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Cross-contamination can occur with the smallest piece of bread or a little flour dusting in the gluten-free kitchen. If your gluten allergy or sensitivity is severe, you can have adverse reactions to even a small amount of gluten. Keeping your kitchen gluten-free really does minimize the risk of cross-contamination. But if gluten-containing foods are present, special care is needed.

Cross-contamination is the contamination of gluten-free products with gluten. This can happen when you use the same spatula on all products, with and without gluten. Or a gluten-free biscuit can be contaminated with a knife you just used to spread butter on a whole wheat muffin.

Now you have a decision to make. Will you get rid of all gluten-containing products in your kitchen and home? Or, if some family members are not sensitive or allergic to gluten, will you keep gluten-containing foods on hand? A kitchen in which gluten-containing and gluten-free products coexist can be called a mixed kitchen.

Dedicated spaces for baking utensils and equipment are key to reducing cross-contamination. For a mixed kitchen, you should have two of each equipment and utensils or deep clean each item each time it is used.

You need to keep food separate. Think about how many times you dip the knife into the peanut butter and then spread it on the bread. Every time the knife is put back into the peanut butter, it carries gluten with it, and the entire jar is contaminated. Any food you serve with gluten-containing foods should have a liner that is properly labeled for gluten-free use only.

If you want to find out about gluten-free and regular food, check out our article on this topic: What is the difference between gluten-free and regular food?

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