Can teflon coated pans harbor wheat gluten?
July 11, 2010 6:20 PM   Subscribe

Can teflon coated pans harbor wheat gluten? (please provided references)

Like 1/130 white people, I can't eat gluten (celiac), and so I'm trying to find out whether it's ok to share pans with roommates who do cook with wheat, etc. Websites seem to repeat conflicting rumors, but provide little to back up their claims.
posted by aphysics09 to Health & Fitness (6 answers total)
In my house half the people have Celiac Disease, the rest don't and we use Teflon pans. When I cook on them, lets say grilled cheese sandwiches, I cook the gluten-free ones first and the 'regular' ones second. Then I wash the pans when I'm done. We don't seem to have any problems. FWIW we also use cast iron the same way.
posted by TooFewShoes at 6:23 PM on July 11, 2010

One member of our household has celiac - he hasn't been glutened from any teflon or other pots in the house - normal, thorough washing seems to be sufficient. Given the nature of teflon I would think it would be much LESS likely to retain gluten than cast iron fwiw.
posted by leslies at 6:45 PM on July 11, 2010

Just to clarify, my cast iron is a hand-me-down from my husband's grandmother. This stuff has a serious coating on it and works just like teflon. It would not surprise me to find out that this stuff is 70+ years old (we know it's at least 50.) So your experience will vary.
posted by TooFewShoes at 6:56 PM on July 11, 2010

When I wash a teflon pan clean, I proceed under the assumption that the pan harbors nothing. I mean, not even gooey stuff like syrup or cooking oil will be "harbored" on a clean teflon pan, much less easily washed off protein (gluten).
posted by telstar at 2:01 AM on July 12, 2010

Most people with celiac disease can tolerate trace amounts of gluten. Even "gluten-free" products are allowed to have very small amounts of gluten under most countries' regulations. One study (from 2007) concluded that a daily gluten intake of less than 10 mg. is unlikely to cause significant histological abnormalities
So provided your pan has been washed and doesn't have any obvious residues attached to it, you ought to be fine.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 3:19 AM on July 12, 2010

There are probably people out there who have had issues, but it's a safe bet that this has not been a controled study to see if the problem is specific adherance ratehr than doing a poor job of washing dishes. In the wonderful word of SCIENCE, there is this term - false positive. Contamination is one of the tried and true ways to get a false positive result.

My thought is that you should get a couple green scrubby pads that you can keep somehwhere out of the way and give a second wash/rinse cycle to anything that might be suspect.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 7:46 AM on July 12, 2010

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