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Cooking For Allergy Sufferers

Contributed by: Chris WebAdmin of

Cooking your own food offers more control and reduces the chance of an allergic reaction. Still, you have to be careful preparing food, especially if allergy-causing foods are being cooked at the same time. For some people, even a trace of food on a spoon can cause a reaction.

Avoiding Allergen Contamination in your Kitchen

When cooking allergy-free meals, use utensils and pans that have been thoroughly washed and also wash your hands if you have handled any allergenic food. The most likely causes of contamination are knives, graters, chopping boards, grills, deep fryers, cake tins, and baking trays.

Other pointers:

  • Don't spread bread with a knife that was previously used to spread peanut butter or slice cheese

  • Don't grate cheese and then vegetables without adequately cleaning the grater and chopping board between uses. Separate color-coded or named boards can be very useful

  • Don't use baking trays that have been buttered or which have been used to bake cookies containing your allergen. It is likely that there will be traces left on the baking tray contaminating your "allergen-free" items

  • Don't use wooden spoons and other utensils, which are difficult to clean. Make sure you only use clean or kept separate utensils clearly labeled, e.g., for wheat allergy you should have a separate sieve.

  • Clean all utensils and countertops thoroughly after preparing each meal using a special allergen-formula cleaner

Be aware of preparation and cooking methods, e.g., boiling or poaching an egg in the presence of a person with an egg allergy won't cause a problem, but frying eggs can. Frying can also spatter and contaminate other foods. If you cook different meals, prepare the allergy-free one first and cover it. It is easier to cook several allergen-free meals or desserts at a time and freeze them. Another way is to cook the same meal for everyone. Experiment with your usual recipes, (it is often quite easy to substitute safe alternatives). And try new recipes.


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