“COMPLACENCY: feeling of quiet pleasure or security, often while unaware of, or unconcerned   with, unpleasant realities or harmful possibilities; self-satisfaction; smugness.” 

As all coeliac sufferers are well aware, there is little room for error with the gluten free diet.  It is as if you are on ‘high alert’ 24/7 : out eating, socialising, shopping, travelling and even at home. Sometimes however you find you have let your guard down because you think you have routines and procedures and products in place that support your gluten free life.

GF Food (1)

I have to own up and acknowledge that complacency has caught our house out on more than one occasion. So here are a few of my slip ups…

1. Home Made Pizzas… It is the end of a long and weary week and as my husband cut into my gf son’s pizza I glanced over my shoulder to find that he was using the pizza cutter that had just cut the wheat pizza.  When my husband makes pizzas he has his routine and procedures which ensure that the gluten free pizza is cut first.  I made the pizzas tonight and my husband helped out.  It was rescued as we then used a clean cutter to cut out the section of pizza that was contaminated.  Makes me wonder about the pizza chains who we occasionally buy gluten free pizzas from.  How rigid and fool proof are their gluten free handling procedures.

2. Not all are the same… I finished the jar of seeded mustard and bought a new jar.  I didn’t realise that I had changed brands and I suppose I just naively thought that if this brand of seeded mustard was gluten free then the other brand was gluten free as well.  Not so! While my son did not have the salad made with the gluten seeded mustard, it was a wake up call that you should not let your guard down and do the double check of a product by reading the label.

3. Cashous… It was a special birthday celebration and I was decorating the cake with cashous, those edible round silver balls of sugar.  I had found them in the back of the pantry and didn’t give them a second thought. My gf son innocently popped one in his mouth as he joked ” these are gluten free aren’t they?” The words WHEAT STARCH jumped out from the label.  How had this happened? How was it that I had this gluten containing product in my pantry? Hadn’t I taken all gluten products out of the pantry 12 months previous?  Obviously not!  The small container of cashous had tucked themselves into a corner and remained all but hidden.  The jury is still out as to whether or not the gluten attack like symptoms which my son suffered some 24 hours later related to this single cashous.

4. Caramel Sauce… I had read about a new product “Bonne Maman’s Caramel Sauce” and searched for over three months before it appeared on the supermarket shelves.  I was so excited to find this product, that I just plain forgot to read the label.  I forgot to stop and put my gluten free shopping hat on and read the label.  After liberally using it for a dessert I had to wipe down the caramel dribbles on the outside of the jar.  And there was that word “Wheat”.  I had forgotten the most basic rule, READ ALL LABELS when shopping gluten free. Luckily, the word wheat was preceded by glucose and on this occasion, no harm was done.

5. Same Product, Different Size, Different Production Line… Snack World ‘Twisteroos’ in cheese and chicken,  in 170g packets are GLUTEN FREE. However, the 90 g Twisteroos ARE NOT GLUTEN FREE, nor are the Snack Packs.  While the allergy advice clearly states this, one can be drawn into believing that if the 170g packs are GF then the other sizes are too.  A reality check that one has to be diligent at all times.

6. Same Cafe, Different Staff, Different Practices…We frequent a cafe, one in which we felt very comfortable because we had asked the questions and were happy with their food preparation and cooking procedures for gluten free meals. Fast forward 18 months and I am now aware that the new staff are no longer aware of these gluten free practices and now use the gluten free toaster for wheat bread during their busy times. And the hollandaise sauce is no longer made ‘in house’ but bought in and contains wheat.  AHHHHHH!!!!! It really is easier to eat at home.

So I can relate to this definition from

“COMPLACENCY: feeling of quiet pleasure or security, often while unaware of, or unconcerned   with, unpleasant realities or harmful possibilities; self-satisfaction; smugness.”

I certainly don’t feel so smug anymore in thinking that I have mastered gluten free 100%

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