Flash forward to now- 99% of our meals are free from all of my son's allergens so that I know there are no mistakes. Even though it's been this long, I STILL automatically remind everyone in our home (and outside of) to use precautionary strategies: Did you wash your hands before you touched that? Make sure you use separate spoons. Don't lick that spoon while you're mixing it.....etc. etc. Sometimes this gets me dirty looks as if I don't trust whoever I am repeating it to but for me, it's a habit that is part of whatever meal I make. Kind of like a piece of the recipes forever. And those dirty looks I get- yeah, I don't care because ultimately, it's STILL my son's life and I don't care how angry you may get at me for reminding you about that. So just chill and don't take it so personally because it is 0% about you and 100% about my son. Enough said.
Recently, I posted a question asking page members to share their cross contamination tips. I got bunches of amazing responses and I was so excited to see that so many shared what works for them to keep all of us safe. One woman in particular went above and beyond to share ALL of her safeguards and although all of her tips mirrored what I do for all of my meals, I was amazed at how I didn't think to share them myself. I reached out to her and asked if I could share her tips and she was more than happy too.
- We use different toasters and waffle makers.
- All food heated up in the microwave must be covered.
- No food is allowed on the counter top, you must always use a plate or a cutting board.
- Each condiment or container (like peanut butter and jam) must use a separate piece of serving ware for each container.
- Every serving container must have its own serving ware inside the bowl or pan before serving is allowed. Absolute requirement that you place the same serving utensil back from the serving container you got it from.
- Only my safe foods can be used in my heirloom wooden bowls passed down for my grandparents.
- No allergy foods can be used in hand washed kitchen items. All other kitchenware must go through a sink rinse and then the dishwasher.
- All foods must be covered in the refrigerator.
- Keep separate cabinets- there are 2 spice cabinets that sit across the kitchen from each other. If you go to one cabinet, it's all of my safe spices & baking accessories and the other cabinet contains the same that is not for me. Then there is another set of cabinets that are across the kitchen that contain all my safe foods. Basically, if you go to those cabinets and I can eat any of those foods. If it's not friendly for me, it automatically goes into the other cabinets on the other side of kitchen.
- I had to teach the family that you hold down packages of flours and powder foods towards the bottom of a bowl or pitcher and pour contents slowly. Things like gluten powder or things that have corn powders in them, etc. Don't need allergy puff clouds floating in the air to breathe-in.
- All foods cooked in the oven that is an allergen must have a tight lid or covered in tin foil. If cooking something like biscuits that cannot be cooked with a cover you must cover the pan with tin foil and dispose of it after cooking.
- Always cook with our ventilating fan on.
- Do lots of wipe downs and keep lots of rags on hand for the extra daily wipe downs.
- No one is allowed to drink from someone else's drinking glasses, eat out of each other's dishes or share silverware.
- Keep 2 differently designed spoon rests on the counter to use when cooking allergen and non-allergen foods at the same time.
- Foods that I'm strongly allergic to that when you cook oils disperse through the air (like black pepper, cayenne pepper, onions, garlic, etc.) are not allowed to be cooked at all in my house. If I'm going to be out of the house for a couple of days, the family is allowed to have onion and black pepper parties (lol). This is literally a thing in my household that my family gets excited about when I'm not home for a couple of days. They could cook whatever they want on the 1st night and then the whole 2nd day they open up all the windows, run fans and air out the house and wipe the kitchen clean.