Thursday, June 28, 2012

Cross Contamination In the Most Unlikely Places

Pretty much any time that I eat away from home I know I'm taking a risk on getting sick. I consider the risk diminished depending on where it is that we're eating.

Picking up fast food is always a high risk unless we're picking up from In & Out. Since it's the only place you can get french fries with no possible fryer contamination they're used to serving to people who need to eat gluten free.

Eating at restaurants is somewhat risky depending on where it is that I'm eating. Some places that have gluten free specific items make sure & educate their staff on how to deal with gluten free food & often have separate places in their kitchen to prepare it.

I don't worry at all if my Mom is fixing food, I just try to make sure I'm the first to fix my plate so I don't have to worry about someone cross contaminating by touch. I don't generally worry anymore when we're eating at my in-law's house because they've tried to learn & have done their best to try & understand.Often it's my husband that does part of the cooking there as well.

We tend to have BBQ over there a lot & they've paid close attention to try & make sure that when they buy pre-marinaded steak or tri-tip that it's gluten free. We used to have to either BBQ in shifts or have one item on one end of the grill & one on the other with separate utensils. It just becomes complicated at that point & the chance of a mistake is high.

The frustrating thing is when you're BBQ-ing all gluten free food & you think & expect that you're fine & by time you're finishing your last bite of dinner your stomach is pitching a fit. I thought perhaps somehow the corn on the cob that I had grabbed had been touched by someone else or something had happened that way.

We finally realized what must have happened when I ate some of the left over chicken a few days later & got sick again. We think that the cross contamination must have come from the grill itself. Because I make my own marinade we never even thought about it until later. They often would eat marinade with gluten in it so unless the grill was cleaned really well, there's the chance.

It's so frustrating really. The smallest particles can cause so much pain, trouble & damage. It's like the time when I accidentally drank from Jon's straw when he was eating a burger with a bun. It's the reason why some days I end up washing my hands with hot water & soap close to 20 times. The reason why I often only give Jon or the boys kisses on the cheeks & make sure that I don't sit too close to Keegan at the dinner table when he's eating something with gluten.

It makes me appear crazy, paranoid & perhaps even a bit cold & neglecting. Thankfully Jon more than understands & I hope that by time they're 5 that the boys understand as well. I feel so bad turning him down when Keegan wants to share his food with me. One day, we'll see.


  1. Wow Emily, that's got to be hard. I couldn't imagine not being able to accept a full on kiss from my ever adoring daughter, and especially from my husband. By the way I can't say that I remember you, but I remember the old "Reba" nick name :-) Stay in touch though. It's always nice to hear from old classmates. Our lives change so much in 20 years.

    1. We do share kisses, just not always. I have to pay attention to what they ate & how long ago it was, make sure that I washed the kids faces good after eating etc. I'm still kind of glad that Keegan uses cups with lids because every time he has a drink refill I wash the entire outside of the cup & my hands (again) before I refill his drink. It's a pretty big chore because I have to constantly be aware of what's going on.

      We're actually not old classmates. I'm not sure we actually ever really "knew" each other. I just knew who you were & I think I might have seen glimpses of you now & then when I was visiting my grandparents & later my Aunt & Uncle. I'm not sure which family members were living in the house when you moved out. I actually just realized too that I'm not sure if it was your parents or your Aunt & Uncle that raised the cats? It's funny that I only remember certain things. I'm not sure if you are the same age as Janille or not but she's almost 4yrs older than me. I'm the next grandchild in line of Tommy & Bulah's. I'm not sure I ever even realized that you guys went to "the church" until I saw your post about it with the pictures. I have basically no memory of you except your name, who your parents are & that picture I had. As I'm sure you understand being a redhead it's pretty important to have a redhead role model to look up to. I also love to sing so Reba was (and still is) the most amazing redhead. I was just so in awe of the fact that (to me anyway) that picture that I had of you looked just like her on the Christmas album that I had hehe.