2

votes

Just how serious is gluten cross-contamination???

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 06, 2013 at 2:02 AM

Have a question on gluten cross contamination. Unfortunately, I'm the only one in my family in line with any kind of paleo/primal/traditional/whole food dietary/lifestyle way of eating and living, which means there's lots of gluten in my home. I've been eliminating gluten because I believe it will greatly reduce my Visual Migraines and Anxiety, unfortunately after staying at my girlfriends I consumed gluten accidentally, so I'm keeping a journal and restarting on monday, keeping track of my symptoms and the ingredients in all foods.

I've been really worried about cross contamination, though, at my house. I'm probably going to ask to clear out and have a little section of the fridge only for me this upcoming week. But how serious is this cross contamination issue? I mean, I know if I had a burger and took the buns off, there's still gluten due to it being stuck between gluten-laden buns. But, let's say someone in my family cooks something containing wheat flour or something in a pan, then I use it, would I still be contaminated? Would the constant heat be "killing" it? would simply rinsing it off in steaming hot water eliminate the gluten? What about if something filled with gluten touches the counter, then somehow my food touches the counter, am I now contaminated with gluten? I feel some of this may seem obvious, or possibly over thinking? I don't know. I just want to eliminate my problems, and gluten can possibly help, anyhow with all the research I've done in gluten stripping the body of essential minerals, being linked to psychological disorders and more, it won't do harm in never consuming gluten again.

Also, what are the names of some "hidden" gluten items. I know things like "modified food starch" normally have gluten, but what are others so if I don't have my own food (grassfed beef, veggies, lettuce wraps for meats, etc.) I know what I can and cannot have. From now on if I don't have a clue if an ingredient contains gluten or not, I'm just not even going to consume it.

Thanks for any input and all the help I've already received in the influx of questions I've posted recently. Much appreciated.

443d09cb00d7c8ba7c28fdfe7bed3f5e

on January 06, 2013
at 02:39 AM

Thanks for all that info. Wasn't certain about gluten being heat stable, but glad I know now. To clarify, I didn't mean restart as in allow myself "cheats" or consumption of gluten; just that I'll start meticulously keeping track in a journal. My migraines/anxiety dissipated for a long time and now came back, and I know when I wasn't eating any gluten and remained calm/stress free, I had no migraines, then a couple accidental gluten intakes, and I felt like crap afterwards. Thanks again though.

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5 Answers

2
B3e7d1ab5aeb329fe24cca1de1a0b09c

(5242)

on January 06, 2013
at 02:22 AM

Well it depends. Frequency to exposure, dose and just how much of a problem gluten is to you personally. Tiny amount may not bother you - or large amounts for that matter.

I have a few friends who do the 80/20 thing and will eat pizza on the weekends without any issues, if I did the same I would be pretty uncomfortable for a few hours and then would likely have side affects for the next day or two.

Processed / boxed / packaged food is more likely than not to contain gluten. Restaurants will use flour in sauces or to dust meat before cooking - so even dishes that seem like they shouldn't contain gluten often do.

Your best bet is to prepare your own food as often as possible from basic ingredients - then you'll know exactly what you're eating.

In terms of gluten contamination from cooking utensils just thoroughly wash them after they've been used (hopefully your house buddies just do this) and they'll be fine. Prepare food on clean surface etc.

Gluten is heat stable - so isn't broken down in cooking.

If you do by chance accidentally consume gluten don't let it deter you - no need to start again etc - if you take that approach you'll forever be 'starting again'. Don't over think it too much :)

Hope that helps some and best of luck.

443d09cb00d7c8ba7c28fdfe7bed3f5e

on January 06, 2013
at 02:39 AM

Thanks for all that info. Wasn't certain about gluten being heat stable, but glad I know now. To clarify, I didn't mean restart as in allow myself "cheats" or consumption of gluten; just that I'll start meticulously keeping track in a journal. My migraines/anxiety dissipated for a long time and now came back, and I know when I wasn't eating any gluten and remained calm/stress free, I had no migraines, then a couple accidental gluten intakes, and I felt like crap afterwards. Thanks again though.

1
E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

on January 06, 2013
at 03:28 AM

Well, for thoroughness' sake you may want to check out one of the celiac-specific websites. There will be a good list of gluten-containing ingredients there. Be aware that body-care products (toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, and cosmetics) can also contain gluten in the form of various obvious ingredients (hydrolyzed wheat protein, etc.) and also the sneakier tocopherol acetate (vitamin E, which can be wheat-derived but isn't always). I've learned that the hard way.

Plastic and wooden utensils and containers pose the greatest risk of cross-contamination in the kitchen. Gluten is very difficult to remove from those types of surfaces. (And anything else porous.) Likewise, flour that flies around the kitchen. (This is especially problematic at restaurants if you find you're extremely sensitive. Even "gluten free" things can get hit by errant particles of wheat flour in shared spaces.) I actually worry less about wheat when it's already in something that I can control. I do not share cutting boards, etc., but my in-laws keep sliced bread in their fridge and everything I eat is on different shelves or in drawers.

I don't know how sensitive you are, so I can't tell you for sure whether you need to go to those lengths to avoid gluten. Thoroughly washing glass and metal should render those things safe for you if you're sensitive. The exception to that would be a cast iron pan used for baking/frying with wheat (and not washed with soap).

But again, it depends. I am pretty sensitive to gluten, so I have to be very careful. However, I know other people who are okay just not eating gluten and not worrying too much about cross-contamination.

1
7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on January 06, 2013
at 03:08 AM

It can really vary by individual. I have to be careful with foods even under 10ppm, though I found taking gluten-ease digestive enzymes (DPP-IV) to prevent me from getting diarrhea if I eat a cookie that tested just barely positive on a test sensitive to 10ppm. A friend of mine is asymptomatic, and gets regular biopsies, and doesn't worry about cross-contamination much, to the point of sometimes eating foods from shared fryers, but his biopsies still come back good. And from figures I've seen in celiac disease research, it looks like there's a wide range of tolerances. So I think you really need to just find a symptom or measure to go by, and see what you personally can tolerate. I highly recommend not stressing about cross-contamination if you don't need to: it makes life much more difficult.

0
Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on January 06, 2013
at 04:14 AM

I think this file will help you a lot

Practical Paleo Guide to Gluten

...And this one's even better -- extremely detailed inclusion of specific foods and additives where gluten might be "hiding." (The second page in particular will be a huge help to you.)

More Detailed Gluten Guide

0
Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on January 06, 2013
at 04:12 AM

I think this file will help you a lot

Practical Paleo Guide to Gluten

...And this one's even better -- extremely detailed inclusion of specific foods and additives where gluten might be "hiding." (The second page in particular will be a huge help to you.)

More Detailed Gluten Guide

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