I think I have a good analogy about teaching people to prevent cross contamination while cooking. Think about taking all the same precautions for cooking with gluten that we take with cooking raw chicken.

When I was learning how to cook, I remember very vividly my mother explaining the rules. She told me that raw chicken could make me sick. She taught me how to safely handle raw chicken. The same rules apply to gluten as raw chicken and have kept me safe for years.

I’ve written two other articles about cross contamination. Here are their links.

Here are the guidlines:

After handling raw chicken, I need to wash my hands with water as hot as I canstand. I need to use lots and lots of soap. The same rule applies to handling gluten containing items. Wash your hands thoroughly after handling gluten containing items.

Any items that touched the raw chicken needed to be washed with very hot water and lots of soap. If the item can go in the dishwasher, put it there. Same is true of gluten containing items. My caveat here is that one should use a paper towel instead of the normal sponge. The paper towel prevents residual gluten from being on a commonly used sponge or cleaning tool. After use, the paper towel should be thrown away.

Never, ever put raw chicken on the countertop. Never, ever put a utensil or other cooking implement directly on the countertop. Put something under the utensil. I often use a clean plate, piece of aluminum foil, or clean spoon rest. Just about anything between the utensil and countertop will work.

Wash the countertops with soapy water after even using raw chicken. Even if you don’t think the chicken got on the countertop. Here we go back to our paper towels to ensure no cross contamination.

Cut raw vegetables before cutting raw chicken so that there was no way the chicken could contaminate the vegetables. In other words, do the work that doesn’t contain gluten and cover it before doing gluten containing work. This will ensure no contamination.

We always have a hard time explaining to people how to prevent cross contamination in their kitchens. Explaining to people, handling gluten in the kitchen is like handling raw chicken. Drops can get anywhere and it can make us sick. This is the best analogy I’ve thought up.

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