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How Big Of A Deal Is Cross-Contamination?

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I'm just wondering. I am very, very new to this diagnosis (2 weeks), but I have been reading everything I can get my hands on because I had no idea what to do. Since all of my symptoms (including a very knarly rash) have disappeared going off of gluten, I am desperate to do things right. But, my daughter (the baby in my avatar) and I have had to move into my parents house until I can find another job, and so there are 4 other "gluten-eaters" in the house. I need to know, how important is cross-contamination? I see that some people have separate toasters ect, that they use for gluten free food.

I guess it just seems like a little bit of overkill. (Please dont kill me, as I said, I am super new to this.) Last night, my mom made spaghetti for everybody and she made gluten free pasta for me in a separate pot, and even thought to use a separate spoon for my pasta. I was touched, but it got me thinking, if I had been cooking I probably wouldnt have gotten the separate spoon out. Are those little gluten molecules really everywhere?

Thank you guys in advance for taking the time to answer me. There is so much information out there, its a little overwhelming!

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Did she use a different collander to strain it? That is very important. Just straining pasta in the same collander will gluten you.

All the cross contamination concerns are real. I used to think it was a bit much and that I wouldn't be that sensitive to it.

Ways to cross contaminate yourself are real and we are always finding others. I will mention a few I didn't believe and stupidly tested and got very ill from finding out that yes, they are not exaggerating when they describe cross contamination. It is very serious.

People often find out they are MORE sensitive to trace gluten after it is out of their system. I sure did.

Ways to make yourself sick with gluten cross contamination.

1. Wear lipstick. Most of it is made with wheat and will make you sick as you lick your lips.

2. Kiss someone who drank a beer. That is enough gluten to make ya sick.

3. Kiss someone who ate gluten before they brush their teeth.

4. Use hand sanitizer after touching gluten. It doesn't get rid of gluten, only soap and water does.

5. Use toaster used by gluten eaters.

6. Use collander used to strain wheat pasta. You can't clean it.

7. Hand cookies to children then eat your gluten free food. There is enough gluten on your hands to make you very sick.

8. Breathing in the air in a home where wheat flour has been used to bake with. Flour hangs in the air and you breathe it in and it hits your nasal passages and then your stomach...and wa la...you get sick.

9. Make a sandwich on the counter in a kitchen where gluten eaters live. Enough to make you ill.

Please believe it. They are all true.

There are many more too. Just gave you a few of my most charming moments.

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I'm just wondering. I am very, very new to this diagnosis (2 weeks), but I have been reading everything I can get my hands on because I had no idea what to do. Since all of my symptoms (including a very knarly rash) have disappeared going off of gluten, I am desperate to do things right. But, my daughter (the baby in my avatar) and I have had to move into my parents house until I can find another job, and so there are 4 other "gluten-eaters" in the house. I need to know, how important is cross-contamination? I see that some people have separate toasters ect, that they use for gluten free food.

I guess it just seems like a little bit of overkill. (Please dont kill me, as I said, I am super new to this.) Last night, my mom made spaghetti for everybody and she made gluten free pasta for me in a separate pot, and even thought to use a separate spoon for my pasta. I was touched, but it got me thinking, if I had been cooking I probably wouldnt have gotten the separate spoon out. Are those little gluten molecules really everywhere?

Thank you guys in advance for taking the time to answer me. There is so much information out there, its a little overwhelming!

Yep, gluten is sneaky and it only takes a tiny amount to cross contaminate you. Your mum sounds fantastic, it sounds like she's been reading up on it. You should also use a separate colander for it (she might have done - you didn't mention it).

The toaster will definitely "gluten" you. When I was traveling last year I was desperate to toast the gluten free bagels I found in Whole Foods, and I foolishly used my friend's toaster, even though I knew I shouldn't. Big mistake - I was sick for days. You might not feel the effects early on (since your body is still recovering anyway) but many people get more sensitive as they go longer without having any gluten.

