How Gluten Free Is Your Kitchen?

No gluten in my kitchen!

Is your kitchen 100% gluten free? Has your family or partner decided to go gluten free with you or do you have your own special safe section within a gluten loving family kitchen? If you live in shared housing do you keep your pots and pans to yourself?

With the threat of cross contamination a serious one, how careful are you when it comes to keeping evil crumbs from sneaking into your food?

Let me ask you this: Does the idea of sharing a toaster with non celiac family members fill you with anxiety? If you answered yes as I did, you may be surprised to discover that we may be in the minority. I recently spoke with the owner of a cafe which does gluten free options. She told me that whilst they don’t have a separate toaster for gluten free customers, the staff make gluten free customers aware of this fact and give them the option of having their bread toasted. I assumed she would say that most customers stick with gluten free bread rather than risking contamination from toasting. I could hardly believe it when she told me that so far none of their customers have ever said no to having their gluten free bread toasted!

In our home, the only glutenous thing you will find is a box of Grape nuts which John likes to eat for breakfast and even then he uses the same bowl everyday and washes up immediately after eating to avoid any cross contamination. Everything else we buy is gluten free. There would be no reason to have any more glutenous products. John eats gluten free when he’s at home with me. Any gluten consumption he partakes in is at work. We don’t have a toaster but if we did it would be used for gluten free bread only. Is it just me or does heating your bread in a crumb filled toaster kind of take away from the point of using gluten free bread? I’d love to hear your opinions on this issue…

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Comments

  • Do you think her customers are celiacs, gluten-intolerant, people just trying out a gluten-free diet to see if they feel better? Where was the cafe? I now come across many people who say they are doing the gluten-free thing but cross-contamination is not an issue for them because they are not celiac, or at least, don’t know they are.

    As for me, I looked at a lot of forum posts on this issue of living with roommates and concluded from reading many experiences that a mixed kitchen would not be a good thing on a long-term basis. For now I moved into my own apartment to have a safe haven to heal. I do like living with people however and can imagine that I might get better at traveling with a cutting board, pot, pan, etc. so that I can have roommates when I travel/live abroad. Also I am just about ready to start the urban gluten-free commune so that living and eating with others is possible. With a gluten-free chef to cook all dinners. Everyone with a high degree of consciousness, screened as such. This would be interesting!

  • The cafe is in Scotland. It’s fantastic. I was told that these customers are actually celiac..they just risk it as do many people it seems. It amazes me that anyone would but everyone is of course entitled to live their own life as they wish.

    I agree, in your home environment it’s important not to have to deal with a mixed kitchen and in turn contamination issues. Having to scrub a fork, bowl or cutting board every time you use it is not the best situation to live with. I feel a lot less anxiety in a 100% gf home. Travelling on the other hand always requires some sort of shared kitchen of threat of contamination. I always take my own cutlery/bowl etc. Makes hostelling around the world much less stressful! 😀

  • I’ve been sharing very gluten-y kitchens now for a year, and it has been the moment for numerous gluten’ings and bad weeks following. But I don’t have another option. I can’t afford my own flat where I’m living–do you, or anyone reading your blog–have any suggestions for how I might contact gf roommates?

  • Hi CJ, Sorry to hear you are being glutenated by shared kitchens. It’s so hard to stay safe when you don’t have your own space. Where abouts in the world are you? Perhaps you could start a post on celiac.com or Craigslist saying you are searching for gluten free roomates to see if anyone gets back to you?

  • Laura – I use ‘toasty bags’ which are available in the UK to use our toaster as it keeps the GF bread away from any cross contamination. Worth a try and saves buying a second toaster! They’re around £3 for a pair and can be used about 50 times each before replacing.

  • Hi Pete, wow, I’ve never heard of ‘toasty bags’ but I just looked them up. What a fantastic idea! Definitely a good for celiacs sharing a toaster with glutenous toast lovers. 🙂

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