If a kitchen serves anyone who lives gluten free, all the users must agree on strategies to keep the gluten free food ‘safe’. The simplest approach is for everyone to agree to live gluten free, but that may not be realistic and will often increase food costs for the wheat eating users. On the other hand, the person living gluten free has very little room to compromise. Everyone involved needs to deal with several issues:
♦ Will baking with wheat flour be done in this kitchen? If so, the flour can remain suspended in the air for many hours. This will affect everyone who lives gluten free and there is no simple solution.
♦ If wheat-based and gluten free cooking are to occur at the same time, there will need to be separate utensils for each type of cooking. This will involve flour sifters, colanders, spatulas, cooking spoons, muffin tins, frying pans, and cutting boards. An alternative to this would be to cook all the gluten free food first and make certain that everything is thoroughly prior to the next meal.
♦ Two toasters will be needed. It is virtually impossible to clean a toaster well enough to remove all possible cross-contamination.
♦ Double-dipping may have severe consequences. Wheat eaters and celiacs will margarine tubs, peanut butter jars, etc. In some cases, the problem can be solved by using ‘squirt bottles’ for things like catchup.
Here are two guides for assuring that your home kitchen is ‘safe’. Check out “What is Gluten Cross-Contamination?” and/or “How-to Tips for Gluten Free Kitchen Safety“. Cross-contamination is also a big factor in determining whether your restaurant meals are gluten free. That will be the topic of my next article.