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SuperMolly

I Need Help Avoiding Cross Contamination!

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I was diagnosed with celiac disease in November 2008. Since then I have been diligent in my efforts to avoid all gluten, but I'm often getting sick anyway(a few times a week). I am the only one in my family who is gluten free. I have 6 kids and a husband who love their gluten laden food. My husband wants us to become a gluten-free house for my sake, but I feel that would be too expensive and I want them to be able to eat good bread, crackers, pizza, etc. Help!

Any tips on how to avoid cross-contamination?

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Hi

afriad there is no easy answer and a lot depends on how sensitive you are. i've been gluten-free since 05 and my wife has been good about helping me and keeps the few things she likes in her room and away from the kitchen area. she no longer can mix anythign with regular flour in the house.

she has her own area and toaster oven -- nothing with gluten goes into the microwave.

just a few months ago she forgot nad got regular noodles for something she was making for her book club. normally it would not matter as she has her own pots. Only she forgot and used my colander -- sure enough the next day i was sick for 8 hours becasue of a little piece of pasta caught in the holes-- even after a 2nd washing there was some.. Guess my point is you need seperate everything and your own space that cant be touched by gluten -- thats how ceritfied restaurants in italy and other locations have to do it -- two kitchens. being gluten free in the whole house cant hurt your husband or the kids. We're both lucky to have understanding spouses.

good luck

I was diagnosed with celiac disease in November 2008. Since then I have been diligent in my efforts to avoid all gluten, but I'm often getting sick anyway(a few times a week). I am the only one in my family who is gluten free. I have 6 kids and a husband who love their gluten laden food. My husband wants us to become a gluten-free house for my sake, but I feel that would be too expensive and I want them to be able to eat good bread, crackers, pizza, etc. Help!

Any tips on how to avoid cross-contamination?

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If your husband is willing to make the house gluten free I would do so. Gluten free stuff has improved greatly and it is not a horrible thing for the family to go gluten free with you. For one thing chances are strong that you have more than just you in the family that needs to be gluten free. I would however insist on blood testing for other family members first just in case they show up in blood work. Many have symptoms that they don't think are gluten related and some are asymptomatic but still show up on blood work so all family members need to be tested when one is diagnosed.

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When I first went gluten-free and before my kido went gluten-free, I switched most of his snacks over to gluten-free. Mainly because I have only one and he would be the only one in the house eating it and it was too much for him to have to finish a whole package of stuff himself. It was easy for us to share snacks and he didn't really notice or mind much. I just stopped buying certain things and started buying others. Some we'd had before so we just started having them more often. They became staples. Others were approached like Hey let's have fun tryings new stuff! geltin-packaged or homemade with Knox and fruit juice, pudding cups, fresh fruit, fruit leathers, popsicles made in dollar store molds with fruit juice, applesauce cups-many flavors available. Rice Krispy type bars made from Chex cereal or one of the rice cereals-Envirokids makes a rice shape coco flavored one that makes great treats, Lays Staxx chips, all flavors are gluten-free and made on dedicated lines and are cheap, air popped popcorn, etc. If you don't eliminate all gluteny snacks, I'm confident that you can at least cut way back.

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If you haven't already divided things like margarine, peanut butter, mayo, etc into the gluten-free jar and the other jar, then make sure you do that for anything they could possibly want to share with you.

Dedicate a drawer in your fridge to your food.

Get a big Rubbermaid bin for your dry foods and mark it "Gluten-free only".

Get a scissors just for opening gluten-free packages and label it gluten-free.

Get your own set of wooden spoons and use a Sharpie to color the handles black and keep them in a separate place from the "gluten spoons".

Get a can opener just for you and label it.

Get your own cutting board and colander.

MARK EVERYTHING so it's obvious it's yours and not theirs. Or keep it in a place that's inconvenient for them to get to.

Educate them and re-educate them as often as needed.

If they cook ramen noodles or pasta in a stainless steel pot, be sure to scrub out the residue clinging to it before it goes in the dishwasher.

Before you work on the cupboard, wipe it down to remove crumbs and then lay down a layer of newspaper just in case.

NEVER eat anything that falls on the cupboard or the table, just in case.

Never share a glass.

Never let them drink out of something and put it back in the fridge.

Make them wash their hands before the empty the dishwasher, in case they have gluten on their fingers.

Minimize or outlaw mixes with flour in them - no pancake or muffin mix, which could spew gluten into the air for hours - or have them go outside or to a separate room to open the package and dump it in the bowl and mix it.

My kids eat gluten foods but are very sensitive to my needs and have become very good at not contaminating the house. Sure, there are crumbs, but they are very good at using their designated items and not mine, and I haven't had a problem for years. The Ex, well, that was another story. Some adults are harder to train than children.

