Avoiding gluten cross contamination

Avoiding gluten cross contamination

Dr. Stan (Stan Cohen MD)

Is a pediatric gastroenterologist at the Children’s Center for Digestive Health Care / GI Care for Kids, whose books on nutrition for parents led him to start Nutrition4Kids with his co-founders.

Cross contamination occurs when a food that is gluten-free comes into contact or is cooked with foods that contain gluten. This small amount of gluten can trigger symptoms in sensitive individuals. 

For example, if a gluten-free bread is used to make french toast on a griddle after regular bread was cooked, there could be cross contamination from crumbs left behind on the griddle. 

Some people are more sensitive to gluten than others. It is important to note that even gluten-free products can have tiny amounts of gluten -up to 10 mg per pound of bread, for example. Researchers estimate that it takes about 10 mg to cause intestinal damage. Your child would have to eat a pound of gluten-free bread to notice any symptoms.  Eating a slice of gluten containing bread could cause symptoms that last for several days.

Some ways to avoid cross contamination at home:

  • Only fry gluten free foods in dedicated fryers.
  • Buy squeeze bottles of condiments or use separate containers for other family members.
  • Use a dedicated toaster, or purchase Toast-It Bags, which protect GF foods from cross-contamination in the family's regular toaster or toaster oven.
  • Use a separate butter dish and cutting boards.
  • Use ceramic, glass or stone rolling pins vs wood rolling pins.
  • Keep counter space, utensils and cookware clean.  
  • Do not use sponges.
  • Avoid buying foods in bulk bins.

Learn more about eating in restaurants or at school.

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