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Emme999

Neverending Breadcrumbs..

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I need some help figuring out how safe my kitchen is...

My family is (seriously) the messiest family in the whole world when it comes to the kitchen. I am terrified every time I consider preparing food! I don't think there is one square foot of counter space that doesn't have breadcrumbs on it :(

Though I am pretty sure that there are other people in my family with celiac disease, until they get tested I am completely alone in the gluten-free world. I am concerned about the breadcrumbs that have fallen into the silverware drawer and the crumbs everywhere else! Plus, my mom has bought some glasses that can't be used in the dishwasher and has been washing dishes (in the same crumby water) and then putting them all back on the shelves. I have no idea what's contaminated and what's not! Help!

Is it enough to run silverware & other things under hot water for a little while to get any possible gluten off ? Should I just use plastic cups or bottled water? If I put down wax paper on the counter before I prepare food, is that enough? And I've read some things (in the forum) about teflon not being safe.. does that include non-stick pans?

I really want to be well. I want to heal. But I feel completely alone in this battle. Please offer me some advice.

Thanks,

- Michelle

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Michelle~

Being newly diagnosed too, I'm waging the same war but with my roommates. Depending on how big your kitchen is, maybe you can negotiate a "gluten-free zone". It probably sounds a little ridiculous, but maybe you can get your familty to understand that you're really worried about contamination. Maybe bread-involving activities can be done on a different part of the counter from more gluten-free endeavors.

About the glass thing, maybe grab some new sponges next time you go to the store (or get someone else to pick them up if you're like me and still dreading the scary neighborhood market). Then when you get them, keep them under the counter so they don't get crumby and use one of those to wash the glasses. If you feel up to it, maybe volunteer to wash the ones that can't go in the dishwasher. That way you'll feel easier because you will be sure they're not contaminated. (If you're still weak and shaky lay off washing the dishes -I've been breaking more than I've safely gotten back in the cupboard lately).

Hope that helps a little. If nothing else, I can say good luck and that there are others out there just like you. Hang in there. It is scary, especially right now when I can't be sure what's safe and what's not or remember which coded words on the back of the box mean gluten.

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Guest gfinnebraska

Time to go to war in your "messy" kitchen!! :ph34r: Make an area YOURS!! No exceptions... I have a few drawers that are mine. I keep MY pans there, cutting board, food, etc. I have a utensil holder on the counter that is MINE, no using for any item containing gluten!!! It is horrible to have to become a "me, mine" person, but you have to do what you have to do!! I am a fanatic when it comes to a clean kitchen, so I am not in a panic to cook, etc. in it. All I can say is that you need to lay down some rules with your family and make them realize this is your life they are literally messing with! :) There are many changes you have to make when realizing you havd celiac disease --> buying new pans, cutting board, wooden spoons, toaster... the list goes on and on. I use a sharpie to mark everything that I buy for me alone with the words "gluten free" or just plain "gluten-free". Then there won't be any "accidental" uses of my things. :)

Good luck... I hope I helped and didn't depress you too much!!

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Good info from the others! The designated counter area is a good idea, or putting down a tray or some paper before you put food on the counter. Just be honest with the fam. I had to tell my husband to Please Please stop using my shears to cut your pizza! Whether or not you scrub them afterwards! He finally got it :)

