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In light of what we know about flour staying in the air for 24 hours, I'm wondering what your policies are for visiting other peoples' homes after they have been baking.

My close friends know not to bake if I am coming over that day or the next. But sometimes I'm invited to dinner parties or potlucks at acquaintances' houses - my rule of thumb with this is to ask the host the day of the party if they plan on baking something, or already have. If yes, I do not go. But I'm wondering if this is overly cautious, and if one or two cups of flour used for a cake hours before really will be potent enough affect me if I'm in their home.

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I would think you would be fine as long as you stayed out of the kitchen... I mean, how sensitive to gluten are you?

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I guess it depends on whether you'll be eating something that was prepared in the kitchen around the same time as the baking.

If was going to someone's house for, say, drinks, and the snacks were coming out of their packaging, I wouldn't worry. But I wouldn't want there to have been flour used if I was going to be preparing food. I stayed with a friend and even though I was super careful with places, utensils etc, I got sick and I think it was when she was making waffles for her and her husband while I was doing a jacket potato for me. So I asked my mum not to bake any bread for a few days before I visited her (to stay for 2 weeks), and I had no problems at all at her place.

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Wow--I am not the only sensitive person around here. I have gotten glutened from walking through a pizzaria past the room where they made pizzas to use their bathroom. I also have gotten badly glutened from walking through a kitchen after gluten pies were just made.

More recently, I got glutened walking in a room that had sheet-rock dust from old construction being torn down the day before--and then my bf turned on the vacuume cleaner just briefly. I left the room quickly but it was already too late.

My bf is gluten sensitive but it didn't bother him much whereas it took me several days to get over this airborne glutening. He now wears a snug paper mask meant for dealing with sheetrock dust and it seems to be adequate for him for deterring the mild head/eye/nose area aches he was getting from working on his house. Whereas for me to go on a work site I seem to need to use a heavy duty mask with nozzles and filters instead and then remove my clothing (to wash)and take a shower after.

I hadn't heard about this 24 hour thing. It makes sense--as in it seems wise. Do you recall where you learned/heard about it??

Bea

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It's hard to be social and excited to visit people's homes when the gluten issue is just always there. You feel like you can't relax.

I'm always amazed when gluten free people say it's "no big deal" and that cooking gluten free isn't that hard, and they want non-gluten-free people to prepare meals for them and invite them over. For example, one retired lady in my support group was mad the people in her weekly card-playing/dinner group wouldn't cook for her.

I personally don't eat in anyone's home unless I bring the food I'm eating...and I don't eat it in the kitchen. I usually eat beforehand and just bring a snack along-usually something other people salivate at, like shrimp n salsa or a cupcake, just to show that gluten free isn't misery, so they don't have to feel sympathy for me.

However, I will supervise my mother or my best friend if they want to cook or bake for me. My best friend took it upon herself to not allow bread or flour in her house for a month before my visit last time.

I'm lucky to have a gluten free potluck group in my area, where we all eat together once a month!

Good recipes and ideas, too--I discovered that gluten free lasagna is tasty enough to be worth the effort of all the boiling and baking (not to mention the cost) and now I make it at home at least once a month!

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Just to clarify, I meant going just to socialize, not to eat any food at the party. Like you, brendygirl, I always eat beforehand and just enjoy the company.

It's taking in any flour that's hanging in the air through nose and mouth, which will eventually make it's way into the digestive system, that I'm worried about. Staying out of the kitchen does seem like a good way to be safe. But this is such a scientifically ambiguous area: do airborne flour particles eventually make their through the whole house? How concentrated does it have to be in the air to cause problems? Hard to say. The 24 hour thing is the closest I've found to an actual answer. yolo, I've seen that fact repeated in publications over the years, here's one example from the Gluten Intolerance Group (page 2, number 2): http://www.gluten.net/downloads/print/gluten-free%20Kitchen.pdf. And I agree with you, it seems pretty logical. It would be nice to have some more definitive facts about how flour behaves in the air though, wouldn't it?

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Just to clarify, I meant going just to socialize, not to eat any food at the party. Like you, brendygirl, I always eat beforehand and just enjoy the company.

It's taking in any flour that's hanging in the air through nose and mouth, which will eventually make it's way into the digestive system, that I'm worried about. Staying out of the kitchen does seem like a good way to be safe. But this is such a scientifically ambiguous area: do airborne flour particles eventually make their through the whole house? How concentrated does it have to be in the air to cause problems? Hard to say. The 24 hour thing is the closest I've found to an actual answer. yolo, I've seen that fact repeated in publications over the years, here's one example from the Gluten Intolerance Group (page 2, number 2): http://www.gluten.net/downloads/print/gluten-free%20Kitchen.pdf. And I agree with you, it seems pretty logical. It would be nice to have some more definitive facts about how flour behaves in the air though, wouldn't it?

I agree it would be nice to have something more definitive about the transit time for gluten in the air, but nevertheless, experience tells a lot that is valuable--so thanks for the tip!

I tried to see the url you suggested by the way and it didn't work--seems to be offline.

Thanks by the way to you both. Brendygirl for pointing out how it should be done (including the support group) and ecf for the particulars on flour dust.

As far as a support group goes, I'd have to be really vigilant for a potluck to work for me too since it appears I am intensely salicylic acid sensitive. Nevertheless I am thinking of starting a support group around here in San Jose. Though I was not thinking of making a potluck a big part of it for the above reason. I was thinking of having it focus more on swapping info on celiac and related conditions. But maybe that's small thinking??

Bea

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In light of what we know about flour staying in the air for 24 hours, I'm wondering what your policies are for visiting other peoples' homes after they have been baking.

My close friends know not to bake if I am coming over that day or the next. But sometimes I'm invited to dinner parties or potlucks at acquaintances' houses - my rule of thumb with this is to ask the host the day of the party if they plan on baking something, or already have. If yes, I do not go. But I'm wondering if this is overly cautious, and if one or two cups of flour used for a cake hours before really will be potent enough affect me if I'm in their home.

I think it really depends on how sensitive you are. I have never had a problem, but I don't eat at other people's houses, though, either, unless I've been part of the cooking process. I do not let any gluten items into my kitchen for fear of crumbs. But there again -- I'm sensitive to what I've consumed, but not to tiny particles (at least, not that I've noticed!) So it will be based on if it makes you sick. For me, no. But for Bea, it is a serious issue, and needs to be treated as such. Go with what you know you react to. You'll learn quickly what you can handle. Good question, though, with some excellent, thought-provoking discussion, especially for someone like me that forgets that others are more sensitive that I am! So thank you.

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