What is cross contamination?
Good food safety practices are essential in the kitchen and are vital in the preparation of gluten free food.
Cross contamination results when allergens (in this case gluten) from other foods are transferred to allergen (gluten free) free foods.
Cross contamination is where a food that has no gluten ingredients picks up gluten from other foods made in the same kitchen.
Cross contamination is most likely to occur when handling or storing an allergen free product with or near foods which contains an allergen
Important measures to minimise cross contamination risk
- Cleaning: Dry wipe with a disposable towel to remove visible crumbs prior to cleaning. Use a thoroughly cleaned area for gluten free preparation. We all know that if we open flour some of it goes up into the air. If this is still around when gluten free food is being made, then it can contaminate it.
- Dedicate cleaning cloths to gluten free preparation
- Don’t use same knives, utensils (like strainers/colanders) or chopping boards for gluten free foods and those containing gluten, if this is not possible, wash the utensils thoroughly with hot water and washing up liquid/dishwasher between tasks.
- Always wash your hands before preparing gluten free food and between tasks.
- Store gluten free foods separately and above gluten containing foods, label clearly and wrap well.
- To make gluten free toast keep a separate toaster or use toaster bags for the gluten free bread. Keep separate jars of jams, condiments and separate butter/spread for use by person avoiding gluten.
- Do not fry gluten free foods/chips in fryers used for frying gluten containing crumbed or coated foods. The reason being the gluten stays in the oil and contaminates the gluten-free food being cooked next
- If possible cook gluten free foods in a separate oven. Otherwise cook the gluten free foods on the shelf above the other food.