Saturday, 17 September 2011

Phase 4 - Eliminating Cross Contamination in the Kitchen

As I explained in an earlier post, we haven't done this half way. We have gotten rid of every speck (I hope) of gluten in our house. If you are trying a hybrid method you can decide on the logistics that work best for you. If you're playing it safe, read on.

Sugar: If there's a chance that you once measured flour in a measuring cup and then reused it to measure out your sugar, your sugar may be contaminated. It's safest to start over.

Spices: Consider the cross contamination risk for spices that you may have double-dipped in.

Salt and pepper: Are you certain that your salt and pepper are gluten free? If you have a pepper grinder, was it always used with gluten free pepper?

Condiments: Any condiments that you already had while gluten was in your house may be contaminated. With squeeze bottles that is unlikely, but beware of containers that you have to dip into. Think peanut butter, Nutella, butter, jam, mayo, mustard, honey...

Oven mitts: Throw all your oven mitts in the wash to make sure they're not holding onto any gluten residue.

Towels and dishcloths: Make sure these are fresh as well.

Dish detergent and dishwasher tabs: We use All in One FINISH Powerball Tabs and Sunlight dish soap.

Small appliances: Consider the crevices that gluten could get into in your blender, food processor, bread maker etc. and decide whether you think it's possible to decontaminate them completely. If you are in doubt, throw it out (better yet, give it away). You definitely need to get a dedicated gluten free toaster.

Knife block: If you don't always wash your bread knife well after cutting bread, crumbs could be lingering in your knife block.

Grills: The grills inside your oven and on your barbeque may be hosting gluten. We kept our oven grills and just never put food directly on them, but we replaced our barbeque grills. I'm not entirely sure that this is necessary, but gluten is still gluten whether it is burnt to a crisp or not.

Baking sheets and muffin pans: You could use your old sheets and line them with parchment paper when you use them, or play it safe and get new ones (I still line them for easy cleanup).

Cast iron pots and pans: These are expensive to replace. Some people say that you can put them in your over on self-clean to scorch them and then you'll just have to re-season them...This is a tough call. Ours were barely used and they weren't scratched up, so we cleaned them really well, and really well again. I *think* we'll be ok with this...

Plastic plates and containers: Plastic plates, and cheaper plastic containers, tend to get cut marks all over them, which are perfect little grooves for gluten to cling to and there's no guarantee your dishwasher will get it all off.

Serrated knives: Another nice place for gluten to cling to.

Drawers and shelves: Crumbs, flour etc. tend to hang around the bottom of drawer and shelves for years (am I the only one who doesn't wipe these areas down regularly?). Clean them all out.

Microwave: Throughly wash out your microwave, and any food cover you might use in there.

Non-stick frying pans, colanders, cutting boards: I covered these in Phase 1, but wanted to mention them here as well.

Going gluten free requires a major shift in how you think. We were catching ourselves almost making mistakes with grocery shopping a year into it, and it took us about that long to identify all of the items on this list and completely decontaminate. As a side benefit we felt much cleaner knowing that we had decontaminated so thoroughly.

The places that gluten can hide are not always obvious. I wish I had a list like this to help me out when we were making the transition. I hope this list helps someone out there! Please let me know if I have forgotten anything :) Please pass this along to anyone you know who is on a gluten free diet incase they have missed something or have something to add!

Phase 1 - Start Eating
Phase 2 - Remove the Obvious Gluten
Phase 3 - Try Some Gluten Free Grains
Phase 5 - Removing Other Hidden Sources of Gluten
Phase 6 - Scour the Stores and Start Baking!

You can subscribe to Gluten Free Bumble Bee via Email, RSS or Twitter.

Shop at or and support Gluten Free Bumble Bee.

No comments:

Post a Comment