Celiac Disease

The Dreaded Gluten Crumbs

One of the biggest worries as a celiac is when it comes to the cross-contact of our food…a.k.a., gluten crumbs hijacking our safe, gluten free meal. Let me just put it out there that as a celiac, gluten crumbs are the enemy. I have become a master of maintaining my composure on the outside while secretly screaming like a wild banshee on the inside. For example…

Earlier this school year, it was a typical Friday afternoon and I was calling small groups of students to my back table to get their new spelling words for the following week. I called my first group back, passed out their papers, and explained the new pattern for all of the words. The students began writing their words down and all was great with the world.

I was explaining the meaning of a word to one of my students, when all of a sudden I heard the rustling of a wrapper next to me. I slowly looked over and one of my students had pulled out a pop tart and of course…CRUMBS WERE EVERYWHERE! I tried to keep my face composed and calmly asked him to please clean up his crumbs and then get a Clorox wipe to finish cleaning up the mess. On the inside, I was dramatically screaming, “ARE YOU TRYING TO KILL ME??”

I definitely don’t have a problem with my students snacking during the day, especially since I know I have students who come to school hungry. I do always try to keep food contained to their individual desks, though, and have my students wipe down the desks regularly. I also have a wonderful partner teacher who graciously offers her room for school parties and we put all of our students together in her room. I always then feel much more comfortable not having to worry about gluten crumbs invading my classroom.

In the end, it’s important to always be cautious about gluten crumbs around you, whether at home, eating in a common area at work, eating at a restaurant, etc. Also, make sure to communicate with your family, friends, coworkers, and anyone else it pertains to about the importance of having your food separate, in order to keep you safe. If you do come in direct contact with crumbs, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly before touching your face. Also, remember that you do have to actually ingest the gluten in order for it to harm you. I always try to avoid touching gluten-containing foods, if possible. I would much rather be safe, than sorry.

Have a wonderful day!

“Celiac Problem #1: Always having to bring your own food to a party or family gathering.”


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