Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Clearing out the cabinets

Yesterday night my husband and I finally completely rid our kitchen of all food items containing gluten in its many forms.  We had been meaning to do this for a bit, but life got in the way and we procrastinated.  Cross-contamination can happen so easily that even a few crumbs left on the counter or some flour settling on something that my son eats can make him sick, so we knew we had to get rid of it all.

The kitchen cabinets held the biggest offenders.  Flour, canned soup, dried soup, cereal, flavoured rice cakes, pasta.... the list went on, and now there are two packed grocery bags at the front door full of unopened items to be given away.  I didn't have to throw much away because I was giving it to someone I know, but I was still struck by just HOW MUCH of what I kept in my kitchen was full of gluten.  I have to admit, it hurt a little bit to give away some of my favourite items, but I felt lighter once they were all packed and by the front door.  I completely wiped down and disinfected the shelves before putting anything back on them, and even put some non-gluten items that I couldn't be certain had not been contaminated in the bags to give away.

The fridge was not a problem because it had been cleaned out when we first suspected this issue.  Everything came out, I threw away all open jars of jam, peanut butter, lunch meats and anything else that had potentially been cross-contaminated.  I then wiped down all the shelves and allocated one specific drawer for the cheese that we continue to keep.  All other dairy has been eliminated and replaced with substitutes, like the rice milk we've all grown to love.

I'm not yet finished my purge.  Tonight I plan to tackle the cold room in the basement and the large freezer.  There's no point in keeping anything around that might make my son sick.  After that, I'm going to go through my utensils and throw away anything porous, like my wooden spoons and cutting boards and replace them with new ones.  My parents have put aside dedicated pots, pans and utensils for him at their place.  The importance of that was reinforced Monday night when my son took a sip from my niece's cup after she had eaten a cupcake and he proceeded to break out into a full body rash less than ten minutes later.  A new toaster is on the horizon, and replacement versions of anything previously used to prepare gluten filled goodies will follow shortly.  Maybe I'll take advantage of all the Christmas sales to restock my kitchen!

To someone not dealing with this issue these measures may seem extreme, but not to me.  It doesn't take a large amount of gluten to make someone sick, and damage can occur internally even if no external symptoms are detected.  I'm not taking any chances with my son's health.  I would rather feel safe knowing that my home is a place free from potentially harmful contaminants than continuously be trying to avoid cross contamination every time I'm in the kitchen.

No comments :

Post a Comment