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Mom2Will

Crock Pot Contamination

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My son was recently diagnosed with Celiac disease. He started his gluten free diet yesterday. I'm going through my kitchen and trying to figure out what to scour and keep and what to toss and buy new. I have two crock pots that I use all the time and was wondering if I need to get rid of them and buy new. I've already bought new utensils, cutting boards and a colander. I'm getting rid of my bread machine, hand mixer and muffin tins.

Just when I think I have a handle on this I find more stuff I haven't thought of and I get overwhelmed. I am ok with what he can and cannot eat. What is throwing me for a loop is the cross contamination issue. I don't know for sure what is ok to keep and what I need to replace. Not to mention this is getting expensive.

So does anybody know about the crock pots? Also, is glass bakeware ok to keep?

Thanks,

Melissa

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Glass is fine and the muffin tins only need to be replaced if there is baked on crud you can't scrub off with steel wool. Also remember you can make his muffins and cupcakes in paper liners. Basically if it has a hard, smooth surface you can scrub within an inch of its life, you can keep it. :) If it's porous like wood, or has deep scratches like an old cutting board, it needs to be replaced. Porous things like a pizza stone won't clean up, but you can cover them with aluminum foil or baking parchment. Undamaged teflon is fine, as gluten won't stick. Damaged teflon needs to be replaced anyway for general health reasons. Plastic utensils or storage containers that have damaged surfaces from the microwave or an ill-considered moment on a hot pan would need to be replaced since you can't get to all the surface to scrub.

Seasoned pans are a problem because there will be traces of gluten in the seasoning. If you have a solid cast iron frying pan that can take high heat, some people scrub off the seasoning and then put them in the oven through the self-clean cycle. The idea is to burn off the gluten. I don't know how well it works. I had a seasoned wok with a wooden handle I couldn't treat that way. I replaced it because no matter how hard I scrubbed it still smelled of soy sauce (and therefore gluten).

I'm not sure why you would replace a hand mixer? Can't you wipe it off and clean the beaters? Crockpots are fine if the ceramic liner is not cracked or crazed. If the glaze is damaged in any way you need to replace the crockpot anyway because the crack will harbor bacteria as well as gluten. I did NOT replace my bread machine. I flat-out couldn't afford to. I cleaned up the pan really well and the lid of mine comes off to run through the dishwasher. I cleaned up the inside as best I could but I wasn't too worried about old flour down by the heating element that never touches the loaf.

Dishes, silverware, serving bowls, and drinking glasses are fine to clean. Again, if you have glazed stoneware or china that is cracked or crazed it's not safe in general and would need to be discarded.

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I scrub the inside of my crockpot with Barkeepers Friend. If you wanted to be sure you have it clean, you could "cook" water in it for 8 hours. Then clean again. I really didn't use much gluten in mine before. Use vinegar and water around the creases on mixers or the lid of the crockpot. It seems to dissolve the flour out.

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Thanks for the reply. The muffin tins just make me leery since they have that ridge along the tops of the muffin cups. Since I pretty much will never bake with regular flour ever again I decided to just replace them. The hand mixer just makes me nervous because I can tell there is flour on it and it has those vents to the motor. I'm worried that when I use it that some flour could be expelled out through those vents and contaminate whatever it is I'm mixing. Maybe that is too paranoid??

Good to know about the crock pots. Although I just looked at some at the store and they are really pretty reasonably priced. I might replace mine just to get a cool black and stainless steel one to replace my old green with grape vines decorated one and use this as an excuse.

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Good idea with the vinegar. I'll have to try that. Thanks!

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Thanks for the reply. The muffin tins just make me leery since they have that ridge along the tops of the muffin cups. Since I pretty much will never bake with regular flour ever again I decided to just replace them. The hand mixer just makes me nervous because I can tell there is flour on it and it has those vents to the motor. I'm worried that when I use it that some flour could be expelled out through those vents and contaminate whatever it is I'm mixing. Maybe that is too paranoid??

Good to know about the crock pots. Although I just looked at some at the store and they are really pretty reasonably priced. I might replace mine just to get a cool black and stainless steel one to replace my old green with grape vines decorated one and use this as an excuse.

