Eating Gluten Free Away from Home
What other People Don’t Know Can Hurt You!
If you are cooking at home, you are in control of any possible contamination. Many Celiacs report that when they eat at other people’s homes they become ill. Usually your friends or families are concerned about your Celiac Disease, but they don’t know how to be careful. They often think, “A few crumbs really won’t be enough to hurt you”.
Here are a few things you probably know but need to be more aware of when eating away from home.
Pouring flour or other products that may contain gluten
If someone fills the flour canister there will be flour dust on the counter tops nearby. Flour is very light, if flour is used for any purpose (especially in a mixer) it will float in the air and settle in the surrounding area.
If a measuring spoon is used for flour and then used for baking powder, that baking powder will be contaminated. The contamination may have happened months before, but the result will be the same for you. Some cooks throw the measuring spoon back in the utensil drawer without cleaning it after use. That means that the measuring spoon is contaminated, but it also means that everything else in the drawer may also be contaminated.
Cutting Boards & Cooking Utensils
If a cutting board is used to cut a product that contains gluten (bread) and then used for food that is gluten free, the gluten free food will be contaminated. Many people simply wipe off the cutting board or wipe out chip bowl after use. What is left on the board or in the bowl?
If pasta is cooked in water and then gluten free pasta is cooked in the same water, it will be contaminated.
Toasters are full of breadcrumbs. Clean the work area to remove the toaster crumbs before you start. If you move the toaster after cleaning, it will drop more crumbs. If possible remove the toaster from the food prep area before you start.
Spices, sauces and prepared foods should always be a concern. So many of these food use grain products for thickeners or fillers. Flour may be the last thing on a list of 20 ingredients but that may be all it takes. It may not even occur to your friens that this may be a problem.
Some people feel if it is Vegan it is also gluten free.
When you eat away from home, your friends best intentions may not be enough. You think about these things every day, but other people don’t. Regardless of how hard they try they often can’t do it right.
Make sure you know what other people are putting in your food.