Cross contamination in toasters and ovens.

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Hi! I live with my parents & they recently brought some waffles that you warm in the toaster and on the packet it says may contain peanuts. Toast is my go to breakfast and lunch when I'm at home but I've been having to resort to just untoasted bread all the time ever since they've been using the waffles because I'm concerned about cross contamination. We have toaster bags for making toasted sandwhiches, will It be safe for me to toast bread in those? Or is it as simple as shaking out the toaster and cleaning the crumb drawer?

By on Jan 11, 2015

Question of the Week: Answered!

Every week, answers one of the questions posted in our community.

Our Answer: Cross-contamination is a common fear. When it comes to situations like these, it is always better to play it safe.

Normally, cross-contamination is defined as the exposure of foods that do not contain nuts with those that do. However, cross-contamination can also occur in less obvious ways. The best course of action to take is to avoid any risk of contamination. The waffles’ warning of “may contain peanut” can seem harmless, but everyone reacts differently.

The safest route to take is to avoid using the toaster or anything that comes into contact with products that may contain nuts. You can read more about cross-contamination here.

It’s always a good idea to thoroughly clean any surfaces that might have been in contact with peanuts. If your parents want to wash the toaster so it’s safe for you to use, make sure they do so with warm water. You can find more tips on how to maintain an allergy-friendly kitchen here.

According to the FARE website, wiping crumbs from cooking surfaces is not safe enough. You can read their tips here.

If you want to try something different for breakfast, we have plenty of nut-free recipes on the site. Now might be a good time to experiment! You can see our recipes here.

We hope these tips help. Remember — it’s always better to be safe than sorry!

We asked our Facebook fans to offer their advice on your situation, and you can read their responses here.

By Mrsdocrse on Jan 18, 2015

Hi If you are concerned... why don't you buy a separate to toaster.. just for you? They have small 2 slice toasters. Label it as a nut free toaster... or better yet get a funky color toaster that isn't like the one you have, just for you.... No one else can use it! Good Luck!

By epimom46112 on Jan 21, 2015

Personally, I think using the toaster would be fine. What you're really talking about here is a worry of possible cross-contaminated waffles cross-contaminating your toaster. That's cross-contamination x2 (2 degrees of separation)! The waffles do not contain peanuts but may have been made in the same facility, or something similar with the warning provided. I think worrying about cross-contamination x2 is extreme and really could be anything we touch or come in contact with. That could be the Hershey bar you bought at the grocery store that was next to the Reese's PB cup in the isle. Now where I would draw the line is for example peanut-butter pop tarts. At my daughter's home preschool, the owner enjoys PB pop tarts when she's not there. So my daughter has her own toaster now because there is direct evidence of peanuts touching the toaster.