Makes sense. My muffin cups don't have a ridge but I know the kind you're talking about.

I never even thought of flour dust with my mixer and I'm fine. B) Clean the vents and run the mixer outside or in the garage for a bit. If dust accumulates on the vents you might replace it. I would be really surprised if it does though.

You may end up replacing your mixer anyway. Gluten-free breads can have a really heavy, sticky dough that's too thick for a hand mixer with beaters, too sticky to knead, and takes a lot of work to mix. I don't find that my bread machine does a particularly good job at mixing it becasue the texture is not what the little paddle in my machine is designed for so I end up mixing breads by hand. If you bake gluten-free bread a lot you might find that you want a Kitchen-Aid. I finally settled on a fairly powerful hand mixer with dough hooks because I'm short on counter space. If you decide the mixer is an item to replace, do some baking first so you can make a good decision about what to buy.

If it's time to replace your crockpot this is a good excuse. You had mentioned expense and that's one item that can wait a bit if you need.

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You could also take your hand mixer to a garage and ask them to blow it out with their air compressor. Any car garage that does repairs is likely to have an air compressor. 90 lbs of compressed air will move most dust pretty quick. You might find one in a wood working shop also. Or a place that does air brushing on cars or t-shirts. I have one in my living room but the hose is probably not long enough..

I steel wooled the crap outta my cast iron skillet, and then boiled soapy water in it for an hour or so. Same for my stainless steel pots. No problems. Glass and porcelain should clean up fine, but no steel wool on them.

Other things to watch out for are pet food, shared toaster, condiments, (mayo etc), Washing hands before eating is a good idea. Also check vitamin pills and meds for gluten.

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You could also take your hand mixer to a garage and ask them to blow it out with their air compressor. Any car garage that does repairs is likely to have an air compressor. 90 lbs of compressed air will move most dust pretty quick. You might find one in a wood working shop also. Or a place that does air brushing on cars or t-shirts. I have one in my living room but the hose is probably not long enough..

I steel wooled the crap outta my cast iron skillet, and then boiled soapy water in it for an hour or so. Same for my stainless steel pots. No problems. Glass and porcelain should clean up fine, but no steel wool on them.

Other things to watch out for are pet food, shared toaster, condiments, (mayo etc), Washing hands before eating is a good idea. Also check vitamin pills and meds for gluten.

I questioned the dietician about pet food and she didn't seem to think it was that big of a concern. He has a hamster in his room that has wheat in his food and we also have a dog and cat. I was just going to have him not feed the animals but do you think having the hamster and hamster food in his bedroom could be a problem?

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I have a bunny and frankly haven't even bothered to look at what is in her pellets. I simply wash my hands after feeding her. She also gets hay which I have little doubt will have traces of some sort of gluten in it. You can't exactly change a rabbit's diet and getting rid of her simply isn't an option. I sleep in the same room as my bunny and also keep a bale of hay in a large plastic container in the room and haven't experienced any issues as a result. I know that there really isn't an option to take hamsters off of a grain diet either, so I'd personally go with him just being vigilant about hand washing.

Also, I totally support taking this as an excuse to get new kitchen stuff. I needed new pans, and got the stainless steel copper bottom ones I've been eying for a long time. Did I need those instead of a reasonably priced set? No, but why not! Go for the crock pot. My MIL has the same one you do I believe and it's hideous, I'd want to replace it too.

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I questioned the dietician about pet food and she didn't seem to think it was that big of a concern. He has a hamster in his room that has wheat in his food and we also have a dog and cat. I was just going to have him not feed the animals but do you think having the hamster and hamster food in his bedroom could be a problem?

Depends on how gluten-sensitive he is. I'd be inclined to store the food somewhere else. When I had gerbils we kept them in an aquarium and the mess was pretty well contained, though. We have had board members react to gluten in pet foods, especially if a dog eats gluten food and then comes over to give you a friendly lick on the face. The cat eats gluten food and then grooms, covering his fur with it. Your son should probably get into the habit of washing his hands after he plays with the cat and dog if you continue to feed them gluten. (Not a bad practice anyway.)

