While you’ve probably already said good-bye to most grains and carbs in your diet, gluten could very well still be sneaking into your food. It could be from pots, cutting boards, utensils and several other potential culprits. It can sneak in from guests who’ve recently eaten gluten or still be stuck to a strainer you hadn’t used in years. No matter how many times or how hard you’ve cleaned it, much of your kitchen is at risk of being cross-contaminated, especially if you’re living in a gluten-free and non-gluten-free household. Essentially, there is no way to completely remove gluten from any home, but there are definitely ways to minimize you or a family member with celiac disease’s risk of getting sick.
If you’re in the process of going gluten-free, follow these tips for de-glutenizing your kitchen. Even if you’ve been gluten-free for a while, you may want to review these precautions to make sure your kitchen is as uncontaminated as possible.
While cleaning won’t completely remove gluten, it’s an important first step. Use hot water and soap to clean shelves, cabinets, countertops, the microwave, the fridge and any other area where food is stored or prepped. Remember to throw away the rags you use to clean, as they will have plenty of gluten on them by the time you’re done!
Pro Tip: As you’re pulling items out of the fridge and shelves, separate the GF and non-GF foods to get you started with organizing. Check the labels as you pull them off the shelves. Verify whether those items in the back of the cabinet are GF or not. Make a list of replacement items you’ll need for your next shopping trip.
BUY NEW UTENSILS AND EQUIPMENT
While buying all new kitchen supplies may sound daunting, know that you won’t regret it. It’s worth minimizing the risk of getting sick! Many kitchen items that touch gluten will not pose a threat to someone with Celiac Disease as long as they’re cleaned thoroughly. However, there are a few items to be extra careful about. Check out our list of kitchen items to replace when eliminated gluten from your kitchen.
DIVIDE AND SEGREGATE
If you’re living in a mixed GF household, you’ll want to be extra cautious about how you’re segregating and distinguishing your gluten-free and non-gluten-free food and utensils. Check out these tips on how to live gluten-free in a mixed GF household.
Invest in a label maker. You won’t regret it, and your family won’t regret it! They want to keep you as safe as possible, just as you’d do for them. Plus, label making can be fun! You’ll want to label the gluten-free toaster and other major appliances. You may also want to label the drawers or cabinets where you store the gluten-free utensils.
Pro Tip: If labels are messing with your kitchen décor, simply place the label somewhere on the inside of the cabinet or drawer that’s not visible from the outside, but still obvious once opening the drawer or cabinet.