Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Avoiding Cross Contamination

Say you have a child who's allergic to peanuts. You decide to eliminate them from your household, do a top to bottom cleaning, and you're done. Right? Well, pretty much, sure.

But what if you have a child who is allergic to 10 things? Things you can't give up for any number of reasons. How do you avoid cross contamination then? How do you make eggs for your oldest child without killing your youngest?

Maybe you have separate pans and utensils you use to cook the allergenic foods? Or separate knives and chopping boards for each food? And you likely isolate the allergens in a cabinet or part of the fridge that your child can't reach (or knows not to). But beyond that, what can you do?

Here are links to some sites I found online that offer some good tips to avoid cross contamination when it comes to allergens:
For those of my readers who deal with multiple allergies, how do you avoid cross contamination?

6 comments:

Elaine said...

Great resources, thank you.

We have multiple allergies, none that we can't all live without. Unless they tell us we need to give up wheat, which I think is coming...

Modern Allergy Mom said...

We have multiple food allergies in our house. I do keep all nut product out of the house. We can all live without it. Wheat and egg are another issue. My youngest son has these allergies. Fortunatly he does not seem to be contact reactive. We do eat bread and eggs in our house. I often find myself making safe versions of our food (spaghetti, grilled cheese, mac and cheese etc.) He rarely eats them but that is another story. Fortunalty I do not find it necessary to keep utensils and pans dedicated to his foods. I cook them seperatly, and wash them thoroughly each time. I do keep a seperate cutting board for bread and for fruits and veggies. I do not want to cut his fruit on a board where we cut bread.

Michelle said...

Hi- Thanks for the resources! My daughter is allergic to dairy, eggs and peanuts. We keep all nut products (including tree nuts) out of the house. I will only eat things that may contain traces of nuts at work. As for her other allergies, we do still have milk and eggs in our house, as we have two other children in the house, but we only use Smart Balance butter for cooking, toast, etc. I try to only buy breads that my daughter can eat, but we will often make other meals for her sister or ourselves that she can't eat. I don't think we'll be able to do that much longer (she's 14 months now) because she will begin to notice (actually she already has) that we are eating someone different and she will want to try it herself. We are constantly wiping down surfaces in the kitchen after meals and snacks and both of my other kids will rinse their mouths and wash their hands after every meal or snack if she is home, which is great. That has become a routine for all of us. Any food that she can't have is hidden in high cabinets she can't reach and I do keep the eggs and cheese on a separate shelf in the fridge, just in case they happen to come into contact with something she can eat. She also uses different plates and silverware than the rest of the family, but that will likely change as she gets older, too. This was a great question, because I am always looking for new ideas and options! Thanks!

ChupieandJ'smama said...

We have seperate pans, toasters, utensils etc. It can get a little crazy, but it works. We also keep seperate cabinets and I put smiley stickers on safe food items.
On a totally seperate note, I went to Whole Foods for the first time today. What's up the whole "make your own nut butter" section? Gave me the willies. I kept looking for the "pelt us with wheat" section. Geeze, you'd think they would know better....

Col said...

I have a kid who is allergic to peanuts, eggs, and dairy and has celiac disease. I keep nuts and eggs out of the house entirely. My husband and I do eat dairy, but we usually add it at the table-- milk on cereal or a sprinkle of cheese at dinner. I don't cook with dairy. So I rely on the dishwasher to get our dishes and utensils clean, and it seems to work fine.

The celiac disease has been a bigger challenge, since my husband and I do enjoy sandwiches and toast. We use a toaster oven, and we clean the rack after toasting wheat bread. That seems to work OK. But I think we need a separate cutting board for wheat bread. We haven't done that yet, and I think we should.

Cherie said...

We only have egg and nut allergies to deal with so we don't have either of these foods in the house. For us, giving up the food altogether is far easier than going to all the trouble of separate utensils and wondering, now which knife touched what, which pan can I use, do I need to wash my face...etc? Having said that we don't go without the foods we love, we just find alternative recipes to make them (without eggs and nuts). Vegan recipe websites are fantastic for us with our egg allergy (thogh they do like their nuts so you need to edit sometimes!). Vegans are a clever bunch and seem to find a way to make any food you may desire without using eggs (or dairy). We even have a recipe for eggless quiche, its not bad!!