After interviewing hundreds of churches on the best practices for safely serving and storing gluten free wafers we've learned from their experiences, mistakes and successes.
10 simple steps are summarized in this church volunteer's guide to help you prepare safe, gluten free Communion. The most essential suggestion we can offer is to check with your church members for additional insight on how to meet their needs and protect them from cross contact risks.
Serving Gluten Free Communion Wafers Safely, a Church Volunteer's Guide
- Wash your hands before working with the gluten free Communion wafers. Non-latex gloves are recommended.
- Work with gluten free wafers first; move those out of the room before working with wafers/bread containing gluten. If possible assign a dedicated volunteer to this exclusive task.
- Put wafers on a plate/tray that has never come into contact with anything containing gluten.
- Cover plate with cellophane or put individual wafers in new, food safe zip lock bags. (Find miniature bags here.)
- Do not place tray near anything in the sanctuary that contains gluten.
- Participants may dip wafers in a cup of grape juice or wine as long as only gluten free wafers are being dipped into the cup.
- When the service is over, throw out the wafers not used unless they are still in individualized bag.
- Keep the plate separate from the others, so you can use the same one every time. This is also true for linens.
- Wash the gluten free plate first. Dry it and put it away before you wash anything else. Do not stack the gluten free plate with the others before or after you wash it.
- Store wafer jar in a large zip lock bag away from all gluten. Wafers can be frozen.
Special thanks go to Joanne Moore for the extra research in preparing these guidelines for Altar Guilds and church volunteers.
If you have questions or great ideas about keeping Communion safe for celiacs and others, please call Celebrate Communion, 877-222-0771. I’d love to chat with you about this important topic and will continue sharing it forward with others in the gluten free community. -- Bless you as you serve, Lori Ralls, manager
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