I live in Atlanta and all of the public schools go on Spring Break next week. Woo Hoo!!! In Atlanta, we live about 6 hours from the beach driving either south or east. (You didn’t realize Atlanta was so far east did you?) Anyway, because of the distance, typically families go with friends or relatives and rent a house or condo for the week or a few days.
With Celiac Disease, this brings up an interesting conundrum – how to keep yourself safe while sharing a kitchen with others? The people you are traveling with probably don’t understand cross contamination and you won’t be there long enough for them to get it. You don’t want to be the crazy food police ruining everyone’s vacation either.
I deal with this every summer. We go with my husband’s family to the beach for a week. Ten people in the house and I am the only one with food issues. We typically have each family make 2 dinners and go out an additional evening for dinner during the week we are there. But that is a whole other story.
For the short term rental, I would suggest the following. Do not expect your traveling partners to be able to understand everything you might need. Be flexible. But most important, take care of yourself. Nobody else
Here are some easy first steps:
- Take lots of aluminum foil. It can be used on grills, cookie sheets, over cutting boards, everywhere you are concerned about cross contamination.
- All condiments should be in squeeze bottles so that nobody can stick a knife in something without your knowledge.
- You should have your own stick of butter – this one should be non-negotiable.
- You get to help decide and prep the meal
- You get your own individual sized bags of chips because too many hands in the chip bag is bad.
Regarding group meals, plan to help prepare meals so that you can keep an eye on what is happening and protect against cross contamination.
If you are really concerned about someone eating your food or cross contaminating it – keep it in your room. I know it sounds weird, but then you can be safe.
I’ll write more tomorrow.