If you recently decided to switch to a gluten free diet and share a home with gluten-eaters, ensuring your kitchen is safe for preparing gluten free food may seem quite daunting. Luckily, we’ve created our top 5 tips to reduce cross-contamination and help you prepare your home for a gluten free diet!
TOP TIP 1: Use colourful labels
Brighten up your cupboards with colourful labels or post it notes to mark gluten free foods – the whole family will know not to dip their crummy knife into your gluten free jam! Or, consider purchasing condiments in squeeze bottles, eliminating the need for utensils.
TOP TIP 2: Separate areas for storage and preperation
If possible, allocate a cupboard or section of the kitchen where you store and prepare gluten-free products. It’s best to keep these foods separated from gluten containing foods at all times so there’s no chance of mixing them up or using them by mistake.
TOP TIP 3: Store gluten free foods on the top shelf
Separate fridges would be ideal for reducing cross contamination but it’s not exactly practical. We suggest placing gluten free foods on the top shelf to reduce the risk of gluten dropping onto gluten free foods.
TOP TIP 4: Use separate equipment
A thorough washing of most kitchen equipment is usually enough to remove any gluten, so you’ll be pleased to hear that you don’t need to go out and buy a whole new set of pots and pans. However, there are a few pieces of equipment that you may need to re-purchase. It’s advisable to use a different toaster only to be used for gluten free breads, decorate it with a large colourful label so nobody should ever use it! Alternatively, invest in toaster bags suitable for toasting gluten free bread in the same toaster as gluten containing bread.
Other equipment where it’s best to avoid sharing include wooden spoons, colanders, plastic utensils, chopping boards, and other baking equipment (rolling pins, sieves and baking tins), all which can harbour tiny amounts of gluten, no matter how hard you scrub!
TOP TIP 5: Clean, clean and… clean!
The main way to reduce cross contamination is to keep cleaning! Always wipe down surfaces that have had contact with gluten. When washing up, clean gluten free dishes before others. Food residues can often cling to sponges or cloths, so if using the same sponge make sure to rinse it often, or if you’re a bit more cautious choose to use a separate sponge.