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Hi

afriad there is no easy answer and a lot depends on how sensitive you are. i've been gluten-free since 05 and my wife has been good about helping me and keeps the few things she likes in her room and away from the kitchen area. she no longer can mix anythign with regular flour in the house.

she has her own area and toaster oven -- nothing with gluten goes into the microwave.

just a few months ago she forgot nad got regular noodles for something she was making for her book club. normally it would not matter as she has her own pots. Only she forgot and used my colander -- sure enough the next day i was sick for 8 hours becasue of a little piece of pasta caught in the holes-- even after a 2nd washing there was some.. Guess my point is you need seperate everything and your own space that cant be touched by gluten -- thats how ceritfied restaurants in italy and other locations have to do it -- two kitchens. being gluten free in the whole house cant hurt your husband or the kids. We're both lucky to have understanding spouses.

good luck

I seem to be very sensitive. I have figured out they can't mix in the house and I'm nervous to even touch their food. I have my own colander, spatula, and cooking spoon. What about metal pots? I figure we can put those in the dishwasher to clean them after scrubbing them by hand, but I can still see discoloration. Could the pots still be contaminated? You mentioned the microwave. I clean it regularly and always cover my food. Is this good enough?

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If your husband is willing to make the house gluten free I would do so. Gluten free stuff has improved greatly and it is not a horrible thing for the family to go gluten free with you. For one thing chances are strong that you have more than just you in the family that needs to be gluten free. I would however insist on blood testing for other family members first just in case they show up in blood work. Many have symptoms that they don't think are gluten related and some are asymptomatic but still show up on blood work so all family members need to be tested when one is diagnosed.

I have had many of my children tested...all came back negative. I'm still not convinced my son is negative as he is almost 7 years old and looks like he's 4. (I looked the same way as a child.) We have tested him twice, both times negative. One doctor recommended doing a dna test for my kids, another doctor said that is not necessary. I get so confused by doctors!

The trouble with de-glutenizing the house is that I am a stay-at-home mom and my husband is laid-off, searching for work. He has been employed for 5 months in the past year. I feel like we can't afford to switch to the expensive gluten-free products. So maybe just a really clean, gluten-contolled kitchen?

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When I first went gluten-free and before my kido went gluten-free, I switched most of his snacks over to gluten-free. Mainly because I have only one and he would be the only one in the house eating it and it was too much for him to have to finish a whole package of stuff himself. It was easy for us to share snacks and he didn't really notice or mind much. I just stopped buying certain things and started buying others. Some we'd had before so we just started having them more often. They became staples. Others were approached like Hey let's have fun tryings new stuff! geltin-packaged or homemade with Knox and fruit juice, pudding cups, fresh fruit, fruit leathers, popsicles made in dollar store molds with fruit juice, applesauce cups-many flavors available. Rice Krispy type bars made from Chex cereal or one of the rice cereals-Envirokids makes a rice shape coco flavored one that makes great treats, Lays Staxx chips, all flavors are gluten-free and made on dedicated lines and are cheap, air popped popcorn, etc. If you don't eliminate all gluteny snacks, I'm confident that you can at least cut way back.

Thanks for the tips! It's a good idea to start cutting back now. Maybe they won't even notice we are becoming a gluten-free house.

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We tend to have our own pots too. She has her own toaster oven which I dont even go near and uses that rather than putting gluten items in the microwave. Learned that the hard way and the old microwave is now at her school. YOu wont see discoloration from gluten but even on the molecular level, gluten proteins can make us sick. I just dont want to take chances and feel as bad as I did 5 years ago.

good luck

ken

I seem to be very sensitive. I have figured out they can't mix in the house and I'm nervous to even touch their food. I have my own colander, spatula, and cooking spoon. What about metal pots? I figure we can put those in the dishwasher to clean them after scrubbing them by hand, but I can still see discoloration. Could the pots still be contaminated? You mentioned the microwave. I clean it regularly and always cover my food. Is this good enough?

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My live-in boyfriend eats gluten-free in our home, but not outside of the house. He eats breakfast and lunch at work, so he keeps a loaf of bread, oatmeal, granola bars, and other gluteny items in his desk. If your kids are school-age, maybe they can eat gluten-containing items in their school lunch, but eat gluten free when in the house. This cuts down the cross-contamination issues. I never have to worry about crums or anything. Of course, you would probably have to make their sandwichs for them, but maybe once a week you could make a week's worth of lunches. Then of course, clean the kitchen thoroughly and keep it gluten free until next week's sandwich making marathon!

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I have a seperate counter space in my kitchen with a cabinet underneath. The glutinous bread, crackers, toaster, etc are on or in this cabinet. We try to make lunch sandwiches & snacks over on this counter. Helps to keep the crumbs in 1 known area. The drawers under this counter are "junk" drawers - batteries, phone chargers, etc. so if crumbs fall in its not a big deal. I change my kitchen towels every day or more often depending on who is home & whats going on. My cooking utensils are red. Cutting board, toaster, scissors, etc are red. Have red duct tape to wrap around my margarine, PB, jelly, etc. Sometimes I open something like chips & put some in a baggie for me with a piece of red tape on it. I've also found that I buy less Gluten food.

