Gluten Cross Contamination…. What is next?

by Nancy Olson on November 15, 2010

Have you ever experienced  cross contamination?

Are you a person with Celiac disease that is afraid to eat at someone's house or a restaurant due to gluten cross contamination?  As we know that just crumbs can make someone with Celiac very sick.  When I say "sick " everyone with Celiac disease will have a different reaction and it is also due to how much cross- contamination have a person been exposed to.  What is considered gluten- cross contamination?  This is simple if you think about it.

Let me give you some examples:

  • A spoon from a dish with pasta in it now dips into a lettuce salad.
  • Making gluten-free meals in the same area as regular meals.
  • Using the same knife in a condiment that goes on regular food and then a gluten-free dish or sandwich.
  • Using the same toaster.
  • Colanders hold gluten in the little holes that are made to drain food. Try to have a colander strictly for the person that needs to be gluten-free.

Cross contamination can start at the facility making the food also.  Foods made in a facility that processes other foods must put on the label that it could have contamination issues.  Each person will have to make the decision to eat or to stay away from that food.

Please share what your cross-contamination issues are. Let us know how we can help you to enjoy gluten-free foods


Best wishes

Nancy Olson

As the Founder and CEO of Thriving With Celiac, Nancy Olson is on a mission to educate, support and inspire those living a gluten free lifestyle. After many years of suffering and dealing with celiac disease day by day, Nancy has learned how to do more than simply survive. Through writing, speaking and coaching in the gluten free and healthy lifestyle areas, she now teaches everyone she comes in contact with how they too can begin thrivin’ rather than just survivin’.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

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Sue Seward April 23, 2011 at 10:26 am

Nancy I've had cross contamination happen several times lately due to eating out AND even ordered from the Gluten Free menu.    Just because they THINK it's gluten free doesn't make it so for someone like myself who is VERY sensitive to any amount of gluten/wheat. 
I have gotten two migraines recently because of this and have not had a migraine in about two years.   When I order from a cafe that is TOTALLY gluten free this does not happen.  It also doesn't happen at home because our kitchen is pretty much a GFREE zone.

There are many more restaurants that are coming out with Gluten Free menu's however their kitchen's are NOT complete GFREE zones so I can relate to what you're saying and recommend caution.

Appreciate what you're doing to spread the word!


admin April 24, 2011 at 3:20 pm

I wish we had GF resturants in my area, I have never seen one yet. When I find the first one I will be sure to make note and post my experience. In our area, beings we are pretty rural the resturants are not that busy at the time we choose to go out and eat. If you go to a mom-pop owned type resturant in our area they are pretty good at meeting my needs. I rarley get sick from resturant any more as I can explain my needs better now than when first diagnosised. We eat out about once a week now and at first it was rare to eat out.


Joan Browne September 20, 2012 at 2:13 pm

I don’t eat out much anyway, as it has gotten too expensive. However, I did treat myself and my kids to a TCBY Yogurt on my Birthday and then became VIOLENTLY ill! I threw up for about an hour…until there was not much left but dry heaves, and had a THUNDERING headache! My 11 year old daughter thought I was dying and started to cry. I was seriously ready to call 911. I thought I was having an anuerism! Afterward, I checked out TCBY Yogurt and found that they do admit to some gluten in the yogurt but “not enough to cause a reaction”. I was gluten-free for a month before this happened, so I am recently diagnosed. Don’t know why my reaction was so dramatic. Perhaps cause I have been gluten-free and my body had adjusted to not having this poison in it! I am still trying to get my strength back after this episode and it has been nearly a week! Food companies need to be more specific about whether or not their products contain gluten. This gluten was probably in the “natural flavoring” and has a number for a name. Why don’t they use strawberries to flavor strawberry frozen yogurt?


Nancy Olson September 25, 2012 at 5:42 pm

How horrible to go through that Joan. I have done things like that myself and even on occassion over the years at home. Sometimes you get use to buying a certain brand and they change the ingredients without notice and bingo…I get sick. Best of luck~


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