Can I get glutened by cooking or smelling?

Katarina Mollo MEd, RDN, LDN
Q: Can I get glutened by smelling foods while cooking it? I know that for flour with gluten it can happen, but for food that are not flour? Is there any risk of getting glutened by cooking regular food for others?


No worries! Just smelling the food will not cause gluten to enter your body. From what we know, gluten needs to get into your GI tract to cause a problem. The issue with flour is that it can get dispersed into the air and then there is a potential (although small) for it to be breathed in and swallowed, or get on your face and mouth. Flour also has a high potential to cause cross-contact with gluten, as it can settle on foods, equipment and surfaces etc. Therefore, we do not recommend people with celiac disease to bake with and/or handle flour. However, preparing and handling foods containing gluten that do not disperse in the air should be ok. Just wash your hands with soap and water after handling and it should be fine.

Note: This information is provided by NCA and Katarina Mollo MEd, RDN, LDN, NCA's Director of Education. This information is meant for educational purposes only and is not intended to substitute for personalized medical advice or replace any medical advice provided directly to you by your health care provider. No liability is assumed by the NCA or Katarina Mollo, MEd, RDN, LDN by providing this information.

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