10 Tips to help stop cross-contamination

Tips to help stop cross contamination

If you live with others who are not gluten free then cross contamination can feel like such a worry.

It is important to take care as even tiny amounts may cause coeliacs to have short term symptoms and long term gut damage.

If you ignore cross contamination you can undo all your hard work sticking to a gluten free diet.

As a family we have sadly experienced our own mix ups. Some that led to my mum and daughter unfortunately being unwell.They made me stop and think about cross contamination and what I could do to help our family and others.

So here's some of our experiences (you may have been there too)…..

Double dipping in the chocolate spread became a battle ground for my coeliac daughter and her non coeliac brother! Now it’s not just on a separate shelf but labelled with stickers on every part.

My mum has been a coeliac for over 20 years but her use of unlabelled containers caught up with her in a mince pie mix up. Now she has a labelled tin.

 I forgot to tell my husband which chicken for the bbq was gluten free….by the time it was on the bbq ‘the ones on the left plate’ didn’t help!

Now I don’t take any chances and take it out in a labelled container and if others are eating with us the cooked food gets a flag.

 I was too late at a family gathering to stop the server from the gluten containing pasta going in the GF spaghetti bolognaise. A family member just didn’t fully understand the consequences of even the tiniest amount of contamination. 

Now we tag the server and make sure we explain why (we keep on explaining it in the hope it will stick!)

 ……..our experiences led me to start my business to try and make life easier and clearer for everyone.

So here's our family tips that I hope can help you.

1. Wash hands and kitchen surfaces.

Don't assume that others will have cleaned up after themselves!

2. Dedicate a separate storage area in the kitchen for your gluten free foods.

If you have a shelf in a cupboard try to make it the top shelf to avoid any risk of crumbs from gluten containing food accidentally falling into your food.

 3. Label your GF butter, jam, condiments etc with stickers.

Stop the double dipping and if it gets left on the side everyone is clear its gluten free.

 4. Use a separate toaster and label it or use toaster bags.

There are a lot of crumbs left behind in toasters, no matter how hard you try to empty it.

 5. Store packs of GF biscuits/crackers/treats in your own tin/container.

Sadly GF foods still cost a lot more, so make sure they aren’t eaten by everyone!

 6. Use a separate labelled bread board.

Don't allow those gluten containing crumbs to mix with your gluten free bread. 

 7. Keep your own separate labelled pasta strainer/sieve.

Just to be extra safe and to be sure no gluten containing pasta or flour is lurking around the holes.

 8. Use separate utensils if you’re serving GF and Non GF food. Label the GF ones.

Such as tongues, fish slice, spaghetti server, ladle.

 9. Label a piece of baking paper GF and place on a baking tray to keep GF food separate in the oven.

Useful for when you’re cooking GF and gluten containing food in the oven at the same time. (fishfingers, chicken pieces etc.)

 10. If you’re having a party/bbq/buffet, separate the GF food and stick a flag in it!

 

After reading this you may think I’m obsessed with labelling but from my experiences as a teacher and a mum I know that labelling helps everyone enormously! 

The more you label the clearer it is for everyone.

Let’s face it anyone who is a coeliac, living with a coeliac or knows a coeliac will want to do what they can to avoid mix ups at all costs.

Keep separating, labelling and talking about why cross contamination is important!


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