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How To Tips for Gluten-Free Kitchen Safety


Updated December 14, 2008

If someone in the household has celiac disease, everyone must participate in gluten-free safety efforts -- especially in the kitchen -- in order to reduce the risk of cross-contamination.
Difficulty: Hard
Time Required: Try to limit the time to a day or two after diagnosis, at most.

Here's How:

  1. Teach household members about the gluten-free diet.
    Family (or roommate) support is essential.
  2. Store gluten-free foods and flours away from gluten-containing foods.
    Learn about the risks of cross-contamination, and how to avoid them.
  3. For households with celiac children, make sure only their gluten-free foods are easily accessible to them.
    Mark safe foods with their names or with colorful stickers.
  4. Beware of sharing foods that could become contaminated with gluten.
    Purchase and label separate jars of jam, jelly, butter, margarine, mayonnaise, and peanut butter for use by the celiac individual(s), to avoid bread crumbs in shared jars.
  5. Purchase a separate toaster.
    Either use a separate toaster for gluten-free breads, or use a toaster oven but place aluminum foil on the rack to avoid contamination.
  6. Clean countertops often to remove gluten-containing crumbs.
    If people are consuming gluten in your house, also watch out for crumbs that can fall into cabinets and drawers.
  7. Have separate cutting boards for wheat breads.
    If possible, get a cutting board with a crumb-catcher underneath it, to limit the spread of gluten-containing crumbs. Wipe up any stray crumbs immediately.
  8. Have separate sifters for gluten-free flours.
    Handling wheat flour in a kitchen used to prepare gluten free food is dangerous, as wheat flour can stay airborne for hours. If you must sift wheat flour, cover or remove all gluten-free food from the area.
  9. Ideally, have separate cooking utensils, colanders, and pans.
    If this is not possible, clean everything carefully after each use and before cooking gluten-free foods. Glass pots and pans are easier to clean thoroughly than metal.

What You Need

  • Separate jars of products (such as jam) that get contaminated with bread crumbs.
  • Labels for duplicate products (to identify which ones are gluten-free).
  • Separate sifters for gluten-free flours.
  • Separate separate cooking utensils, colanders, and pans, if possible.
  • Separate cutting boards for wheat bread.
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