I can commiserate about the sponges though! We don't have a dishwasher and have to resort to the oxo sponges. Sometimes I look at it, and I'm like "What is on this sponge??!" For the most part, the house is gluten-free, but my husband still likes to make regular pancakes and pizzas. So I got him his own baking sheet, spatula, mixing bowl, measuring cup, and he uses a griddle I do not use. Everything else is gluten-free. I own the domain :) And I laughed because I put black "x"s over all the things that belong to him. !


~~~~~~~

Jen

Indianapolis, IN

gluten-free since Feb 2005

dairy-free

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I finally gave up and outlawed gluten in our house. I kept getting sick because they weren't careful. My take on it was that they made the choice when they wouldn't be careful!


Donna

South Georgia

9 yrs gluten-free

...also DH, fibromyalgia, neuropathy, osteopenia, hypothyroid...

After almost 10 years, I am doing soooo much better!

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Guest Viola

I think that might be a little harsh in this house. After all, it is my husbands home as well. Yes, he is very careless with his crumbs, big time. But it is my disease and It's up to me to keep myself healthy. I just clean up crumbs,(seems like constantly) and use paper or a plate under anything I am making. I have one small counter I try and keep gluten free .. but never "assume" that it is, if I wasn't at home while my hubby made himself a meal.

<_<

We both worked hard to have our own home and it wouldn't be fair to outlaw his diet in favour of mine.

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When I first went gluten free we did not have a gluten free house. My mom basically has followed the diet with me from day 1 because she has a wheat allergy. My dad...let's just say he doesn't watch if he contaminates. After a while my mom put gluten completely out of the house except for frozen lunches my dad can take to work to eat. He can eat gluten outside of the house and he was fine with that

I realize this does not work for everyone...for us it has worked great.

If you have other people in the house that you are worried about contaminating maybe you can have a cupboard especially full of your stuff. The butter and jelly in the fridge you could mark with your name on so they know not to use it.

If you prepare your food with something under it you should be fine. If it makes you feel better you could take a wet cloth and wash the section of the counter on which you are preparing your food so you have the clean counter and something underneath your food as well.


Kaiti

Positive bloodwork

Gluten-free since January 2004

Arkansas

Jeremiah 29:11- "For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for you to prosper and not harm you,plans to give you a hope and future"

"One Nation, Under God"

Feel free to email me anytime....jkbrodbent@yahoo.com

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Wow - good advice from everybody! :) Thank you!

I wish that I could simply make the whole house gluten free - but that's because I'm just a tad selfish ;)

Actually - my dad finally had the tTG blood test today!!! YAY!!! :) :) :)

This might be a lot easier if we find out I'm not the only one!

Another question - what is the best way to clean gluten stuff? I mean, according to that one article .1 gram of gluten is enough to cause your bod to attack itself. Can you even see that amount?? I'm guessing not! So far, I've been using clorox spray and paper towels. Any other advice is more than welcome :)

Thank you!! :)

- Michelle :wub:

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I'm not sure Clorox does any good! Certainly your countertops are sterlized but I don't believe it has any effect on gluten one way or another.

My household is easier to manage, its just my daughter and I... but at this point she is not gluten-free. I'm a neat person so that helps... I have my own cutting board and she has her's. I don't use any of the wooden utensils because she does. I stick with metal. I've certainly reduced the amount of gluten in our home, but she still eats it.

I just wipe before I cook/prepare. I wipe a lot, my kitchen is now a whole lot cleaner then it ever has been. I lecture my daughter over and over and now since she is sick of lecturing she is more careful with her gluten stuff. Anything that had gluten on it I rinse off really well before it goes in the dishwasher. I don't do hand washing, everything goes in the dishwasher.

I think I'm going ok with this, I'm quite sensitive to gluten and so far so good (sort of I got glutened a month ago on vacation and I'm still having some problems but prior to that all this was working!)

Susan

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Michelle, I have the exact same issues as you...

Everyone in the house eats gluten except me and there are crumbs everywhere! Crumbs in the silverware, on the counter, on the table, in the dishwater, even on clean things! (My family appears to love gluten). In order to avoid contamination, I look at everything before it goes in my mouth. I'll wash things like plates, pots, pans, and silverware twice if I have to... and when I'm preparing food on the counter, I'll wash off the crumbs with a cloth. It's hard but I don't think I can convince everyone to go gluten free.


Carrie Faith

Diagnosed with Celiac Disease in March 2004

Postitive tTg Blood Test, December 2003

Positive Biopsy, March 3, 2004

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Guest nini