My home is entirely gluten free (I live alone) but I do fine when I'm staying with my mum, so long as we're all careful. She lets me open new jars of stuff like jam, and I use my own butter, and we cook main meals that are gluten free and I'm just careful to stay away from the snacks they eat, or if they add seasonings to the meal after I've served my portion. So many foods are naturally gluten free, meat, veges, rice, potatoes...my sister forgets what I can't have because it seems to her that my diet is so 'normal' anyway. We go through a lot of spoons to ensure that nothing is double-dipped by mistake, but they are easily washed :-)

You'll get used to it, and it's totally worth it :-)

ETA great points from eatmeat4good. My mum stops baking bread a few days before I visit. And children, with the sticky hands and the touching everything... agh! Lucky your little girl is still so tiny :-)

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It really is a big deal.

I have just recovered from a week of severe back and muscle pain that could only have been triggered by cross contamination in the McCain plant that made my hashbrowns. The ingredients on the bag were safe but I got sick anyway.

I have also gotten sick by:

- Eating gluten free bread at a restaurant that also makes regular bread, my guess was aerated flour or sharing pans.

- Buttering my toast from the communal butter dish that looked free of crumbs. I have a tupperware container with my own personal butter now as well as my own peanut butter, jam and mayonnaise that is all labelled gluten free.

- Eating chocolate covered marshmallows labeled "gluten free" ... must have been contamination at the plant.

- Making my gluten free bread in a non-stick pan previously used for wheat bread and cooking in older non stick pots. I have since thrown out all my non stick pots and baking pans and replaced them with stainless steel, glass and/or silicone.

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Sharing a water bottle with my sweetie while he was eating a gluten filled sandwich, cross contamination from the steering wheel, switches, knobs, doorhandles and stickshift in the cab of our truck after he ate a hamburger and I ate some grapes the next morning. household pets who have not been taken gluten free. Just a few examples from my experiences getting cc'd.

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1. Wear lipstick. Most of it is made with wheat and will make you sick as you lick your lips.

Really? There may be some out there, but "most" is, to me, an exaggeration. As a man, I don't use lipstick, but in following the discussions here about cosmetics I have not seen wheat in lipstick come up as an issue. Perhaps you could provide some examples of ones that do have wheat in them.

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Better to be overly paranoid about it then to be sick :(

Trust me, you aren't alone (i'm the only one in my house gluten free and grrrr its tough)

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Sharing a water bottle with my sweetie while he was eating a gluten filled sandwich, cross contamination from the steering wheel, switches, knobs, doorhandles and stickshift in the cab of our truck after he ate a hamburger and I ate some grapes the next morning. household pets who have not been taken gluten free. Just a few examples from my experiences getting cc'd.

Hey, I think that's probably what got me with gluten...our houseguests, who were eating pizza etc on Saturday, were using the stove, fridge, and so on. I did my own cooking and was careful with the colanders, cookware, table, and so on but I bet there was crumbs, flour, or something lurking on the surfaces being touched in the kitchen. damn.

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Really? There may be some out there, but "most" is, to me, an exaggeration. As a man, I don't use lipstick, but in following the discussions here about cosmetics I have not seen wheat in lipstick come up as an issue. Perhaps you could provide some examples of ones that do have wheat in them.

There are many threads and posts about the gluten/lipstick issue here on Celiac.com.

After I got sick from it, I searched gluten and lipstick here and found out that it is a pretty big issue.

I wasn't trying to exaggerate, I was trying to help with identifying cross-contamination sources, but I could have said "some" instead of "most" because I really don't know how many lipstick brands use wheat germ oil or gluten, but it is fairly common in lipstick.

http://istheregluten.blogspot.com/2009/04/lip-stuck.html

http://www.glutenfreebaker.org/gluten-intolerance-and-celiac-disease/hidden-sources-of-gluten-in-non-food-items.php

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The first two of those sources are each just one person's unsubstantiated statement that lipstick is a gluten source. They do not provide specifics.

