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Cross-Contamination Questions...

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I'm still new to this. I was diagnosed a few months ago and I am only just now finding out that what I thought was a gluten-free lifestyle was in fact not. My hubby and I attributed the brain fog, fatigue, lack of energy, lack of concentration to carbs. I had always thought that carbs did that to me, but it turns out it was gluten.

 

Hubby still eats gluten. We have white flour in the house and other gluten containing items. I bake pizzas for him and cook with white flour for him. I wash dishes by hand. So here's my questions:

 

- Plastic containers that have seen gluten-containing foods: safe or unsafe for me?

- Dishes: Do I need to have all my own dedicated gluten-free dishes? Plates? Cups? Utensils? Pots? Pans?

- Pots and pans: I know cast iron MUST be dedicated gluten-free, but what about aluminum? We have a lot of aluminum pots and pans.

- Kitchen cubbards: Do I need my own?

- Glass containers and cookware that have seen gluten-containing foods: Is this safe for me to cook in and eat out of, or do I need my own glassware?

- Kissing: is it safe to kiss my husband after he eats gluten? If no, does he need to brush his teeth or just mouthwash, or both?

- 100% metal mixing bowls. I think these are aluminum. They have seen both gluten and gluten-free foods. Safe for me?

 

And perhaps the biggest question of the day: washing dishes by hand. In the sink you will find an assortment of dishes. We can assume that ALL of them will be cross contaminated, since they are all in the same sink together. What do I do here? Do I need to start keeping dirty dishes separated? Like one side of the sink is for glutened dishes and the other side is for gluten-free dishes? And do I need to have 2 sponges: one for glutened dishes and the other for gluten-free dishes?

 

What about a dish washer? Does a dish washer get rid of all gluten? I know this is a long post but I appreciate any help you all can give.

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Stop kissing your hubby until he brushes his teeth and rinses well! People get glutened by their cute babies!

My house is gluten-free except for a few things like Cheerios cereal, pasta and Mac And cheese for my daughter who is not gluten free. She has dedicated plastic ware, wooden spoon, pot, strainer, cereal bowl, thermos, glass mugs. Yes, even her milk glasses are separate because, I hand wash with her own sponge and at my advanced age, I find that I might not clean as well if I forget to put on my reading glasses! This would not be a concern if I had a dishwasher, but that is another story. Just one less thing for me to worry about.

She sets her dirty dishes on the counter for me to wash.

Glassware is fine to share, but scrub it well. Same goes for your pots and mixing bowls. Are you sure they are not stainless instead of aluminum? I would google aluminum as it may be porous and has been known to leach out. But I do not share even pots or mixing bowls with my kid. I do not need to worry bout it. I do not even bake with gluten anymore. I bring boxes of cake mix or cookie dough to her play dates. But she loves my gluten-free goodies and so does her friends. No one can tell the difference.

I buy boxes of gluten pasta and prepackaged items where they are kept on a bottom shelf in the pantry. She does not eat any of that stuff except her Cherrios inside the house (Cheerios is mostly just oats so risk of cross contamination is slim to none, but hubby and I do NOT eat It for those newbies out there) otherwise she eats gluten-free cereal. Most of her gluten stuff is consumed at school. She eats gluten-free the rest of the day, including snacks that can be shared with her Dad and me.

Pick colors and label everything. Better yet, get your husband to go gluten-free at home. I ran a mixed household for my husband before my diagnosis, but while healing, I just wanted to simplify everything. Not only were my bones compromised but my brain was too. I am happy to report that my brain function seems to be back. But I am not going back to a mixed household just for the sake of my kid so she can have some gluten bread. She can consume copious amounts of gluten in her own house someday.

Our RV is 100% gluten free. The space is too small to make it a mixed kitchen.

Hope this helps. Have you read the newbie thread under coping? It contains great tips.

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Condiments! You need your own dedicated butter, mayo, etc. because knives dipped in these things usually touch bread and then are redipped. That contaminates the whole thing. You need your own toaster. Check the silverware drawer for crumbs. Check all your meds and supplements for gluten. Wood is bad - spoons and cutting boards that have touched gluten have to go.

 

Actually, go to the coping section here and read the Newbie 101 thread. Be sure to click on all the links provided. You have to be careful, but it soon becomes second nature.

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I would stop baking with regular flour for your hubs too. Flour goes airborne and you can inhale the power and that is glutening your system.   I was told my my dr's, nutritionist and dietitian that as long as you can wash the dishes well---hot water in a dishwasher, etc., they are fine.  I wouldn't put gluten-free flour in a container that had been storing regular flour for years though-I'd buy new for something like that.  It would be better for you if your hubs just ate gluten-free at home :D.

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There are celiacs who can cook gluteny things for their non celiac family members.  One of them was the president of our local celiac group for a couple of years.  She told me that she didn't need to be very careful and was still non symptomatic and tested negative.  Others try all sorts of precautions and still find that they need a gluten-free household to not experience symptoms.  All celiacs are not alike. 

 

If you are still experiencing symptoms, get rid of the most likely causes.  The kissing without brushing teeth is a big one as is cooking with regular flour and not having dedicated food preparation places to avoid crumbs left behind by others.  If you still have symptoms, you may need to try more extensive precautions.

 

Not reusing washed plastic containers or having dedicated dishes is much higher level of care.  You probably don't need to do that unless you end up being very sensitive.  Dish water doesn't get rid of gluten.  Think of gluten like a particle.  It isn't a bacteria that will be killed by bleach or something like that.  It is a particle that needs to be washed off.  If it is in dishwater and you rinse well, it should wash off adequately.  How careful the washing needs to be depends on the level of sensitivity.  I know my grandma used to serve us food on dishes with little specks of food still on them.  I don't think that she could see very well anymore.  Don't do that. :rolleyes:

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Best solution... husband goes gluten free in support of you. That's what mine did. He eats all the gluten he wants out of the house, but my kitchen is gluten free, except for his loaf of bread and hamburger buns. I wouldn't inflict mine on anyone that does not have to have them..

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