Cross Contamination / Cross Contact

This is the #1 enemy of celiacs / coelicas and the culprit of our most painful moments.  Nothing causes more frustration, anger, pain, and discomfort in our lives than cross contamination / cross contact.

 

No matter how hard we try and how many precautions we take, there will always be others that are not as keen as us in keeping all protocols to avoid those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivities from becoming "glutened".

 

If you are new to the gluten free lifestyle, there are a few things you must learn quick to avoid cross contamination and the misery that brings to your body. 

When preparing gluten-free foods, it is important to avoid  cross contamination / cross contact. Cross contamination / cross contact occurs when foods or ingredients come into contact with gluten, generally through shared utensils or a shared cooking/storage environment. In order for food to be safe for someone with celiac disease, it must not come into contact with food containing gluten.

 

 

Places where cross-contact/ cross-contamination can occur

  • Toasters used for both gluten-free and regular bread

  • Colanders

  • Cutting boards

  • Flour sifters

  • Deep fried foods cooked in oil shared with breaded products

  • Shared containers including improperly washed containers

  • Condiments such as butter, peanut butter, jam, mustard, and mayonnaise may become contaminated when utensils used on gluten-containing food are double-dipped

  • Wheat flour can stay airborne for many hours in a bakery (or at home) and contaminate exposed preparation surfaces and utensils or uncovered gluten-free products

  • Oats – cross-contact can occur in the field when oats are grown side-by-side with wheat, select only oats specifically labeled gluten-free

  • Pizza – pizzerias that offer gluten-free crusts sometimes do not control for cross-contact with their wheat-based doughs

  • French fries

  • Non-certified baked goods e.g., “gluten-free” goods from otherwise gluten-containing bakeries

  • Bulk bins at grocery stores or co-ops

 

Easily contaminated foods

  • Oats – look for oats that are specifically labeled gluten-free

  • Pizza – pizzerias that offer gluten-free crusts sometimes do not control for cross-contact with their wheat-based doughs

  • French fries

  • Non-certified baked goods – e.g., “gluten-free” goods from otherwise gluten-containing bakeries

Sources: Celiac Disease Foundation 

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