The third is a discussion from this site which seems to identify two brands as having gluten, and one being "not gluten-free."

"Not gluten-free" in most cases does not mean that there is, in fact, gluten in the product. It usually just means that the manufacturer does not test for possible contamination, and therefore will not accept legal liability.

The Canadian Celiac Association declares tocopherols to be safe to eat regardless of the source. If they are safe to eat, then surely they are safe to put on your lips.

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I'm just wondering. I am very, very new to this diagnosis (2 weeks), but I have been reading everything I can get my hands on because I had no idea what to do. Since all of my symptoms (including a very knarly rash) have disappeared going off of gluten, I am desperate to do things right. But, my daughter (the baby in my avatar) and I have had to move into my parents house until I can find another job, and so there are 4 other "gluten-eaters" in the house. I need to know, how important is cross-contamination? I see that some people have separate toasters ect, that they use for gluten free food.

I guess it just seems like a little bit of overkill. (Please dont kill me, as I said, I am super new to this.) Last night, my mom made spaghetti for everybody and she made gluten free pasta for me in a separate pot, and even thought to use a separate spoon for my pasta. I was touched, but it got me thinking, if I had been cooking I probably wouldnt have gotten the separate spoon out. Are those little gluten molecules really everywhere?

Thank you guys in advance for taking the time to answer me. There is so much information out there, its a little overwhelming!

This forum been a lifeline for me since I joined. I'm posting some links that might help you below. When I was first diagnosed I was extremely effected by cross contamination.It turns out that I have other health issues and some of my problems are not caused by celiac. Our wonderful Peter is also correct that some sites and products are not proven to contain gluten (and some are not gluten-free). Anyway, I hope this helps.

Loey

P.S. your baby is ADORABLE!!!!!

http://www.metacafe....se_on_the_view/

http://www.celiac.com/gluten-free/

http://www.glutenfre...rch.do?state=RI

http://dearpharmacis.../?p=755&print=1

http://www.triumphdi...CFVZc2godJz6CBQ

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Thanks everybody for the replies.

Lol, so that was a universal, "Yes cross-contamination is important." That was exactly the information I was looking for so that you for giving it to me.

I've labeled my own peanut butter jar, my own mayo, and brought my own toaster into the house. I know this is just the beginning, but, you have to start somewhere.

Thanks again!

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Thanks everybody for the replies.

Lol, so that was a universal, "Yes cross-contamination is important." That was exactly the information I was looking for so that you for giving it to me.

I've labeled my own peanut butter jar, my own mayo, and brought my own toaster into the house. I know this is just the beginning, but, you have to start somewhere.

Thanks again!

make sure you think about chopping boards, wooden spoons etc.. they soak up the gluten and are the worst offenders. they cannot be cleaned enough

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Spoons are easy enough, but my cutting board is marble... Should I be concerned?

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Spoons are easy enough, but my cutting board is marble... Should I be concerned?

i think marble should be fine as long as its cleaned properly. im just assuming though

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The Canadian Celiac Association declares tocopherols to be safe to eat regardless of the source. If they are safe to eat, then surely they are safe to put on your lips.

That's reassuring --as I had read that "mixed tocopherols" could be derived from wheat germ oil or soybean oil?--so I was carefully avoiding those. Naturally, I was leery of products like lipstick and lip-balm and those hand sanitizers as well because these tocopherols are often ingredients in those products. We had a hand lotion in the house that we finally tracked down as causing us both really itchy skin and it was made from oats with " tocopherols" (no ingredient from wheat listed, though ) so I thought it would be okay.

I imagine that particularly sensitive folks would have a reaction to them nonetheless?

Everybody is different. CC is a problem for sure.

Finding the source of the CC is tricky business. :blink:

geesh...We need a "handbook" :lol:

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