Guide to Gluten Cross Contamination
Separate - Don't Contaminate!
Basic kitchen safety rules tell us that we need to separate ready-to-eat foods from raw meats, poultry, seafood and eggs - and to use separate cutting boards and utensils to reduce the risk of food poisoning.
The same rules apply to gluten and gluten-free foods - they must be kept apart!
The recipes found on our website are made with gluten-free ingredients. The food must also be prepared properly so it remains gluten-free. If you are preparing foods for a gluten-free guest, you must be ever mindful of cross contact.
This guide will help you to understand and prevent gluten cross contamination.
Before you start you need to know a few basics.
What is gluten?
Where is gluten found?
What does gluten do?
Think of gluten as a poison. How much arsenic would you like in your food? Very good, I thought you'd say zero.
Not only must the food be gluten-free, it must not come in contact with any gluten. Cross contamination and the concept of “a crumb will hurt you” is hard for people to wrap their brains around because it involves very small amounts.
Yes, crumbs matter!
Here's a perfect illustration. An average grain of rice weighs 28 milligrams. Now, divide that grain into 3 pieces. Those pieces are 9.33 milligram each – just under 10 mg limit.
Mind blown? There's more...
Many can not consume even 10 mgs of gluten without getting sick. Many in the gluten-free community strive for and attain ZERO gluten.
ZERO gluten should be the ultimate goal for everyone following a gluten-free diet.
Double dipping is strictly prohibited. Master the fine art of “Gob Dropping” or using a couple of spoons & knives to accomplish the task.
Some of these products can be gotten in squeezable containers.
Same concept goes for stirring or serving. Always use a clean utensil for gluten-free foods.
Do not boil gluten-free pasta in water that previously boiled gluten-full pasta. Use fresh water for GF pasta.
It's best to designate a gluten-zero prep area where no gluten is allowed.
Toaster bags could be used in a pinch. You put your bread in a bag, then inside the toaster
Removable racks - Purchase another rack for GF use. Foil existing rack or clean.
Those living in a mixed house will have dedicated gluten-free utensils, cutting boards, colanders, etc. It helps to have them color coded.
Some have dedicated GF cookie sheets
Also ask if your GF guest to go thru the line first – before any of the GF dishes have a chance of getting contaminated.
For more cross contamination information see Gluten Intolerance Group's educational bulletin:
“Producing Gluten-Free Products in a Non-dedicated Kitchen” - http://bit.ly/1eKcFBl
For more information on accommodating gluten-free guests, see GIG of ECW's webpage:
“Educating Family and Friends about Gluten-Free” - http://bit.ly/11WjBoK
For a collection of cross contamination articles, see AllThingsGF.com webpage:
Daily Living: Cross Contamination - http://bit.ly/1A9t8ZL
01/31/15 - Added AllThingsGF.com Cross Contamination page link
06/21/14 - Add convection oven
12/27/13 - Fix broken links
10/20/2013 - Clarify terminology