ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Cross Contamination of Food at Home

Updated on September 1, 2010

From the farm to the table cross contamination does occur

The term cross contamination is gaining popularity as more people become aware of how potentially dangerous and deadly it can be.

When referring to cross contamination in regards to allergies, sensitivities, or intolerance to foods, the term can have a very broad meaning.

Cross contamination of food can literally begin at the farm and can continue to happen right up to when the food is consumed. Cross contamination can occur just about anywhere and with any and all food depending upon numerous circumstances. This hub focuses mainly on the issues surrounding cross contamination as it pertains to gluten free living, but the safe handling of food is applicable no matter what the allergens may be.

For example, for those that must eat gluten free oats are always brought up as to if they are safe. While oats are not a gluten-containing food like wheat, rye, and barley; they are grown in fields where gluten grains have grown. The oats can be harvested, stored, transported, and processed with equipment that has previously been in contact with gluten grains.

Silos, packing plants, and mills all pose cross contamination threats. More and more companies are building their own allergen free facilities or contracting out to such facilities to ensure that cross contamination has less chance of occurring.

Once purchased and brought home, those items that are deemed safely made in the allergen free facility, can become contaminated. Gluten free food that is prepared using the same dishes and utensils as food made with gluten automatically contaminates it. Cooking, baking, as well as preparing food in the same room also causes contamination. If wheat flour has been used in the area before the gluten free food is prepared, it is considered contaminated as the wheat dust particles stay in the air for twenty-four hours after wheat has been used. Preparing the gluten free food first is not enough if the air is not safe. It will still be contaminated.

Once the meal is ready to be served, cross contamination can continue to happen. Sharing the same butter tub, the same dip bowl, mayonnaise jar, peanut butter jar, jellies and jams, and so on are to be considered contaminated as soon as gluten or other allergens that are being avoided come into contact with these foods.

People who ask about cross contamination involving allergens because of serious medical reactions or possibly even death should not be regarded as picky eaters or those who always complain about what's in the food. People with reactions to food must put their health first each and every time they eat or come into contact with food.

Cross contamination is a very big deal. It should not be taken lightly or joked about. There are numerous people that have cross contamination on their radar 24/7.

Gluten Free German Chocolate Cake - From prep to eating no cross contamination occured

It is possible to cook and bake without cross contamination.  It can take careful planning, but is worth it for those with allergies, sensitivities, and an intolerance to certain foods.
It is possible to cook and bake without cross contamination. It can take careful planning, but is worth it for those with allergies, sensitivities, and an intolerance to certain foods.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • AdrienneZMilligan profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      So does my husband. The first time I made him a gluten free German Chocolate Cake...well, he was all smiles! :) It's still his favorite. I don't make it often, but when I do, he enjoys every gluten free bite.

    • AdrienneZMilligan profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Pacific Northwest


      Gluten free is easier for us since we've been eating this way since 2001. I do like helping people that are new to the gluten free lifestyle find their way on a new path of eating and back to good health.


    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 

      9 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Well done Adrienne. I have a friend with celiac disease and these are good tips.

    • AdrienneZMilligan profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Pacific Northwest


      Thanks for the comments. It is amazing how some people "get" cross-contamination and how others just do not.

    • KeithTax profile image

      Keith Schroeder 

      9 years ago from Wisconsin

      I love German chocolate cake.

    • Brian Burton profile image

      Brian Burton 

      9 years ago

      I definitely underestimated this. My wife and I are fortunately allergy free, but if I find myself cooking for anyone that does have them, this article will help me to be more aware of the dangers.

    • AdrienneZMilligan profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      RTalloni, thanks for you comment! I agree that the number of people that just do not understand cross contamination is a concern.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      1) The cake looks fab.

      2) May I repeat...cross contamination is a big deal. I am amazed at how many people don't even think about this where germs are concerned, much less allergies.

      3) Looking forward to more of your GF hubs.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)