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Help! Where Can I Eat?
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:o I am new to this site, even though I have been what I thought was gluten-free for 13 years. I am discovering, quickly, that I have never been gluten-free!! IF pans, utensils, etc. all lead to cross contamination, how do you ever eat out or eat at someone else's home, etc.?? I am totally depressed and wondering where I go from here!??! I have bought new pans for my home & will keep utensils just for my food, but how can you help not getting contaminated everywhere else? :( What does everyone else do??? HELP!!!
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I believe that the separate utensil and pan issue is a controversial one.

I do not have separate pans in my kitchen and have never had a contamination problem. If you clean the dishes very well, there should be no left on gluten on them!

I pay special attention to utensils and strainers used for 'real' pasta, being sure there is no residue on them and that they go through the dishwasher. Gluten cannot be absorbed into rubber/plastic containers.... it can get stuck in cracks or scratches in those containers, but again, if they are cleaned well, it shouldn't be a problem.

A very clean, sanitary kitchen should have very few cross contamination issues, in my opinion.

Pam

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I'm with Pam, I also don't see a need to keep seperate pots, pans, utensils, etc... My fiancee and I are very careful about washing everything very well, and everything goes in the dishwasher. I do have a seperate strainer, and I believe that is important because of all the holes and the fact that when noodles are hot they do stick to things easier and w/ a strainer it's hard to tell. We also use seperate cutting boards for food preparation (it keeps the counters clean as well as safeguarding against any possibilities of cross contamination). The only other thing that I believe is important is seperate condiment jars (my mayonaise and butter are labeled w/ my name) this is because of the fact that most people "double dip" their knives into these containers when making a sandwich or buttering bread and why risk it? Other than that the chances are slim, but there's no guarantee and if eating out is a big issue let the server know what's up with Gluten intolerrance, and even bring your own silverware if you think you need to. I carry wheat free soy sauce when we go for sushi. Good Luck!

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I would agree that some warnings, like those about teflon, might be debatable, but there's no debate at all that you need a separate toaster and new wooden utensils. Wood absorbs everything.

richard

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Thanks for the advice. About eating out... wouldn't anything they cook be cross contaminated? I have been dealing with this issue for 13 years... but until reading this site extensively, didn't realize the extent of the "cross contamination" issue. If you ordered a burger, steak, chicken ~ the grill would be contaminated. Would a knife they use to make a salad be sterile or would it have been used on other gluten foods?? This whole issue is endless and very frustrating. My only alternative is to go completely gluten-free by making everything myself for at least a month and see if I feel better or different. Any other suggestions?? Thanks for the feedback! :D

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You take your chances when eating out. If you are really freaked out by cross-contamination just don't eat out. I only go to places that are aware of Celaics. . .like Outback. . .or smaller places thathave glutenfree options and know how to prepare them. I think you should talk to restaurants in person before eating there. Like places close to you house and such.

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PF Changs and Wildfire also have Gluten free menu's and "Allergy alerts" for those that let them know they have celiac disease, that way they can use different measures of safety as well as seperate work areas if needed. For the most part though if you let a server know that you are extremely allergic to wheat they'll cook you burger, fish, chicken, etc... in a skillet thet has been cleaned very well. A lot more people in the food industry are becoming aware of celiac disease and the seriousness of it. It can't hurt to ask, and keep them informed.

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I have quick, rather obvious reactions to both gluten and beef. (Beef I've been avoiding for 10+ years.) I've found that most restaurants have no problem cooking my order in a skillet. I do frequent the same restuarants, however. In general, cross contamination has been very rare. Just make certain to be clear you can't have "bread or wheat" (lol! anything so they understand!) I also try to look up their menus ahead of time online to see if they have a nutrition/ingredient list. I rarely depend on the wait staff for any information, I just order as carefully as possible.

Btw, no one here that I've so far read has mentioned Red Robin, but even though they don't have a gluten-free menu, they have seperate frying baskets for their fries, their seasoning is gluten-free, and they now have a lettuce wrapped burger that's DELICIOUS. But, even before I knew I was intolerant, they were awesome, always nice and accommodating when I needed my turkey burger cooked in a skillet.

Even though I do not agree with Atkins AT ALL, because of the low carb craze, always check the low carb menus at restaurants! 99% just cut out the bread and many offer interesting alternatives for sides.

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don't eat it unless you can watch it being made, otherwise you are taking risks.

-cass

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