These days there are many foods containing allergen ingredients. Some of the more common allergen ingredients include: Wheat, Gluten, Lactose and Nuts, although Eggs and Soya are also allergen ingredients in baked goods. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye.
Sharing a kitchen is one of the problems faced by many families who have a member who suffers from food allergies. These are some steps you can take to avoid cross contamination in a shared kitchen.
1) Keep your kitchen utensils separate. Washing thoroughly can help but in the case of wooden utensils like wooden spoons and rolling pins, you will need to buy your separate supply as wood is porous and can trap small amounts of gluten and nuts. Also having a separate sieve is very important as it is difficult to clean sieves. It would be very likely to contain traces of gluten or nuts.
2) Get into the habit of wiping down all food surfaces before and after use. Water is not always sufficient you should use an antibacterial surface wipe which is suitable for use where food is prepared.
3) Avoid leaving foods uncovered as fine grains like wheat flour can easily get into foods if being used in the kitchen.
4) It’s advisable to have a separate cupboard to store your own ingredients like gluten free flours, sugar, baking powder etc.
5) Have a separate toaster or use toaster bags which will protect bread from contamination
6) Place leftovers in an airtight container before refrigerating. This will prevent your food coming into contact with other foods stored in the same fridge.
This is a list of some foods containing allergen ingredients and some alternatives
Malt vinegar (Made from barley) – You can use apple cider vinegar which is made from apple cider therefore contains no gluten
Spirit vinegar / Distilled White Vinegar (Can be made from any starch including gluten grains so would avoid) – You can use wine vinegar which is made from red or white wine which in turn is made from grapes
Semolina (From durum wheat) – Use Cornmeal or Polenta which are both gluten free
Ketchup (Contains spirit vinegar)
Salad dressings (Some contain spirit vinegar – Always read the labels as some are also made of wine vinegar which is gluten free)
Frozen fries (some are dipped in flour batter which would contain gluten) – You can find some supermarket brands which are not dipped in batter
Seasoned crisp / Pringles (some crisps contain wheat starch so always read the ingredients list)
Malt (Contains barley which contains gluten)
Coconut Yoghurt (many of the coconut yoghurts in supermarkets contain dairy milk – so always read the label before purchasing) – www.coyo.co.uk is an online supplier of dairy free yoghurts and ice creams.
Cornflakes (Contains barley malt flavouring or malt extract) – There are a number of online health shops which sell gluten free cornflakes
Beer – Most beers are made from barley
Vegetable oils (the most common vegetable oils used in the UK are Rapeseed or Canola oils. These oils are derivative from the lupin plant which is a derivative in peanut) – Sunflower oils, olive oils or corn oils are all safe.