It's not too hard to find dog and cat food without gluten. Wheat is arguably not a good thing to feed cats and dogs anyway, especially cats. As Adalaide mentions, you pretty much have to feed the hamster grains.

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... As Adalaide mentions, you pretty much have to feed the hamster grains.

Or feed the hamster to the cat. :o Kidding.

Agree with all said. The food shouldn't be a problem if he isn't getting it in his mouth or nose somehow. Pets do to tend to spread their food around though, so handwashing is a must.

Cats are probably the worst for spreading gluten around. They are very friendly and like to lick people after eating etc.

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Or feed the hamster to the cat. :o Kidding.

Then feed the cat to the dog. Then the dog goes gluten free. Problem solved! :lol:

Seriously though, if my husband's cat wasn't already an outdoor cat it would have become one or gone gluten free when I did. The idea of a cat licking the gluten all over his whole body then laying all over the house makes my skin crawl. Then again if I share furniture with the cat I break out in hives so maybe it's just cats on furniture in general that makes my skin crawl. :P

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Then feed the cat to the dog. Then the dog goes gluten free. Problem solved! :lol:

Well, we probably won't replace the hamster when he croaks and the dog is pretty old, but the cat is probably here for a while.... Our cat never licks anyone. She is a pretty snobby cat, and her food is in the basement so I don't foresee her being too much of a problem.

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Our cats, indoors and out, eat gluten free, soy free food to minimize the chance of cross contaminating our dog with the wheat allergy and the horse with the rye/soy/barley family problem. Given that the indoor cat also sleeps on the bed and licks people, besides licking herself so the saliva residue is everywhere, this is a no- brainer. All my cats looked a LOT BETTER off of cat foods with wheat, and hardly ever throw up. Anybody who has ever seen a very large indoor dog drooling on the linoleum in anticipation of a meal/treat would rethink the "oh, I don't have to bother with the gluten free pet food," even if the dog didn't have his own problem. He is large enough to drink out of the horse's water tanks, he's large enough he's at chin level when looking at a desk or table, and he think's it's cute to wake people up by nudging them. I don't want the drool on me if it's glutened. I don't think many dieticians wake up with that scenario. I'd bet they'd freak if they knew what other things dogs would eat if given the chance.... :ph34r:;) and then want to lick you. I've seen the other dogs also drinking out of the horse water tanks, by putting their front paws up on them. Dogs don't think about where their mouths have been, and will steal cat food if they can, then drink out of each other's dishes. He (the largest dog) is going to get his own saliva on himself any time he licks himself, then he needs to be groomed.

My smallest dog, senior age, still has the habit of picking up a mouthful of dry kibbles and taking it somewhere else to eat. If you were trying to spread something around the house, you would invent her. :rolleyes:

So we don't do wheat-bearing animal feeds around here. Nor the straw.

Unless he is a super- sensitive, the hamster feed is probably okay, but he has to wash his hands consistently after feeding/handling the hamster before eating his own food. Watch out for some non-clay pelleted cat litters, which also have wheat in them.

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Then feed the cat to the dog. Then the dog goes gluten free. Problem solved! :lol:

That's my kind of solution, since I'm allergic to cats and hamsters. :lol: :lol: :lol:

Well, we probably won't replace the hamster when he croaks and the dog is pretty old, but the cat is probably here for a while.... Our cat never licks anyone. She is a pretty snobby cat, and her food is in the basement so I don't foresee her being too much of a problem.

Sounds like you're all set with the pets then. :)

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  • Muffin the cat head is also on gluten-free food. She used to throw up regularly when eating regular food. But now she hardly ever does, except when she eats mice.
  • And this is another bulleted point.
  • And I have no idea why my post is full of bulleted points.
  • They look kinda cool though.
  • Think I'll keep going for a while.
  • Getting tired yet?
  • Ok, that's enuff.
  • :blink:
  • :D

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I used rubbing alcohol to clean the corn oil off of the new stainless steel pan I bought. One of my corn allergy forums informed me that new pans get a coating of corn oil before they leave the factory and that alcohol would destroy the protein. I washed it well with soap and water, then scrubbed it with the alcohol and followed that with more soap and water. Don't know if it'll work for gluten, but maybe.

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