If you?re following a strict gluten-free diet due to a celiac disease diagnosis, gluten sensitivity or gluten intolerance, you need to make sure you?re equipped with the knowledge to competently tackle gluten in the workplace!
Here are 4 simple tips to help you avoid gluten contamination at work:
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 we have a cafe downstairs in our office and even if you ask for gluten free toast, they still use the same toaster – thanks now I can?t have that! If you have a toaster in your communal break area don?t use that either, the breadcrumbs from the gluten-filled toast will easily cross-contaminate your slice. Did you know it only takes 1/64 of a teaspoon of gluten to damage the intestines of a celiac? If you?re desperate for toast in the morning why not make it at home and warm it on a plate in the microwave?
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?re 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 from my desk. This can help minimise any anxiety you have surrounding anyone other than yourself touching your stuff! I also keep a small bottle of hand sanitizer at my desk too, just in case I touch something, too!