Posted in Healthy Eating

Six Practical Ways to Prevent Gluten Cross-Contamination - By Gretchen Scalpi RD, CDE

Gretchen Scalpi is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator, author and Certified Wellcoach®. Gretchen has worked with hundreds of clients in her own private nutrition practice since 2002, providing nutrition and wellness coaching in the areas of diabetes, weight management, food sensitivities, and general wellness. Gretchen provides lectures and workshops on a variety of nutrition topics to corporate and community groups.  She is the author of the "The Everything Diabetes Cookbook, 2nd ed.," and "The Everything Guide to Managing and Reversing Prediabetes".  If you would like to learn more about Gretchen, or read her newsletter or blog visit  http://www.nutritionxpert.com.

 

People with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity are frequently susceptible to foods that have been cross-contaminated with gluten. This is a potentially serious, yet common problem for the individual who must maintain a gluten free diet. When a person with gluten intolerance accidentally ingests food with gluten, they can become ill, or worse yet, experience significant damage to the digestive tract.

 

Contamination is common in restaurants, processing plants, and kitchens where gluten-free and gluten-rich foods coexist. While a person with celiac disease cannot necessarily control restaurant and processing procedures, he or she can take steps to prevent contamination in their personal kitchen! This is a more common problem than people realize, and those who can eat gluten often do not understand the risks that come with cross-contamination. Luckily, prevention is easy if you know what to do. Here are some ways to keep that gluten away!

 

• Always wipe down counters and wash hands at the start of any food preparation.
• Keep all gluten-rich foods and kitchen equipment used to cook these foods separate from gluten free items. Comingling equipment or food increases the likelihood that the person with celiac disease will become ill.
• Jars of food:  Peanut butter, jam, or mayonnaise are just a few examples of foods that are spread on bread.  Knives that come in contact with bread, then go back into a jar will contaminate the food in the jar.  If there are other people in the household that use breads or crackers made from wheat, be sure to purchase separate jars of food and label each jar “gluten free ”.  Instruct other family members not to use the gluten free items.   
• Do not use the same sponge to wash dishes that had gluten-containing foods on them. Most people do not think about the sponge, but the little steps do matter.
• Use a separate toaster for gluten-free bread. There are crumbs everywhere in toasters and the inside of a toaster is impossible to clean! You best bet is to get a separate toaster for gluten free purposes.
• Wood is porous and if used with wheat products previously, small particles of gluten remain in the wood, despite cleaning. Purchase new wooden cutting boards or wooden spoons and designate only for gluten free foods.  

 

Contamination is such an important aspect of avoiding gluten and staying well. Those who must avoid gluten need take this issue seriously If you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, and still get sick from time to time, see if you are missing any of these steps in your kitchen routine; one of them just might make the difference!

 

Gretchen Scalpi is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator, author and Certified Wellcoach®. Gretchen has worked with hundreds of clients in her own private nutrition practice since 2002, providing nutrition and wellness coaching in the areas of diabetes, weight management, food sensitivities, and general wellness. Gretchen provides lectures and workshops on a variety of nutrition topics to corporate and community groups.  She is the author of the "Pre-Diabetes: Your Second Chance at Health," and "The Everything Guide to Managing and Reversing Prediabetes".  If you would like to learn more about Gretchen, or read her newsletter visit  http://www.nutritionxpert.com.

 

This article is courtesy of the Top 1% Club and the Top 1% Club Mentor Gail Kasper. For additional information on Gail Kasper, her television appearances and speaking engagements, please visit gailkasper.com