Cross Contamination is one of the things we, as celiacs, need to consider whether we are having the party or going to a party and taking food with us. Even just everyday living at home, needs some thought if you live with others that are not eating gluten free.

Consider this, you are intolerant to gluten, you live with a spouse, and two children, who are not gluten intolerant. Say the children are old enough to make their own peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. If they use a knife to spread peanut butter on their slice of beautiful whole wheat bread then dip that knife back into the peanut butter and then the jelly, guess what?, those jars of peanut butter and jelly are now contaminated with gluten.

Area’s of cross contamination to consider are:  butter, margarine, peanut butter, jelly, all condiments, anything that a utensil that has come into contact with some type of gluten and then that same utensil being dipped back into any of the above. If it touched something with gluten, it’s contaminated. Now one way around this with the above items is to have 2 of everything, and have the ones that are gluten free clearly marked as such. Another is to have squeeze bottles for everything, from ketchup to jelly. I know it’s a pain, but it’s important.

Utensils are another area of concern. You will need 2 toasters, because you can’t plunk the toaster into the sink to wash it thoroughly. Some people have 2 sets of utensils, pots and pans and skillets and such. Personally, that is just way too many dishes to keep track of. I talked it over with my dietitian, who just happens to be a celiac as well, and he said that as long as the dishes, pans, cooking utensils are being thoroughly washed between uses and you’re not using the same pan to bake your gluten free pizza that you just baked your kids pizza on without washing it, you’re fine. Just thoroughly wash your dishes.