Here are ways to avoid gluten cross contamination from happening in shared kitchens:
Photo: Inspired RD
1. Set up a separate, gluten-free space in the kitchen
An example of a separate space includes dedicating a part of your kitchen pantry or cupboard space to gluten-free food products and those that have not been contaminated by gluten. In addition to food items, you can also include all your gluten-free utensils and other kitchen gadgets (ex. toaster) that need to remain separate to stay uncontaminated.
It can also be helpful to ensure you and your family have a way of knowing which baking utensils, cutting boards, and so forth are meant to be kept gluten-free, and which ones are meant for the gluten-containing foods. You can do this by using a consistent color scheme. For example, all gluten-free spatulas and cutting boards are red.
Photo: Gluten Free Labels
2. Label items
Unless you have the space for two refrigerators, you will have to share it. In this case, you want to label your items and teach your family members that they are not to touch those labeled with your name because contact with gluten will make you sick.
Speaking of the refrigerator, you may also want to create a separate space such as one of the shelves or the side of the fridge. Just be sure that no other foods can spill on yours when they are all in the fridge together.
Photo: Flickr/Laura Appleyard
3. Clean the counter
This one is simple and easy, but is one of the leading causes of gluten cross-contamination: Before you begin to prepare food, be sure to clean the kitchen counter with soapy, warm water.
Photo: Springer Plumbing, LLC
4. Clean the sink
Make sure no crumbs or gluten-containing foods are left in the bottom of the sink before you use it. As well, be sure to use a separate dishcloth and separate dishtowel to prevent cross contamination with food particles.
5. Allow your family or roommates to confess without repercussions if they make a mistake
If you live with an absent-minded spouse or a child, it is very likely that someone will mess up and accidentally contaminate one of your food items or kitchen items. When this happens, it is important for them to know that they can tell you without you getting mad at them. Hey, we’re all human, thus we were born to make mistakes. This tip will ensure healthy communication and is positive reinforcement for household members to “fess up” should it occur again and ultimately ensure that you stay healthy.
Photo: Food 52
6. Wash shared kitchen items
It is okay to share stainless steel bowls, and stainless steel pots and pans, as long as they have been carefully washed after gluten-containing foods have been prepared or cooked in them. Pay careful attention to lids, where food particles can sometimes get caught.
We hope you found these tips helpful. Should you have any additional tips, please contact us and let us know!
Photo courtesy: Celiac Corner