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How To Avoid Cross-Contamination

Ice cream and Scoops

The potential for the food you eat to become cross contaminated is always there but the good news is there are ways you can protect yourself to avoid this from happening.  Places you wouldn’t even think of like the ice cream parlor are places for you to watch out for.  Even if the ice cream is gluten free (always make sure to inquire), the scoopers might be contaminated. The scoopers are sometimes contaminated by gluten-containing toppings and ice cream cones. There are several ice cream manufacturers that make gluten free ice cream that can be purchased in your local market. You should always review the ingredient list just to be sure.

Another place that is potentially dangerous is the buffet table. The tongs you are using for a gluten-free food may have been used for another dish made with gluten! Since this can so easily occur, I do not recommend eating food from a buffet.

Also watch out for grilled food that is served somewhere other than your own home.  Even though the food that was presently grilled on the barbecue is gluten free, the food that was previously grilled could be coated with gluten containing marinades and sauces.  These sauces can remain on the grill and easily contaminate the food cooked on them afterwards.  The best way to avoid this is to ask the host if the grills had been cleaned prior to cooking.

These are just a few examples in how easily gluten can cross contaminate your food.  What I want you to learn from these examples is how you can apply them to other situations you might encounter.  Asking yourself this question can get you thinking about the ways cross contamination could occur in your specific situation: Is the food that you are considering eating been prepared in the vicinity of any other gluten filled foods?  If so, think of the possible ways (similar to the examples above) of how gluten could sneak its way into your food.  Each situation may be different but asking the right questions will help you to rule out some of the possibilities of cross contamination occurring.

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