Cross-contamination is a common occurrence when gluten-free foods are mixed up unknowingly to foods that contain gluten. This is the main problem in many homes and restaurants, since this can occur very uneasily without the knowledge of the person while cooking. This article gives you a few suggestions to prevent these accidents, since it may lead to complications in celiac patients.
· Avoid preparation of gluten-free foods and gluten containing foods on the same surface, with the exception that the surface is cleaned off properly. In the case of restaurants, the chef must wipe down the grill thoroughly before preparing gluten-free orders.
· Ensure that the utensils are also thoroughly cleaned after using them for gluten containing foods. However, the best option is to use separate utensils for gluten-free and gluten containing foods.
· Never use the same toaster for regular bread and gluten-free one. In case of the entire family being gluten-free, one toaster will be enough but if not and you have only one toaster, it is better to get a toaster oven with extra trays that can be used for gluten-free toasts alone.
· Do not employ the same sifter for regular flours and gluten-free flours. You must label and keep the gluten-free one separately in order to avoid mistakes.
· Do not deep-fry the gluten-free foods in the oil that has been used for frying gluten containing items. This is the mostly occurring problem in restaurant foods. You must inquire if the same oil is used for frying gluten-free and breaded items.
· Look out for crumbs that can spread through condiments like jellies, cream cheese, butter, dips, etc when being shared in the house. Have a spare container along with a clean knife for the celiac person alone and make sure that the non-celiacs do not use it unknowingly. It is better to put a clean, dry knife into all condiments. All the people can use it to be put into their plates, after which their own knives can be used by each.
· Never use gluten containing flours in gluten-free kitchens while preparation especially. Wheat flour has the ability to stay airborne for a long time. It may contaminate the gluten-free foods and utensils. Hence if you need to use gluten containing flours, always remember to close and cover all gluten-free items. Thus foods prepared in a gluten containing place is also subject to contamination.
Cross contamination is a major reason behind the unsafe nature of oats for celiacs. Wheat and oat proteins have many similarities. The contamination problem may arise mostly since these grains will be grown in adjacent fields, or processed using the same grain elevators, or milled using the same equipment or transported by employing the same containers. If any of the above occurs, it is certain that the grains can co-mingle and oats are finally contaminated. Only recently, gluten-free oats are being sold.
For more information check 10 gluten-free kitchen items