Cross-Contamination: It’s Real


So, when I was first diagnosed with celiac, my GI referred me to a nutritionist to learn the tricks of the trade and to help me on my new GF journey. As I have said in previous content, 80% of the information she provided me I had already managed to learn on my own through research, but she did provide me with a couple of good tips. One of the items she mentioned was cross-contamination.

Cross-contamination occurs when my GF food comes in contact with any non-GF food. She let me know that I should have a separate GF toaster so that my GF food never comes in contact with something that had a gluten-bearing product in it. She even said that my GF pizza would need to be cooked on a separate rack in the oven, I need a separate GF cutting board,  I should only eat out at restaurants that have separate GF kitchens and I shouldn’t touch play-dough for fear of cross-contamination.

Now, I have been very on board and accommodating with all the changes celiac has caused for me, but this seemed a little far fetched to me. I mean, how evil is gluten that it will sit conniving in a toaster until my GF waffle is inserted and jump over and rub itself all over my GF item and contaminate it? Apparently, it is very evil and conniving. I had my first cross-contamination experience last night and it was my own fault completely.

I was making enchiladas for my husband and I for dinner (corn tortillas for me, flour for him) and as I was scooping filling into the flour tortillas I thought to myself, “I wonder if this will affect my enchiladas” and in a very stupid notion I assumed all those people who believed in cross-contamination were paranoid and I was sure that this wouldn’t cause a problem for me. Let me tell you now people, ignorance is not bliss.

After one week and three days of being gluten-free, feeling the way I did before I started catering to my disease is AWFUL. How did I function living like this every day? I definitely didn’t realize how much better I have been feeling until I had a glimpse back into my old life. So, take my word on this one if you have celiac: cross-contamination is not a myth. Gluten is molecular and even a crumb from something non-GF can make you sick if you eat it. Get the toaster. Do what you have to do. Feeling like this isn’t worth the extra minute of effort to keep things separate.

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4 Comments

Filed under Changes, Cooking, Daily Life, Friends and Family, Nutrition

4 responses to “Cross-Contamination: It’s Real

  1. Another thing to keep in mind for all you celiacs out there, even if you don’t have symptoms, it doesn’t necessarily reflect what is going on inside your body. Even though I am having a terrible outward reaction, I may not be doing the same level of damage to my intestines and stomach. Someone who had no outward reaction when coming in contact with gluten may in fact be doing a high level of damage internally. So, listen to the doctor and stay as far away from gluten as you can!

  2. Pingback: Outback Steak House | My Celiac Life

  3. jaime

    So I recently purchased a can of amy’s split pea soup. it states that it is gluten free on the can however there is an allergy waring saying that it is made in a facility that processes food containing wheat. is there any concern for cross contamination? is this product safe?

    • Hi Jaime. Unfortunately, there is a risk of cross contamination in this case. As little as 1/4 teaspoon of gluten can cause someone with celiac disease to have a reaction (whether you have an outward reaction or not). When I spoke with a nutritionist, she explained to me that it is “important to be aware of, but you don’t necessarily want to have your whole life revolve around it.” I’m not a doctor, so I can’t tell you what you should do specifically, but I usuallytry and stay away from everything I can that was in a facility that processes wheat or gluten. However, some items have slipped through the cracks…the best thing to do is avoid it, unfortunately. There is almost always an option that was Mage in a dedicated gf facility, but price can be a factor there as well.

      Hope that helps and thanks for the question!

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