This topic is extremely close to heart for me as my moms suffers dearly from gluten intolerance. I have learned soooooo much about this as well as the dreaded marketing ploys that can actually hurt someone with gluten sensitivity.
First let’s discuss hidden dangers?
•Foods fried in common grease in fryers
•Tortilla press – is the same one used for flour and corn tortillas? Not good!!
•Pizza – are there dedicated areas or baking dishes?
•Imitation crab in sushi
•Careless food preparation in restaurants
•Lipstick, lip gloss, or Lotions that come in contact with the mouth and get swallowed
•Toothpaste, mouthwash, breath mints, dental treatments
•Herbal teas or teas with malted barley (labels should indicate WHEAT)
•Colanders and toasters
•“Wheat-free” rye bread
•Dog food/shampoo (wash your hands)
At home the following practices will go a long way toward avoiding cross contamination (did you know it was an issue?)
A celiac or gluten intolerant individual should have their own butter dish and a cutting board that is used for gluten free foods only, along with their own toaster!
If it is not practical to have a section of the counter top set aside for preparing gluten free food only, always make sure that the counter space you are using to prepare gluten free food is freshly washed to ensure it is free from crumbs or flour dust.
Use clean utensils and avoid “double dipping” – knives or spoons are OK the first time, but once they have touched food with gluten, they can contaminate the food in the container if used again. If it is too difficult to train other family members in this regard, it would be wise for the celiac to have their own jar of jam, peanut butter, mustard, etc.
Make sure any pots, utensils, etc. that are used for other foods are thoroughly scrubbed before using for gluten free foods. In the case of something like muffin tins, paper liners may be a worthwhile consideration.
If using lentils, be sure to meticulously pick them over before putting in the pot to cook. Even if you buy them packaged, it is not uncommon to find kernels of wheat or oats (or pebbles) in with the lentils.
Away from home, be aware of sources of cross contamination:
Products in bulk bins can become contaminated by using the scoops in more than one bin. There is no assurance that the other customers will be as cautious as you.
At the deli counter, where gluten free meats are being cut using the same utensils without cleaning in between or where cut meats often overlap on the counter.
French fries cooked in oil where battered foods have been fried.
Meat cooked on a grill which hasn’t been cleaned after cooking regular food with gluten.
Gluten-free pasta may be cooked in water used for regular pasta and rice may be cooked in broth containing gluten.
In product production where a gluten free product is not produced on a dedicated line. Cereals and candy bars that have gluten free ingredients may be produced after a non GF item without having the equipment cleaned thoroughly in between.
Just because a label says Gluten Free please please look for small print
You’ll be angered at the hidden
“May be processed in a wheat facility” ummmmm ok?
Depend on yourself and guard your health with knowledge!!!!