When you’re at work it can be difficult to minimise gluten contamination, with all the office cakes and biscuits lying right next to the coffee station – it doesn’t take much to make you ill if you’re a symptomatic coeliac! Likewise with the fridge – I’m terrified someone from another office touches my food! But, really, why would they?? I need to calm down a bit, but by distancing myself from certain areas and taking extra precautions to avoid stressful food situations, being at work is becoming a lot easier where food is concerned!
Tip #1: Bring your own cutlery
You might think you’ll just wash the work cutlery and then you’re ready to go! Unless you’re using a brand new sponge – don’t go there. So many crumbs and bits of food get caught up in sponges. So just minimise the risk of gluten contamination by bringing in your own cutlery and then washing them at home – better safe than sorry!
Tip #2: Don’t use the same toaster
This seems basic, right? But I’ve been to many cafes when, even if you ask for gluten-free toast, they still use the same toaster – thanks now I can’t have that! So whether you have a cafe in your building, or a toaster in your communal break area, steer clear! The breadcrumbs from the glutenous toast will definitely cross-contaminate your slice. Did you know it only takes 1/64 of a teaspoon of gluten to damage the intestines of a coeliac? If you’re desperate for toast in the morning make it at home and warm it on a plate in the microwave. Or pick up some of that Perkier porridge – it’s probably healthier anyway!
Tip #3: Spread the word that you’re gluten-free
The more people in your office that know you’re gluten-free, for whatever reason, is an important part of confidence in the workplace. The more your colleagues understand that you’re gluten-free and the reasons why, the less likely they’ll be cross-contamination near or around your desk area. For example, if you sit on the end desk, they’ll think twice (hopefully) about placing all the treats and office snacks on your desk. The more awareness the better, keep spreading the word!
Tip #4: Keep a packet of antibacterial wipes at your desk
There have been many times where someone has shown me something on my computer, taking control of my mouse after I’ve watched them eat a bag of crisps. After they leave, I just take out a wipe and wipe any crumbs away. This can help minimise any anxiety you have surrounding anyone other than yourself touching your stuff! I also keep a small bottle of hand sanitiser at my desk too, just in case I touch something. I must look like the office clean freak, but I’ll take that any day than getting glutened!