AHHHHHH! Gluten Contamination . . .

I have not posted for a while due to accidentally ingesting gluten about 2 1/2 weeks ago. I ate something that wasn’t baked in a gluten free facility and boy am I paying for it. I had no idea how frustrating this was going to be. It has been 2 1/2 weeks and I am still sick. I thought this would last only 3-5 days, but my GI doc said that this is fairly typical and I am lucky I have such a sensitive immune system. (She said some people unknowingly get contaminated and suffer intestinal damage but don’t realize it.) Yeah, lucky I might be. . . I guess, but it sure doesn’t feel like it to me right now. Missed work, lots of pain and other fun issues, no eating out, on a mostly liquid diet, etc. I have a whole new level of respect for celiacs. I am new to this game and it is kicking my butt right now. I have lots to blog about, I just have not felt up to it recently. I can’t wait to start feeling better and sharing the more positive sides to going gluten free! Just hang in there; I’ll be back soon!

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2 Responses to AHHHHHH! Gluten Contamination . . .

  1. Linda C. says:

    I would like to know about gluten contamination. If I baked a wheat flour cake in metal bowls and glass pans, can I wash those bowls and pans and use them to bake a gluten-free recipe? Or do I need to buy special utensils for my gluten-free baking?
    And how about the countertops–do they need to be washed beforehand with more than a soapy dishcloth?

    • gfbrooke says:

      This is tricky. The answer could be very different for a Celiac compared to someone with a gluten sensitivity. It is much more dangerous for people with Celiac Disease because an infinitesimal amount of gluten can cause damage to their intestines. It can vary, but some people with gluten sensitivity do not have to be as concerned with accidental ingestion.

      There is large risk of cross contamination in your kitchen if you bake with gluten-containing flours. The general tips are: 1) wipe every working surface down with soap or a sanitizer 2) don’t use any wooden utensils (including rolling pins) or cutting boards.

      In the last 2 years I have had 4 major abdominal surgeries and was diagnosed with celiac disease, so my digestive system is a mess and currently I am VERY sensitive. At this point a tiny dusting of flour on a countertop from someone baking a gluten containing cake a few days ago, or a remaining crumb from my husband’s morning toast can contaminate my food and make me very sick. I am almost completely recovered from eating a contaminated baked good from a shared kitchen and that was months ago. So, personally, right now I will not eat anything from a shared kitchen unless I have prepared it and have had ultimate control over preventing cross contamination.
      If I was to be a guest in someone’s kitchen right now this is the necessary ridiculousness I would go through:
      Ask my kind host to please do not bake with or use flour for a couple days prior to me coming (the flour dust can take a day to “settle”). Upon arrival I would 1) wipe counters and wash all dishes and utensils I might use with a brand new sponge (gluten particles love to cling to sponges) 3) not use anything made of wood: spoons, cutting boards, rolling pins, etc 4) not use a convection oven 5) Be involved in all the cooking 6) inspect every ingredient/product with a laptop next to me!
      Seems crazy huh? But is it worth my health? YOU BETCHA!

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