Amy Keller, MS, RDN, LD, is a dietitian and celiac support group leader from Bellefontaine, Ohio.
Q: I was diagnosed with celiac a few months ago, and while I’m pretty good at avoiding gluten at the grocery store, I still am worried about my kitchen at home. My sister read that I need a new toaster, all new pots and pans, and that even my paper plates aren’t safe. Is this true?
A: Setting up a safe kitchen can feel overwhelming, but the good news is that it’s not necessary to throw everything away. Yes, you’ll want to buy a new toaster because the crumbs seem to linger no matter how much you clean it. If you live in a house with other people who may toast regular bread, keep your safe toaster separate. I recommend keeping it covered or put away, so no one else is tempted to use it. You don’t need to purchase new pots and pans; washing them is adequate. However, if you have deep scratches in coated pans or those that you don’t wash in between uses (such as cast iron), you may want to invest in something new. Other examples of things you’ll want to keep separate in the kitchen include a bread machine, can opener, condiments such as butter or jelly, cutting boards, flour sifter, colander, mixer and dish towels. There are no gluten concerns with items like paper plates, paper towels or plastic utensils.
For more of Amy Keller’s advice on following and thriving on the gluten-free diet, check out these Q&As:
- We have two family members who eat gluten free. What should I include in an emergency kit for them?
- How am I going to manage a gluten-free diet along with diabetes?
- Recently, I decided that I’d like to become a vegetarian for health reasons. What options do I have to get enough protein and iron without meat?
To read resident pharmacy expert Steve Plogsted’s advice and information on gluten-free medications, check out these Q&As:
- FDA Issues Guidance On Labeling Gluten-Free Medications
- Does immunglobulin therapy contain gluten?
- What steps are taken to minimize or prevent cross-contamination in a pharmaceutical manufacturing facility?
- Is a drug that is considered gluten free in the United States also considered gluten free in Canada?