My husband is the only one not gluten free in my house, yet he spreads his messy gluten crumbs EVERYWHERE... It is a constant battle,and I can't get him to clean up after himself. He is forbidden from using my pizza stone and I threw away all of the wooden utensils. Got only plastic and metal ones now. He can use the plastic and I use the metal. I use aluminum foil to line my baking pans AFTER I've already washed them twice. I also got rid of ALL of our non stick pots and pans and invested in good stainless steel. I also got rid of our slotted toaster and bought a toaster oven with removable racks that I can scrub AND line with foil. It's a major major pain and I'm constantly having to remind him to keep his gluten crumbs out of the butter and the mayonnaise. In the cupboards I have one shelf that is designated for his gluten foods... The rest of the cabinet is gluten free. He can put his frozen gluten foods in the freezer on top of the fridge. I keep all our gluten free frozen foods in the large drop in freezer.

Oh by the way, I recently discovered that Helleman's sells the mayo in squeeze bottles so I bought those instead and that way he can't double dip a knife or spoon in the jar!

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Guest imsohungry

I think everyone has given great advice! (I've actually learned a few things myself in this thread...I'm always learning though) ;)B)

Anyway, I just wanted to pass along an idea I use. I keep those lysol or clorox wipes (the ones pre-moistened in the canisters) under my kitchen sink. When I start to use the countertop for meal prep., I simply swipe the area with a wipe or two and make sure any residual/loose "invisible" bread crumbs get removed. :)

The cool thing is that companies are now making "generic" or "store-brand" names of these wipes....and they are usually pretty cheap. I worry that by using a sponge, I am just spreading around whatever crumbs my hubby cleaned up with it earlier. Each cleaning "wipe" is sanitary. ;)

Along with the others, I also took a Sharpie and wrote gluten-free on one tub of butter and my mayo and jelly. We don't keep much gluten in the house either, but my hubby LOVES his sandwiches...so we still have bread.

I'm just as careful as I can possibly be. :)

Everyone take care!

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If you really don't want any crumbs in your gluten-free area, tape it off with blue construction tape all around your area, then it stands out, and your family will realise that they can't have gluten stuff there.


Molly

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tape it off with blue construction tape all around your area, then it stands out,
That's a great idea... now if I could only convince my family to not use an area like that... it could be difficult <_<

Carrie Faith

Diagnosed with Celiac Disease in March 2004

Postitive tTg Blood Test, December 2003

Positive Biopsy, March 3, 2004

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I still wouldn't feel perfectly safe with that. I never trust that a counter is safe--it's just a matter of cutting something on a plate instead of the counter, etc. And be careful, because if your family bakes with flour, it stays in the air a long time and could also settle on the otherwise safe countertop.

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Is it enough to run silverware & other things under hot water for a little while to get any possible gluten off ?

Should I just use plastic cups or bottled water?

If I put down wax paper on the counter before I prepare food, is that enough?

And I've read some things (in the forum) about teflon not being safe.. does that include non-stick pans?

I would not rely on just running hot water over things - they need a good washing, be it in a dishwasher, or with a sponge. You don't have to use a pan/cup/sinkful of water, you can just add a bit of soap to your own sponge for cleaning.

Well washed glasses should be just fine. Just make sure they're really clean! :-)

I wouldn't use wax paper - get your own cutting boards. Wax paper can be cut through, which would be a problem. If you want wax paper UNDER the cutting board for stuff that rolls off, that'd be fine too.

The problem with non-stick coatings is that they can scratch easily - forming small areas where gluten can be easily trapped without you being able to scrub it off (scouring pads on non-stick surfaces are a no-no). I have a as-new non-stick griddle that I continue to use for gluten and non-gluten pancakes - but that is ALL it is used for, a metal utelsil doesn't come within five feet of it, and it's washed, dried, and stored with kid gloves. (Not literally, of course, but that would work too! ;-) )


Tiffany aka "Have I Mentioned Chocolate Lately?"

Inconclusive Blood Tests, Positive Dietary Results, No Endoscopy

G.F. - September 2003; C.F. - July 2004

Hiker, Yoga Teacher, Engineer, Painter, Be-er of Me

Bellevue, WA

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celiac3270's comment on the flour also applies to the walls and cabinets. We finally wiped down all the cabinets and walls. You would not believe the flour dust that was everywhere! When I thought about it, every time I made biscuits, dredged meat, or mixed up a quick batter over theyears little dust particles would float around. It was logical that they would end up on walls and cabinets, I just didn't think about it. You would have thought that wiping them down periodically would have stopped it, but apparently it didn't completely keep it down. One day the sun was shining just right and someone bumped the cabinet to shut it instead of just closing it and Whoof! You could see the tiny stuff flying everwhere. My nose and mouth did their immediate itch and swell thing. We did a thorough cleaning then and no more gluten allowed in that kitchen.


