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Merika

How To Clean Gluten In The Kitchen?

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I've been gluten-free for almost a year now. Dh (nonceliac) has been making toast, eats crackers and all that, but remarkably hasn't been doing much actual cooking that is gluten-containing. Until now :)

How do you all clean the kitchen? And what do you keep separate for gluten-free/non-gluten-free foods? How do you handle sink, sponges, pots, etc?

We got new pots and pans just about the same time I went gluten-free, so all was good there, until....dh has been cooking barley in the steel pot with those little screw/nut things that stick into the inside the pan, yk? What to do?

Thanks!

Merika

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In my house I was the only Celiac for a year until my mother and brother were diagnosed. Now there are 3 out of 4 of us. I always had my own toaster and now we have a gluten-free toaster oven! I never use the same sponges/rags as anyone else. I get new ones out each time. I always make sure all pots and pans are in the dishwasher unless it's one of my own that I like to do by hand. I have 2 pots that I use numerous times a week that no one else really uses, not because of Celiacs but just because of the size. I never use wooden untensils an such. We also have a gluten-free place for food and a place for regular food.

I just always make sure that things others use go straight into the dishwasher!

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Guest Viola

A gluten free toaster is an absolute must! Also, anything coming out of the dishwasher needs to be checked. Pasta is terrible for sticking on things. Also check fork tines well etc. If someone else has washed a counter, especially when I'm not there to see, I just grab a paper towel to put anything gluten free on. I have my own cutting boards, kept separate. Our kitchen is small, so it is not practicle to separate everything. You just have to watch your own stuff. As much as someone says they understand, it's your responsibility in the end to be sure your food is safe.

The one thing that got me a few times is the coffee. The bread (not gluten-free) is kept next to the sink. When we have company they quite often make coffee to be helpful. It turned out someone was making toast and not clearing the crumbs good enough, so when the person made coffee and rinsed the filter they set it into the bread crumbs while putting the coffee in. So ... when the coffee dripped through the crumbs ended up in the coffee pot. Took a few days to track that one down! :o

Another one is contamination of jams, mayo etc. Now when we have company, anything that is opened and can be cross contaminated is set aside for my hubby to eat. I will open new containers.

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You're right about the jams and stuff. I make thinks with a "K" that are mine and everyone knows to avoid them. Water bottles, sauces, jams, and mustards.

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If you have young people or a lazy adult in your household, you may have to wash your stuff yourself and keep a tight reign on process. I found that the other family members did not think about it when they did stuff like eat chips and drop crumbs where we often need to sit. They also tended to grab the nearest chip clip instead of using the correct one. I liked the coffee example because it was that kind of thing that got us regularly. The tea pitcher can also be a problem.

We had milled our own grains before going gluten-free and had to literally wipe down the walls and cabinets due to the dust. We initially put on masks and started at the top to work our way down. It did not work since it stirred up enough dust to cause a problem. Finally my husband got an air filter machine and turned it on in the kitchen while he wiped it down top to bottom. Every cabinet shelf and the insides of the refrigerator also had to be cleaned. It took a few months for every little nook and cranny like the book shelves and areas for the dvds/cds at the computer to get gluten free. By the way, don't forget that this same wheat-dusty air has circulated throughout your house...that means closets and bathrooms as well if you are extremely sensitive as many of us are starting out.

We have one family member who will sneak into the kitchen in the middle of the night to get at the stuff they are not supposed to eat. She will even creep into her older brother's garage appartment and steal his food if we are not careful. I would have to pretend to be asleep and wait her out until she fell asleep at night so that I could catch her at it. Between my own extreme sensitivity and having to constantly growl at her, we finally went to a gluten-free household. It sure made life easier. The others are allowed to eat what they want when we are out or they are at a friends. At home, I keep a tight reign on what is available.

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I am super sensitive so I've learned the hard way how easy it is to be contaminated. I have a gluten free household except for bread. There are also a few frozen items like lunch burritos etc that are eaten at work or school and not heated in my microwave. It works best for us. It's important for the others in your house to understand the danger of contamination for you. Even if you don't feel the effects, the damage is still being done.

Good luck

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Since we are on the topic of cross-contamination, I have a quick question. Is it necessary to buy new pots and pans if they were once used to cook gluten foods in? They appear to be in good shape still, but is it possible that gluten could be in the Teflon? <_<

Stacy

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Since we are on the topic of cross-contamination, I have a quick question. Is it necessary to buy new pots and pans if they were once used to cook gluten foods in? They appear to be in good shape still, but is it possible that gluten could be in the Teflon? 

Stacy

For stainless steel, I'd say just wash it carefully, but teflon is one of the worst materials (hardest to clean) to get the gluten out of.

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Most of the cooking is gluten-free except for sides and sandwhiches. I am the only gluten-free in my household of 5 and the wooden utensils are only used on gluten-free food, the non-stick skillet is used for only gluten-free foods, we have one small skillet for grilled cheese sandwhiches.

Everyone else eats regular bread and crackers so I am psycho about keeping counters clean after a contamination of a couple of bread crumbs made me sick for days. Even when others clean the kitchen, they are not as careful as I am, I always go back and re-clean and re-rinse the rag just to make sure. They understand but since they aren't getting sick, they are not as aware. If I am in a hurrry, I use a clean plate to prepare any food to take with me then the plate goes into the sink for the dishwasher.

Our regular toaster is stored over the coffee pot but I can keep the pot pushed back enough so that contamination is non-existant (at least I haven't been sick) and I keep the crumbs cleaned out of the toaster as much as possible to avoid spilling.

I have my own condiments which I keep on a separate shelf in the fridge and everyone knows not to mess with my shelf. My safe left-over food for my lunches also goes onto that shelf. I have a shelf in the cabinets for all my flours and snacks too so everyone doesn't eat those (since my food is about 3 times as expensive as regular).

-Kate

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My DH is not Celiac either, but I do most of the cooking....since I'm not always as picky as I should be, usually because I'm in a hurry I've found that paper towels, plates and plastic knives, aluminum foil, and separate cutting boards to be of great help. Everything gluten-free for me gets prepared on the paper, that way I know I'm not cross contaminating due to a crumb left here or there. Coffee is not a problem. I don't drink it. My toaster is new and I use one slot for gluten-free only, the other for non gluten-free items...it seems to work ok for now. I have my own container of butter for breads, my own jams/jelly's/nut butters etc.

But, since I've eaten wheat free for over 25 years, (wheat allergic but upgraded to gluten intolerant recently) I don't think I'm as sensitive as many. It's going totally gluten-free that has been the real challenge.

I hate the idea of separate pans but that's what I've gone to. It's tough to cook for only 2 people yet have it look like you've been cooking for 20. Thank goodness for microwaves and convection cooking (and fast food for him...LOL).

The nicest situation would be if DH would agree to eat gluten-free as well........maybe some day. :(

Kandee

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