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Questions About Kitchen Utensils, Etc.

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Hi everyone,

I've been lurking on this site since I figured out two years ago that my incapacitating fatigue and lifelong collection of vague, un-diagnosable symptoms were caused by gluten intolerance. Since then, I've done everything in my power to stay gluten-free, but every few weeks I accidentally get glutenated somehow and get sick for several days. I react to very small amounts of gluten, especially cross-contamination in the kitchen I share with 3 other gluten-using family members. We've never quite managed to keep anything dedicated gluten-free except my shelf in the fridge, because it's a small amount of space we have to work with. It's very hard for me to tell exactly where the contamination comes from, given that I also have irritable bowel syndrome and the major symptoms of gluten exposure for me take about a day to manifest. As of this week, I'm finally able to move out and start keeping a gluten-free household. I've been doing some research here about what kitchen utensils I can take with me and what I need to replace, but I'm still confused on a few points. I apologize if these topics have been covered before.

Silicone bakeware--we have a nice set of cake pans, loaf pans, and cupcake cups that no one uses, and I was wondering if this would be safe to take. It's been used maybe a dozen times for various gluten-containing baked goods.

Ceramic-titanium coated cookware: I have a pet parrot, so I don't own any Teflon (PTFE, when overheated, releases a gas that is fatal to birds). Quite a few years ago, my dad bought me a very nice set of Scanpan brand ceramic-titanium-coated pots and pans as a non-stick alternative for Teflon. Would they be safe to use? They should basically be like enamel or ceramic, right? I sent a message to the manufacturer, but I figured I'd ask here too in case anyone else has had experience with the brand.

Plastic measuring cups-safe or should I just say better safe than sorry?

Aluminum pans and baking sheets--again, I don't own Teflon-coated stuff, so these are commercial-style uncoated cookie sheets and cake pans. Are they OK to use? Should I give them a cycle in a self-cleaning oven just to be safe?

Stainless steel pots--are these OK to use? I got them from a garage sale. They're old and have some dings and scratches. I love them dearly (they're the nice heavy copper-bottom kind) but I can re-home them if I have to.

Pot lids--the lids to most of my pots have rivets or are glass with a metal band around the outside edge. How can I clean these properly?

The Kitchen-Aid stand mixer--I love, love, love this mixer, but it's a good ten years old and probably a glutinous nightmare. Any tips on cleaning it? Can I use rubbing alcohol?

That's all I've run into so far. Still packing! I'll add to the list if I find anything else questionable. In the meantime, thanks in advance for the help!

--Ryan

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The big things to replace are strainers or colanders, your toaster and unfortunately I would replace the mixer. For most of the stuff you mentioned I would just scrub them really well. If you have doubts about the cookie sheets then line them with foil when you use them or replace.

I hate to say this but the pet parrot may be a big issue. When I was diagnosed I had a Quaker parrot and soon came to realize that he was spreading gluten everywhere. I was still finding birdseed months after I had given him away. If you can find a gluten-free parrot food do use it.

You mention you also have IBS. Have you ruled out other intolerances like dairy and soy? IBS is not a diagnosis it is a symptom. If your new to the diet you may still just be healing but CC and other intolerances should be ruled out if the problem continues.

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The big things to replace are strainers or colanders, your toaster and unfortunately I would replace the mixer. For most of the stuff you mentioned I would just scrub them really well. If you have doubts about the cookie sheets then line them with foil when you use them or replace.

I hate to say this but the pet parrot may be a big issue. When I was diagnosed I had a Quaker parrot and soon came to realize that he was spreading gluten everywhere. I was still finding birdseed months after I had given him away. If you can find a gluten-free parrot food do use it.

You mention you also have IBS. Have you ruled out other intolerances like dairy and soy? IBS is not a diagnosis it is a symptom. If your new to the diet you may still just be healing but CC and other intolerances should be ruled out if the problem continues.

Thanks!

My parrot eats mostly Harrison's Adult Lifetime Mash, which is their low-antigen formula. It is gluten-free. Everything else he eats is gluten-free home-made or raw fruits and veggies. I cleaned his environment and the (thankfully wooden) floor around his cage thoroughly after switching his food. There is no way in Hell or on Earth that I would ever give him up. I've had him 13 years. He's my buddy.

I'll start a thread on gluten-free pet foods if that might be helpful here--I'm a veterinary technician involved in the raw feeding and natural pet foods communities, so I've done a lot if the legwork and can maybe save you guys some time.

The IBS is tricky. I've tried eliminating dairy, but no dice. Same with soy. The only conclusive link I've found is sweet potatoes and yams, which I no longer eat.

Also, for anyone else reading this, I got a letter back from Scanpan saying that if properly cleaned according to thier website's FAQ, gluten contamination should be impossible. Yay!

--Ryan

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