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Do I *really* Have To Get A New Toaster?
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I am largely asymptomatic, but was diagnosed celiac on June 24. Four days later we left for a 2-week Europe vacation - I wasn't about to make any dietary changes prior to our trip, but now I'm getting my kitchen (and myself) ready to start the gluten-free diet on August 1. After reading advice on this site, I've decided to make my entire kitchen gluten-free. I will cook gluten-free foods for my family, and they can get their gluten-y foods elsewhere - out of the house - if they want them.

So. We recently bought a very nice, rather expensive toaster a few months ago. Can I give it a good scrubbing and use it, so long as I don't put any gluten-containing breads into it forevermore? What about my Kitchen-Aid stand mixer?

I'm going to buy new nonstick skillets, nonstick baking pans, wooden spoons, colander, silicon spatulas, tupperware containers, and plastic serving things (like pasta servers). Anything else?

Thanks!

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Check your plastic utensils, Tupperware, and and non-stick cookware. If they are in good condition, without any scratches, then a good, thorough washing should be fine. Your mixer should be fine if you scrub the working parts.

Colanders and wooden utensils are porous and, like scratched items, can have deeply embedded gluten that cannot be washed off.

The nature of a toaster is that is has many, many places where a bread crumb can hide, and it will be been exposed to thousands of crumbs. I don't think one can be adequately cleaned. It's not like you can put it through a few cycles of your dishwasher; it is an electrical appliance that can not be immersed.

I would replace the toaster, even if it was an expensive one. What is the price of your health?

I hope this helps.

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I was in the same position when I started the diet. We had a pretty expensive toaster and I decided to try to clean mine. I used an air compressor and completely blew out all four slots with the bottom removed. Only gluten-free bread was used after that and in the 3 plus years since I have had no symptoms. I guess it would depend on the individual and how sensitive he or she may be. For the most part we bring very little gluten in the home and if it does happen it is "isolated" until consumed. We also did not replace all the wooden or non-stick items but rather clean and not expose them to gluten again. I was a biopsy confirmed Celiac with the classic symptoms so I know I will react to exposure to gluten. So far so good.

Tom

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I was in the same position when I started the diet. We had a pretty expensive toaster and I decided to try to clean mine. I used an air compressor and completely blew out all four slots with the bottom removed. Only gluten-free bread was used after that and in the 3 plus years since I have had no symptoms. I guess it would depend on the individual and how sensitive he or she may be. For the most part we bring very little gluten in the home and if it does happen it is "isolated" until consumed. We also did not replace all the wooden or non-stick items but rather clean and not expose them to gluten again. I was a biopsy confirmed Celiac with the classic symptoms so I know I will react to exposure to gluten. So far so good.

Tom

This is good, realistic advice. As long as the toaster is not extremely old and can be cleaned thoroughly, it should be enough to prevent gluten exposure. Most people would know after a bit if they were exposed or it would show in their bloodwork, when re-tested. It really all depends on comfort level but common sense should reign. I have had the same experience as Tom and have not any glutenings since being diagnosed.....from my kitchen. Bloodwork is fine so I am not worried.

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I was in the same position when I started the diet. We had a pretty expensive toaster and I decided to try to clean mine. I used an air compressor and completely blew out all four slots with the bottom removed. Only gluten-free bread was used after that and in the 3 plus years since I have had no symptoms. I guess it would depend on the individual and how sensitive he or she may be. For the most part we bring very little gluten in the home and if it does happen it is "isolated" until consumed. We also did not replace all the wooden or non-stick items but rather clean and not expose them to gluten again. I was a biopsy confirmed Celiac with the classic symptoms so I know I will react to exposure to gluten. So far so good.

Tom

That's a great idea. Unfortunately, not everyone has an air compressor.

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That's a great idea. Unfortunately, not everyone has an air compressor.

But you can buy a can of compressed air from any computer or office supply store! ;)

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There are so many things you can get by with without replacing them. The toaster is not one of them. Blowing it out with an air compressor is a great idea, but not the best idea. Those of you who have done this are very lucky, so far. Toasters are not that expensive, and your health is definitely worth the purchase of a new toaster. Many people think they can clean out a bread maker too, then find out they can't. If you are largely asymptomatic, then how will you be sure you are not being glutened by the toaster???

Have you ever read this statement before: If you take a piece of bread, and break it into 1000 crumbs, it takes only 1 crumb, 1/1000th of a piece of bread to gluten a celiac.

Do you really think the toaster will be safe???

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The only thing I replaced were the wooden spoons, I figured those were more porous and who knew? Besides, a few wooden spoons didn't cost that much. The rest of my kitchen stuff I cleaned really thoroughly.

I didn't get a new toaster, but I use a toaster oven so it was a lot easier to clean that out, just scrub the rack, clean out the bottom as well as I could, and so far, no crumbs have made it from where ever they are lurking to gluten me. If I'd had a conventional toaster I may have felt differently.

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Hello-

I haven't tried them yet, but bought some reusable "toaster bags" for my bread. You basically put the bread into these little plastic sleeves, pop them in the toaster and there it is. I found them in the gluten free section of my grocery store, but have also seen them at health food stores:

http://www.nostik.com/eng/index.php?pt=2&a...oducts&pd=5

Thanks,

Jennifer

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JenPen, the toaster bags might be an answer. I could thoroughly clean out my toaster and then also use the toaster bags. I wonder about the plastic bags leaching chemicals when it's heated, though. Might have to do some research about that.

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