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jensey

How Cautious Is Too Cautious?

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So...I have worked in the bakery industry for my ENTIRE ADULT life. For many years I dealt with frozen doughs, now I work in a scratch bakery environment. I do not mix doughs but occasionally I handle bags of flour and may breathe in flour. My symptoms are chronic diarrhea for about a year now, lactose intolerance and I think that is all...but whose to say.

Having been in an industry that needs/strives to understand the restrictions of celiac disease I recognize that any product that is produced in an area where flour is present cannot obtain a "gluten free" status, rather it can obtain a WHEAT FREE status. I have not OFFICIALLY been diagnosed with celiac disease, but the blood tests, the fact that my father has the known gene related to celiac disease, and the decrease in the extremeness of my D offers the conclusion that I am in fact afflicted with celiac disease.

I am concerned, worried, and scared that I may have to consider another line of work if I am diagnosed. I don't want to think of this,celiac disease,as a hindrance in my ability to do my job outside of the fact that I cannot TASTE items to ensure quality. Should I really be so concerned that I may need to consider a new career path?

If I choose to stay in my same field what repercussions may I face? Previously I acknowledged the "wheat free" as opposed to "gluten free" statement but living it if I am indeed (without a biopsy) afflicted with celiac disease the lifestyle change for me will affect me so significantly it could be detrimental. I am in the process of buying a home and I have the fact that I have been in my industry for 21 years on my side. If it turns out that I have to shift careers it may create a situation where I cannot afford the home I hope to purchase because I may not be able to make the same hourly rate I do now.

Do I really need to go this in depth with it? Is it so detrimental that I need to be incredibly proactive? I know the first item that will be addressed is that I will HAVE to have the biopsy especially given my job. Let's say it's positive as I am pretty sure it will be...wow I feel like I am going to extremes. Maybe it could be as simple as "nope sorry I can't touch the flour bags...or maybe it could be as complex as "you cannot continue working anywhere near flour. SURE we al have choices and constant D is one thing, but much more than that really concerns me.

I suppose what I am asking is should I give up the only job I have known and developed into because of celiac disease or should I just see how things work out.

I look forward to your thoughts

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Would you be able to take some precautions?

Do you wear a smock of some sort to cover your clothes at work? Do you have a place where you could at least change clothes or even perhaps shower and change clothes when your shift is done? Can you wear gloves, a cap and a filtering mask while working? Could your employer find a place in a dept. that the cooked products are in rather than the baking area? Your biggest risk if you are sensitive to gluten would be breathing in the flour dust. I am not sure that the precautions would prevent you from reacting but you might want to try them if you really need to stay in that line of work.

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So...I have worked in the bakery industry for my ENTIRE ADULT life. For many years I dealt with frozen doughs, now I work in a scratch bakery environment. I do not mix doughs but occasionally I handle bags of flour and may breathe in flour. My symptoms are chronic diarrhea for about a year now, lactose intolerance and I think that is all...but whose to say.

Having been in an industry that needs/strives to understand the restrictions of celiac disease I recognize that any product that is produced in an area where flour is present cannot obtain a "gluten free" status, rather it can obtain a WHEAT FREE status. I have not OFFICIALLY been diagnosed with celiac disease, but the blood tests, the fact that my father has the known gene related to celiac disease, and the decrease in the extremeness of my D offers the conclusion that I am in fact afflicted with celiac disease.

I am concerned, worried, and scared that I may have to consider another line of work if I am diagnosed. I don't want to think of this,celiac disease,as a hindrance in my ability to do my job outside of the fact that I cannot TASTE items to ensure quality. Should I really be so concerned that I may need to consider a new career path?

If I choose to stay in my same field what repercussions may I face? Previously I acknowledged the "wheat free" as opposed to "gluten free" statement but living it if I am indeed (without a biopsy) afflicted with celiac disease the lifestyle change for me will affect me so significantly it could be detrimental. I am in the process of buying a home and I have the fact that I have been in my industry for 21 years on my side. If it turns out that I have to shift careers it may create a situation where I cannot afford the home I hope to purchase because I may not be able to make the same hourly rate I do now.

Do I really need to go this in depth with it? Is it so detrimental that I need to be incredibly proactive? I know the first item that will be addressed is that I will HAVE to have the biopsy especially given my job. Let's say it's positive as I am pretty sure it will be...wow I feel like I am going to extremes. Maybe it could be as simple as "nope sorry I can't touch the flour bags...or maybe it could be as complex as "you cannot continue working anywhere near flour. SURE we al have choices and constant D is one thing, but much more than that really concerns me.

I suppose what I am asking is should I give up the only job I have known and developed into because of celiac disease or should I just see how things work out.

I look forward to your thoughts

Master gluten-free baking and open a bakery of that sort! I GUARANTEE you would have clientele! :)

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You sound like you already know what you need to do.

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Overall I don't have to WORK in direct contact with the flour. I will no LONGER handle bags of flour and I will most likely purchase and use a mask when I have to go into bakers area for any reason. I constantly wash my hands so that is a great habit already in place.

Currently most of my time is spent in the front end of the department, although it is a very open department. I mainly order, deal with and handle customer service for dept., decorate cakes, make coffee, babysit (lol), merchandise, put out fires (not literally), and paperwork. My plan for now is to see how well strict adherence to the diet works for awhile. If the symptoms still persist I certainly have to address with my employer the need to move into another aspect of the company. I am a strong willed person who does not like to admit weakness of any type. I don't like to use anything as a CRUTCH with regards to my job in particular, so this is going to be an interesting few months.

Bakery is all I know so if there is anyway this can possibly work I WILL find it. HEHE maybe it will even make an interesting book someday. Thinking of possible titles now..."Gluten free me in the Bakery "(hopefully the following will be able to be included) "...how I rose above the flour!"

While many will and have said "develop a gluten free bakery" it is not really an option for me personally BUT, HMMMM (light bulb moment), maybe I can talk my company into starting it's own line of gluten free items and run that department, interesting. That gives me hope and something to focus on and work on presenting to my company.

Thanks to all for reading and sharing.

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