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Cross Contamination
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Well, this seemed like the best place to post this question. My daughter was recently diagnosed, and I am doing my best to ensure that everything that passes her lips is safe! I don't understand why I have read that you need seperate pans, kitchen-maid, utensils etc. Doesn't washing them out make them clean? If not, don't I need special forks, plates etc too? I thought running through the dishwasher was enough, but I think I am missing something! Someone please explain!

Michelle

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Hi Michelle, and welcome to our world of the "gray zone" - nothing is black and white and easily answered because the truth is no one is absolutely sure how exact we need to be to avoid gluten. Most people will tell you what works well for them... some people are incredibly sensitive to minute amounts of gluten, others aren't.

I keep a kosher kitchen (separate utensils for meat and for dairy) so I already have duplicate everything!

Certain cooking and preparation surfaces are either impossible to clean perfectly (like wood cutting boards or collanders) or they retain bits of food/ absorb food into their surfaces (some frying pan surfaces). Other utensils by their nature lead to contamination (toasters). I think that things that can be cleaned well by dishwasher and have smooth metal or glass surfaces (silverware, mixing bowls, etc.) are fine to share with gluten-containing foods.

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I guess it depends upon how sensitive she is to gluten. I am not that sensitive and get by with using the same utensils (washed of course). I do have a separate toaster/toaster oven.

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As I understand it, anything teflon, cast iron, wood or plastic has the possiblity of absorbing some of the gluten into the surface and impossible to get 100% clean, so those are the things I have duplicates of and keep strictly gluten-free and non-gluten-free. They are different colored, and washed and stored separately.

Sara, I agree with you that anything non-porous, like glass or stainless steel should be fine to share, as long as it is cleaned very well. I feel a rinse in the sink and then being washed in the dishwasher are fine for these things.

I tend to use either a cheap paper plate or my own cutting board instead of the counter for making gluten-free foods, since I don't feel the counter is getting cleaned good enough, or often enough. I don't worry about the plastic cups, since they are never used for gluten foods, and the risk of gluten being transfered into the plastic while someone is eating a gluten food and then drinking from the cup is so minimal, especially after the dishwasher. But you can tell that I have thought about it! :rolleyes:

The toaster is one place that I don't share with gluten foods. I have a new 4 slot toaster for me and the kids. My husband uses our old toaster oven. The trick is getting him to remember that he cannot use the toaster oven for the kids foods anymore!

God bless,

Mariann

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Thank you, this is starting to make more sense! Since she has only been gluten-free for 2 weeks, I really don't know how sensitive she is, I am trying to make sure we are being ULTRA safe at this point. I didn't think about the teflon coating on the pans, or the plastic utinsils. I did get new rubber spatulas since thoses seemed more porous. We also got a new toaster, but since she won't eat any of the bread so far, I can't say we have used it much! If I still want something in the toaster oven but I use a pan so it doesn't touch would it be safe, or am I still missing something? I think I need a much bigger kitchen!! :D

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I bought a toaster at Target made by Oster that has 2 sliding "shelves" - I use the lower shelf for gluten containing foods, and the upper one is for gluten-free only (I take out the gluten-free shelf when not being used). For now, with what you have, try lining the existing shelf with foil, or use a pan.

Try my Challah egg bread in the Kosher and gluten-free recipe section - it's alot like regular sandwich bread - soft. I hate the store bought gluten-free breads!

Good luck

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