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My live-in boyfriend eats gluten-free in our home, but not outside of the house. He eats breakfast and lunch at work, so he keeps a loaf of bread, oatmeal, granola bars, and other gluteny items in his desk. If your kids are school-age, maybe they can eat gluten-containing items in their school lunch, but eat gluten free when in the house. This cuts down the cross-contamination issues. I never have to worry about crums or anything. Of course, you would probably have to make their sandwichs for them, but maybe once a week you could make a week's worth of lunches. Then of course, clean the kitchen thoroughly and keep it gluten free until next week's sandwich making marathon!

I like the idea of making all the sandwiches for lunches at one time. My kids do not have hot lunch at their school so they make sandwiches daily. This would help them and me to enjoy our week more. Great idea! (Does anyone know if you can freeze sandwiches?)

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I have a seperate counter space in my kitchen with a cabinet underneath. The glutinous bread, crackers, toaster, etc are on or in this cabinet. We try to make lunch sandwiches & snacks over on this counter. Helps to keep the crumbs in 1 known area. The drawers under this counter are "junk" drawers - batteries, phone chargers, etc. so if crumbs fall in its not a big deal. I change my kitchen towels every day or more often depending on who is home & whats going on. My cooking utensils are red. Cutting board, toaster, scissors, etc are red. Have red duct tape to wrap around my margarine, PB, jelly, etc. Sometimes I open something like chips & put some in a baggie for me with a piece of red tape on it. I've also found that I buy less Gluten food.

I have a "Gluten Cupboard" as you were talking about, but it never occured to me to have them use the counter above that for preparing their food. I also have red cooking utensils and used a red marker to write all over my colander. I love the idea of using red tape on my special containers and bags. I've been labeling them, but sometimes the packages are so full of print it is hard to see my writing. I will definitely use the red tape idea! Thanks for the helpful tips.

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If you haven't already divided things like margarine, peanut butter, mayo, etc into the gluten-free jar and the other jar, then make sure you do that for anything they could possibly want to share with you.

Dedicate a drawer in your fridge to your food.

Get a big Rubbermaid bin for your dry foods and mark it "Gluten-free only".

Get a scissors just for opening gluten-free packages and label it gluten-free.

Get your own set of wooden spoons and use a Sharpie to color the handles black and keep them in a separate place from the "gluten spoons".

Get a can opener just for you and label it.

Get your own cutting board and colander.

MARK EVERYTHING so it's obvious it's yours and not theirs. Or keep it in a place that's inconvenient for them to get to.

Educate them and re-educate them as often as needed.

If they cook ramen noodles or pasta in a stainless steel pot, be sure to scrub out the residue clinging to it before it goes in the dishwasher.

Before you work on the cupboard, wipe it down to remove crumbs and then lay down a layer of newspaper just in case.

NEVER eat anything that falls on the cupboard or the table, just in case.

Never share a glass.

Never let them drink out of something and put it back in the fridge.

Make them wash their hands before the empty the dishwasher, in case they have gluten on their fingers.

Minimize or outlaw mixes with flour in them - no pancake or muffin mix, which could spew gluten into the air for hours - or have them go outside or to a separate room to open the package and dump it in the bowl and mix it.

My kids eat gluten foods but are very sensitive to my needs and have become very good at not contaminating the house. Sure, there are crumbs, but they are very good at using their designated items and not mine, and I haven't had a problem for years. The Ex, well, that was another story. Some adults are harder to train than children.

I hadn't thought of my own scissors or can-opener. Most of the other tips I've already learned the hard way. It's nice to know I'm not the only one living this way!

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My live-in boyfriend eats gluten-free in our home, but not outside of the house. He eats breakfast and lunch at work, so he keeps a loaf of bread, oatmeal, granola bars, and other gluteny items in his desk. If your kids are school-age, maybe they can eat gluten-containing items in their school lunch, but eat gluten free when in the house. This cuts down the cross-contamination issues. I never have to worry about crums or anything. Of course, you would probably have to make their sandwichs for them, but maybe once a week you could make a week's worth of lunches. Then of course, clean the kitchen thoroughly and keep it gluten free until next week's sandwich making marathon!

Quick addtion to what GFLindsey said about the lunch sandwiches. I make my son's sandwiches on a square of aluminum foil and then wrap the foil around it. That way all the crumbs stay in the alumnium foil. My son and husband eat gluten-free dinners each night. There is so much variety and they eat healthier that way too!

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I've been gluten-free about 8 weeks. Hub has lost 5 lbs & one belt notch. I've remained the same. :( My teen boys are enjoying my fixing more of thier favorites because we can't go out like we used to.

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I like the idea of making all the sandwiches for lunches at one time. My kids do not have hot lunch at their school so they make sandwiches daily. This would help them and me to enjoy our week more. Great idea! (Does anyone know if you can freeze sandwiches?)

You can freeze sandwiches that have non processed meats, I freeze griled chicken in slices. But not ones that have lettuce, tomatoes, ect. PB + J freezes well.

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