Cross Contamination with Food Allergies and Other Dietary Restrictions

When my kids first got diagnosed with severe food allergies the best advice that I received from another Mom is to remember that your own home is a major source of contamination and cross-contamination.

It makes total sense but is a good thing to consider! We often have three different meals at once to meet dietary needs or three variations of the same meal. Sometimes it can be chaotic to feed one person that could be detrimental to another. 

We go to great lengths to make sure that everyone has the food that they CAN eat so that they have a good variety in their diet and so they don't develop more food allergies. We have learned that total avoidance of a food can actually lead to an allergy in someone who is already prone to allergies.

But this can lead to cross-contamination. We have to be careful about cutting the dairy-free pizza with the pizza knife FIRST and then the regular pizza. We have to meticulously use separate dishes and wash everything thoroughly.

We had one episode where one of us ate some really spicy salsa and got a drink of milk. The cup was set down and it was never dreamt that another person would pick it up and drink it and have an allergic reaction. 

Our son isn't even allowed to do dishes as part of chores because he would have to touch dishes with allergens from other family members. 

We make sure that we label things like this mini waffle maker with allergens and have a separate one that is allergen free.

There are lots of ways to work around food allergies and dietary restrictions like using parchment paper to separate things and some of the things above but your greatest tool is awareness!

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