It’s not uncommon for one person in the family to require a gluten-free diet, whereas the rest of the family can eat a regular diet.
You then need to have a shared family kitchen, meaning both gluten and gluten-free food items are prepared there. This results in the potential for cross contamination, and needs to be avoided for the sake of the person who cannot consume any gluten at all.
Here are ways to avoid gluten cross contamination from happening in shared kitchens:
1. Set up a separate, gluten-free space in the kitchen
An example of separate space includes dedicating a part of your kitchen pantry or cupboard space to gluten-free food products and those that have not been contaminated by gluten.
In addition to food items, you can also include all your gluten-free utensils and other kitchen gadgets (ex. toaster) that need to remain separate to stay uncontaminated.
It can also be helpful to ensure you and your family has a way of knowing which baking utensils, cutting boards, and so forth are meant to be kept gluten-free, and which ones are meant for the gluten-containing foods. You can do this by using a consistent color scheme. For example, all gluten-free spatulas and cutting boards are red.
2. Label items
Unless you have the space for two refrigerators, you will have to share it. In this case, you want to label your items and teach your family members that they are not to touch those labeled with your name because contact with gluten will make you sick.
Speaking of the refrigerator, you may also want to create a separate space such as one of the shelves or the side of the fridge. Just be sure that no other foods can spill on yours when they are all in the fridge together.
3. Clean the counter
Before you begin to prepare food, be sure to clean the kitchen counter with soapy, warm water.
4. Clean the sink
Make sure no crumbs or gluten-containing foods are left in the bottom of the sink before you use it. As well, be sure to use a separate dishcloth and separate dishtowel to prevent cross contamination with food particles.
5. Allow your family or roommates to confess without repercussions if they make a mistake
If you live with an absent-minded spouse or a child, it is very likely that someone will mess up and accidentally contaminate one of your food items or kitchen items.
When this happens, it is important for them to know that they can tell you without you getting mad at them. This will ensure healthy communication, and ensure that you stay healthy.
6. Wash shared kitchen items
It is okay to share stainless steel bowls, and stainless steel pots and pans, as long as they have been carefully washed after gluten-containing foods have been prepared or cooked in them. Pay careful attention to lids, where food particles can sometimes get caught.