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Q: contamination in kitchen - avoiding gluten ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: contamination in kitchen - avoiding gluten
Category: Health > Conditions and Diseases
Asked by: gabster01-ga
List Price: $25.00
Posted: 06 Nov 2006 10:53 PST
Expires: 06 Dec 2006 10:53 PST
Question ID: 780554
My husband was recently diagnosed with Celiac Sprue. We have been able
to find ample information on changing diet to eliminate gluten, but
have not found clear information about contamination issues. Some
websites we have seen say that if you bake gluten-free, you should use
new pans that have not been used for wheat ingredients. My question
Is it safe to continue baking in my kitchen with wheat flour? Do we
need to use separate pans and utensils for gluten containing vs.
non-gluten foods? Or is it okay just to wash everything with hot soapy

If there is no definitive research answer, I would like help finding a
nutitionist or dietician who specialize in Celiac counseling.
Subject: Re: contamination in kitchen - avoiding gluten
Answered By: hummer-ga on 06 Nov 2006 19:42 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi gabster01,

I think the answer to your question is to "use dedicated pots, pans,
utensils and cutting boards whenever possible" but as long as you
scrub everything well, and the surfaces are smooth with no crevices
where gluten can hide (use paper liners in muffin tins), washing is
acceptable. I think more importantly is that you must be careful in
preventing airborne flour dust - perhaps you could do your mixing

1) Canadian Celiac Association

At home the following practices will go a long way toward avoiding
cross contamination:
 * A celiac should have their own butter dish and a cutting board that
is used for gluten free foods only.
 * A celiac should have their own toaster if possible. A toaster oven,
where the rack can be removed and washed if others have used it may be
a good alternative.
 * If it is not practical to have a section of the counter top set
aside for preparing gluten free food only, always make sure that the
counter space you are using to prepare gluten free food is freshly
washed to ensure it is free from crumbs or flour dust.
 * Do gluten free baking first, and have it well wrapped and stored
before doing anything with regular flours. Flour dust (in the air)
from regular flours could settle on the gluten free products, thus
contaminating them.
 * Note: Although this doesn't fall into the cross contamination area,
it is worth noting that a Celiac should take precautions against
breathing in flour dust when using other than gluten free flours.
Flour dust that settles on the nasal passages may eventually get
swallowed and end up being digested.
 * Use clean utensils and avoid "double dipping" - knives or spoons
are OK the first time, but once they have touched food with gluten,
they can contaminate the food in the container if used again. If it is
too difficult to train other family members in this regard, it would
be wise for the celiac to have their own jar of jam, peanut butter,
mustard, etc.
 * Be especially alert and cautious when you have guests helping in
the kitchen - they will not have your gluten awareness. Also, it is
when you are otherwise distracted that you are more likely to make a
gluten error.
 * When making sandwiches, do the gluten free ones first - otherwise
be sure to wash your hands after touching regular bread and before
touching gluten free supplies.
 * Make sure any pots, utensils, etc. that are used for other foods
are thoroughly scrubbed before using for gluten free foods. In the
case of something like muffin tins, paper liners may be a worthwhile
 * It is best to have a separate set of utensils with porous surfaces,
such as wooden spoons, for your gluten free baking. These utensils
might retain some gluten particles after cleaning.
 * If using lentils, be sure to meticulously pick them over before
putting in the pot to cook. Even if you buy them packaged, it is not
uncommon to find kernels of wheat or oats (or pebbles) in with the

2) Calgary Canadian Celiac Association

Preventing Contamination & Cross-contamination 
 * When preparing a gluten-free meal, it is important to prevent
contamination of the gluten-free foods with gluten-containing food
particles and residues.
 * Even small amounts of gluten can result in continued intestinal
damage for people with CD and DH
 * Care must be taken to ensure that gluten-free foods remain gluten-free.
 * Select a preparation area that is separate from other food preparation areas.
 * Air-borne flour and other gluten-containing particles can
contaminate gluten-free foods.
 * Ensure all preparation surfaces, cooking surfaces and cooking
utensils have been thoroughly cleaned, including counter top, meat
slicer, grill surface, cutting boards, bowls, knives, utensils,
thermometers, cleaning cloths.
 * Use dedicated pots, pans, utensils and cutting boards whenever possible.
 * Rolled edge pans are easier to clean.
 * Scrub with soap and water to ensure removal of gluten-containing
particle. Disinfect according to current standards of practice.
 * Follow impeccable hand washing practices.
 * Use sanitary gloves for food preparation and change them before
handling GF foods.
 * Ensure the powder used is gluten-free. Even powder-free gloves can
have trace amounts of powder.
 * Become knowledgeable about special needs diets and menu selections.
 * Ensure all ingredients are gluten-free.
 * Check product ingredients regularly. Manufacturers and suppliers
can change ingredients without notice.
 * Ensure that anti-caking and flow agents are GF. These agents may
not be identified in the ingredient lists.
 * Use boldly labeled, air tight containers for all products designated as GF.
 * Prepare GF meals before other menu selections
 * Clean utensils must be used for each condiment, butter, sauce and
all other items.
 * Use individual portions and/or squeeze bottles.
 * Deep fryer oil previously used for gluten-containing foods is
unsafe for gluten-free cooking.
 * Fresh water must always be used for boiling, poaching or steaming.
 * Use the top oven racks.
 * Use caution with convection ovens.
 * Use toaster bags to prevent contamination of GF bread products.
 * Arrange buffet tables with gluten-free selections first and
separated from the gluten-containing selections. Label them.
 * Bulk bins can be a source for cross-contamination.

