Key Steps to Prevent Cross-Contamination in the Kitchen
Beware of boiling water. You must use clean water when cooking food such as gluten-free pasta, rice, vegetables, or quinoa. This is also true for colanders. Noodles can stick between the cracks, so scrub well!
Condiments. All condiments that require you to dip a utensil into it should not be used on both gluten-free and gluten-containing food.For condiments such as mayonnaise, ketchup, and mustard, squeeze bottles are a good way to prevent contamination.
Cutting boards. Unless you plan to thoroughly wash a cutting board before use with gluten-free foods, it is helpful to have a designated gluten-free cutting board. Try color coding or labeling the second board so everyone in your kitchen knows to only use gluten-free food on the special board. Be consistent and don't get lazy. If the gluten-free board is dirty, spend the extra minute to wash it instead of using a different non-gluten-free board. Even the slightest bit of contamination can make you sick.
Frying. Do not fry gluten-free food items in the same oil used to fry other breaded food that contains gluten. The gluten particles will come off in the oil and contaminate your gluten-free food. Even if the oil looks clean, there is still a chance of contamination, so to be safe, always use clean oil. Also, be sure to always clean frying pans thoroughly between uses.
Pots and pans. Always be sure to use a clean pot or pan to cook gluten-free food. Clean them before each use, just like you would do to prevent food poisoning!
Toasting. Some restaurants and home kitchens choose to have separate toasters, one for gluten-free food and a second toaster for all other items. This is an easy way to prevent contamination, but it does take up a lot of counter space. Simply washing out the toaster oven racks after use will get rid of crumbs and allow everyone to use the same toaster.
Utensils. You cannot use the same cooking utensils on gluten-free food that you have already used on gluten-containing food items. For example, you cannot use the same spoon to stir gluten-free pasta that you have already used on gluten-containing pasta. Either wash utensils thoroughly after each use or purchase a second set that can be designated gluten-free.
Hands. Wash your hands thoroughly prior to preparing any food item.
Wooden Boards/Bowls/Utensils. If you use wooden items with gluten-containing products, do not use the same utensils, bowls or boards with gluten-free products. Flour can stick in the cracks of these items and even with thorough washing can contaminate gluten-free items.
Shelves. Consider designating separate shelves in your kitchen and refrigerator for gluten-free food and flours. If you choose to do this, always put gluten-free items above gluten-containing items so there is no chance of particles falling onto the gluten-free items and contaminating them.
Republished from glutenfreely.com