Coping with Celiac Disease

(11 Posts)
craftysewer Thu 12-Dec-13 04:15:10

My daughter will be going to Uni next year and has Celiac Disease. Has anyone got a child in the same situation. I'm wondering how they manage to share the kitchen safely and avoid cross contamination.

Gunfleetsands Thu 12-Dec-13 09:02:46

If your DD declared that on her UCAS Form then Disability Services at the University will contact you to find out more about her condition. It would also be a good idea to put it on her accommodation request form. Doctor or Hospital Letter will be required as evidence though.

Does the University have catered Halls - that might solve the problem of cross contamination.

When she is allocated accommodation she will most probably receive a questionnaire about herself. Put it on there - maybe there will be others and she could be placed with them.

addictedtosugar Thu 12-Dec-13 09:25:12

We had a girl in our uni (self catered) halls who had picked up salmonella (sp?) shortly before starting uni. She had her own cupboard, own plates, pans etc. Noone else in the house picked up the bug BUT it was in our interests to keep clear of her stuff. Not sure how well it would be adhered to when just in your daughters interests for them not to borrow stuff.
The alernative would be to skip halls, and find a smaller, student, house share, where there are less people in the mix?

rightsaidfrederick Thu 12-Dec-13 11:03:45

Having worked in catering (not in a university, but in various naice event venues), I would suggest that cross-contamination may actually be more of an issue there.

I once worked on an event where a guest was allergic to nuts. However, some of the bread rolls had seeds on top, and the chef was concerned that this might trigger the nut allergy hmm So, he had us drone-level staff ensure that no one sat near (as in, within about 6 seats radius) had a bread roll within seeds on either. Unfortunately, the bread rolls had come in pre-made, with seedless and seeded all mixed together in a big bag. So, they thought that aerial cross-contamination would be an issue but having been touching each other wouldn't confused When I pointed that out I was told that I wasn't paid to think shockangry Anyway, the moral of the story is that catering staff often don't understand allergies, and I wouldn't bet that cross-contamination wouldn't be an issue in catered halls.

I'd suggest that her best bet might be to go self catered, ensure that she has taken a full set of her own cooking utensils, and ask people not to use them. If some drunken idiot fellow flatmate was to use one, would washing it be sufficient? If some of this concern stems from an idea of big communal meals, then reassure her that these happen rarely if ever for various reasons (different schedules, different tastes, different budgets, different levels of cooking skill).

My ds1 has coeliacs - he's too young for uni but has been on school camps etc where they cook for themselves. He has a set of utensils he takes, which we also use at home, but importantly these utensils/chopping boards are not wooden - so if they do get used by mistake small traces of gluten can't get wedged in the grain.

I think it will be down to her to check stuff is clean before she uses it - and really impress on her kitchen mates the importance of not using her butter etc.

We have some labels from easy2name that say no gluten and a name which I use to label stuff.

I guess if she can't trust her kitchenmates she will have to keep everything in her room - but most 18 year olds aren't totally daft so hopefully they will be considerate.

Theas18 Thu 12-Dec-13 22:20:25

Suspect you are over thinking this. If she goes self catered there isn't an issue really. Presumably shes grown up with it and knows what's what .....

Personally,apart from fridge stuff I kept my food, crockery, cutlery and pans in my room at uni anyway as they'd get stolen/eaten/broken etc !

I think big communal cooked student meals are the stuff or parental fantasy. I didn't, dd1 best mate self catered 1st year and didn't and dd didn't in her houses- last year and this. Yes they'll all have Sunday lunch sometimes, and are having Christmas dinner (3 omnivores 2vegetarians, one of whom is also gluten free - I suggested drop the turkey and have a roast dinner with a lentil loaf!) . Yes it would be nice if they cooked together and cheaper but they are all in and out at odd times!

Theas18 Thu 12-Dec-13 22:23:45

How sad to think that the uni might consider ghettos for coeliacs!( mentioned by a poster above)

Oh and DS mate who went to uni this year has a nut allergy. He's in catered hall and I haven't heard of any issues. If a uni can cope either that they can cope with gluten free surely? (I know it's horrible for her if she has any gluten, but she doesn't risk death as he does).

craftysewer Tue 07-Jan-14 22:48:08

Thanks everyone for your help. So sorry it's taken so long to get back to you. I probably am overthinking it as she was only diagnosed in the summer and we are all on a learning curve. I am guilty of previously thinking that anyone who who avoided gluten/flour/etc would just suffer an upset stomach if they ate it.
i didn't realise with CD that it affects the vili and it can take up to 6 months to recover meaning she doesn't receive the full nourishment from the food she eats. She has managed to put on 1kg in 6 months which is fantastic as she is 18, 7st and a size 4/6. I'm just worried for her. Theas it must be hard to try and protect your son and I know she doesn't risk death by being glutened but she does risk malabsorption, osteoporosis, fertility problems and anaemia to name just a few. I'm sure she will cope very well as she has been amazing since being diagnosed.

MrsBright Tue 07-Jan-14 23:37:25

She really wont be the only kid at Uni with a serious allergy. Unis are used to this sort of stuff, and will be able to cope with it.

My nephew has a serious dairy allergy - he's at Uni and doing fine. His best friends and his tutors are aware of exactly what to do if he collapses. He doesnt bother telling anyone else. Been at Uni over two years - no big dramas.

MrsBright Tue 07-Jan-14 23:43:04

Some advice here : http://www.glutafin.co.uk/coeliac-students/living-gluten-free-as-a-coeliac-student/

MrsBright Tue 07-Jan-14 23:44:57

And a possible Uni choice : http://www2.le.ac.uk/news/blog/2013/august/leicester-first-university-in-uk-to-receive-coeliac-uk-accreditation

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