Issues in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Celiac Disease: How Strict is
A Common Sense Approach to the Gluten-Free Diet MANAGING CROSS-CONTAMINATION
? Use squeeze bottle condiments of ketchup, mustard, peanut butter,
jelly, and any other condiments you can find to manage cross-
contamination issues at home.
? Prepare food with the rule that gluten-free food goes first?that way
everything is prepared on clean pans, with clean utensils. (No big
? You?ll need a new toaster, and a new colander, but hot soapy water
is more than enough to keep you or your child safe and healthy.

3) Toastabags
Toastabags are heat-conductive wallets that toast sandwiches to
perfection.The beauty is, though, that the bags are ideal for anyone
with coeliac disease or on a special diet as you don't have to worry
about cross contamination. Using Toastabags you can have the freedom
to use gluten-free bread in family toasters, at hotels and when
staying with friends safe in the knowledge that the bread will remain


4) American Celiac Disease Alliance

Contamination in Food Preparation
"When preparing gluten-free foods they must not come in contact with
food containing gluten. Contamination can occur if foods are prepared
on common surfaces, or with utensils that are not thoroughly cleaned
after preparing gluten-containing foods. Using a common toaster for GF
bread and regular bread is a major source of contamination. Flour
sifters should not be shared with gluten-containing flours. Deep fried
foods cooked in oil shared with breaded products should not be
consumed. Spreadable condiments in shared containers may also be a
source of contamination. When a person dips into a condiment a second
time, with the knife (used for spreading), the condiment becomes
contaminated with crumbs (e.g. mustard, mayonnaise, jam, peanut
butter, and margarine).
 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.  Likewise, foods not produced in a gluten-free
environment have the potential to be contaminated with gluten. This
may occur when machinery or equipment is inadequately cleaned after
producing gluten-containing foods. Food manufacturers are required to
abide by Good Manufacturing Practices outlined in the FDA?s Code of
Federal Regulations, to reduce the risk of contamination in
manufacturing. Let common sense be your guide."

5) National Foundation for Celiac Awareness 

How do I prevent cross contamination?
? Tips At home: 
o Use a separate toaster- do not share common items.  
o Wash utensils, pots, pans and dishes thoroughly between uses.  
o Perhaps use a specific color bowl for gluten-free items on the table.
o Keep your gluten-free items labeled and store in a gluten-free location 
o Buy and use squeeze bottles when possible
o Purchase duplicate containers of peanut butter and spreads

Additional Links of Interest:

Why I prefer Cast-Iron Pans for Baking

Medline Plus Links

Treatment of Celiac Disease

Tips for Successful Gluten-free Baking
Information on gluten-free flours and their use in baking:

American Celiac Society-Dietary Support Coalition
58 Musano Court
West Orange, NJ 07052
(201) 325-8837

Celiac Disease Foundation (CDF)
13251 Ventura Blvd. #3
Studio City, CA 91604
(818) 990-2354

Celiac Sprue Association/USA, Inc.
P.O. Box 31700
Omaha, NE 68131-0700
(402) 558-0600

Gluten Intolerance Group of North America
Cynthai Kupper, Exectutive Director
15110 10 Ave SW Suite A
Seattle WA 98166-1820
FAX 206-246-6531 

Columbia University

University of Chicago Hospitals: Celiac Disease Program
Celiac Disease: Myths and Facts

Thank you for the interesting question, I hope my research helps. If
you have any questions, please post a clarification request and wait
for me to respond before closing/rating my answer.

Thank you,

Some Google search terms used: celiac cross contamination
gluten "American Celiac Society" baking pans scrubbing washing
gluten-free clean
gabster01-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Thank you for the prompt and very helpful answer.
We live in the Phoenix area, so mixing outside won't be a problem!


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