When you're managing a gluten-free lifestyle, preventing cross-contamination is crucially important. Here are five top spots we all might forget about in our own kitchens.
1)Your Kitchen Sponge- Do you have a separate sponge you only use for your gluten-free items? If not, you might be unintentionally cross contaminating your gluten-free prep area and cooking utensils. Set up a two sponge system in your house with two different colors. Only use the one for gluten-free cooking tools and prep areas and the other for everything else in your kitchen.
2)Your cutting boards- Do you use plastic or wooden cutting boards? Since they scratch and erode away with time, there are plenty of places for gluten to get trapped and hide. Use separate cutting boards for your gluten-free prep, or share one with vegetables only. Your other option is to get glass cutting boards which won't get those dangerous nooks and crannies.
3)Your cooking utensils- Do you use wooden or plastic spoons and spatulas? Again, you might be facing the same issue as above. As these utensils age, they are going to develop scratches and cracks where gluten can get trapped. Either get separate cooking utensils that are used for gluten-free prep only or switch to metal spatulas and spoons which won't pose that risk.
4)The microwave- Are you wiping down your microwave regularly? We all know those microwave explosions where the food overflows and shoots out everywhere. But although, we're often in a hurry, take that extra second to wipe up the mess. Otherwise, if some of those stuck food particles contain gluten, you can be in trouble. The next time a gluten-free item gets heated up, the steam created could cause some of those glutinous food particles to soften and drop into your food.
5)Shared Tupperware and storage containers- We've all seen those ugly stained tupperware with a residue left behind. Again, as stated above plastic erodes over time and using a container that last housed a glutinous item could potentially get you sick. Invest in glass containers or get a separate set of tupperware with different color lids that is used for gluten-free items only.
Bonus tip- The most common overlooked way most people get cross contaminated is from their own hands. If you prepare a sandwich or glutinous item for a family member and then something for yourself without washing your hands in between- you could have done everything else right- gluten-free food, new plate etc, but still be running the risk of cross-contamination from leftover crumbs. Either prepare your own food first or make sure you are overly conscious of remembering to wash your hands in between prep!
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