard jar will make it unsafe for a person who is gluten free. The butter, the jelly, the mayonnaise also. Find gluten free versions of condiments for the whole house and use squeeze bottles if possible. Otherwise, keep the gluten free condiments on a separate
shelf in the refrigerator.
When I first read about kitchen cross contamination I thought the people discussing these things were blowing it out of proportion. After all, I had eaten wheat all my life. Why would a crumb make me sick? Well, I found out the hard way. It is very unpleasant to be sick to your stomach for as much as two weeks just because you used a serving spoon at a relative’s house that had been washed in the dishwasher with dishes from gluten containing foods.
While this reaction probably won’t happen until you have been off of gluten for a few weeks or months, it may eventually. Try to avoid it when you can, slip-ups will happen even if you are very careful.
Toasters, cutting boards, colanders, wooden cooking utensils, graters, and porous cooking pots like cast iron or scratched teflon will need to be replaced to have a gluten free kitchen. It is impossible to get all the gluten out of them.
Gluten is very sticky, and is used as an adhesive in many products. Heat won’t remove it, and washing can only get the surface clean. Cracks and crevices will be a source of kitchen cross contamination.
The silverware drawer is often a collector of crumbs, and will need to be cleaned well. Keep it closed when preparing food in a mixed household.
A Gluten Free Bread Machine
A bread machine is a good thing to have if you can. There are specific models that have a setting for baking gluten free breads. You won’t want to use one that has been used for wheat bread. Many people buy a mix or use a recipe to bake their own bread for the diet. After baking it can be sliced and frozen in serving size portions for later use.
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