Donna

South Georgia

9 yrs gluten-free

...also DH, fibromyalgia, neuropathy, osteopenia, hypothyroid...

After almost 10 years, I am doing soooo much better!

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Guest BellyTimber

B)

For washing-upand other cleaning tasks, to get your things to gleam, besides rather hot water and some washing-up liquid, use Soda Crystals or Liquid Soda Crystals as well. That gets the encrusted dullness off glasses, cutlery, probably worktops as well. (And rub hard)

I hope you have that sort of thing over here.

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I really lucked out in that one month after going gluten-free, we tore out our kitchen and started over, so no hidden flour on the cabinets. Of course I didn't feel too lucky during the couple of months I had no kitchen to speak of and had to fend for myself...

My husband will usually eat what I eat and is pretty nice about it but he leaves crumbs, too. I talked him into ditching the toaster oven, which I wasn't using myself, as his crumbs would get on the counter in front and not get cleaned up. They'd also fall directly into the utensil drawer (right in front, too). Now the only gluten he gets is in crackers, frozen meals and beer, or whatever he eats out of the house. Pretty limited but I'm still chicken every time I see a crumb, esp. on my butter!

I have a pack of butter at work, and the other day a coworker needed some so I volunteered it, not thinking. A couple of days later I pulled it out to use and saw crumbs in it but I had to laugh out loud because it was my own fault. Fortunately there were three other sticks in there - I donated the first to the "everyone" part of the fridge.

I don't think I'm yet assertive enough about my areas for food prep so I try to do as much cleaning up first as I can instead of getting on other people. I would have a hard time telling my family (if it was more than just my husband and me) to keep their gluten out of my space. It is hard to feel like a nag - even if it's for a very good reason.

Stephanie


Diagnosed by food challenge, 10/04

Gluten-free since 10/04

Gluten-sensitive genes: HLA-DQ 1,3 (Subtype 6,9)

Interstitial Cystitis, 7/07

Fibromyalgia, 6/11

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Well this is all very depressing! Sorry! I am newly diagnosed and I guess I didn't realize how much my life would be changing. I thought as long as I didn't eat gluten I was fine. I knew contamination was a problem, but I didn't think about the prep process. My kitchen is always messy. I have a husband and four kids--ages 8-16--and we are all messy. I guess I need to be investigating this a whole lot more.

Barbara

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Guest Viola

Welcome to the board Barbara, there is certainly a lot to learn with this diet. But everyone here is very helpful, and good support.

If you need to ask anything at all, some of us will certainly come up with an answer for you.

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We're a family of 5 and only one celiac in the bunch. It's never been an issue and I'm thinking, as I read all these posts, I'd have lost my mind if I'd been gluten dust and crumb challenged on a daily basis the way some of you describe!

Cleaning out cabinets and walls and silverware drawers! Suzy Homemaker I am NOT! My son has two shelves in the pantry...low shelves so he can get his own snacks, and a shelf in the fridge and we have an extra freezer in the garage for all the frozen supplies.

As for counters, I just use a clean plate on top of a crumby counter. A clean utensil from the drawer. That's not so complicated. When I make noodles for dinner, I cook his on the left side of the stove and keep the spoon on the left side with a paper towel under it. Why the left?? Because I'm right handed and it takes me a moment to think about what's cooking on the left. I almost never screw up wth this method!

Seriously now, how's a gluten crumb going to hop up onto your plate and hid itself in your Kinnikinnick?? BTW, my son isn't allowed to eat anything that falls off his plate. YES. My counters have been that messy!!


I believe in God.

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hi

im pretty new at this but I am the only one with celiac disease in the house right now . My sons are all on there own so only on weekends its tough when they come over but to help me, I control the kitchen , lol I am the cook I set up a Island , any table , just I had one in the kitchen for years .I moved it to other side . It has a toaster cutting board, a set of knives and a few trays, paper towels bread peanut butter and butter.

every one who wants a sandwich or foods unsafe for me know they have to prepare it on this island table , it does seem to help and at end of night I just wipe it down last thing and throw cloth in wash.

could your kitchen have one?? do you have space for it ?? some have doors drawers wheels ect depending on the expense of it the more features this would be a solution to do for you and you could keep everything right there and put it off limits to rest of family , I know it works and helps with my family alot .

good luck rosie

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I too would like to know the answer to this question. When I am cooking, I ALWAYS prepare anything gluten-free first and/or separately. I have heard that prepared foods unless prepared in a totally gluten-free factory are not realy gluten-free. So is there a truly gluten-free place. Sure not at my home!


Diagnosed and gluten-free since July, 2003.

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