When plates, pans, and silverware are shared in an office, you will not know for certain how well they were cleaned before being made available to use again. Without proper cleaning, it’s possible that residual gluten could be left behind in a corner or crevice and if you can’t tolerate a trace without getting sick, consider bringing your own things to use or re-cleaning anything you use. This will at least eliminate any suspicion and bring peace of mind.
Be cautious of the usual lunch room suspects such as the community toaster, microwave oven, and cutting board. Workplace lunch rooms are not known for their cleanliness, and you need to be concerned with the potential for cross-contact if you use this equipment. Also, don’t forget about the infamous dish towel that everyone uses to dry their dishes. It could have been used to wipe away crumbs on the table from the morning coffee cake.
It’s best not to be tempted by foods that are available for anyone in the community refrigerator. While something may appear to be gluten-free, you won’t know how it was prepared and what hidden issues it may hold.
At office potlucks, try to be the first in line. This way you can select the foods you can eat and won’t run the risk of any cross contact service issues, like the spoon from the pasta salad accidentally making its way into the fruit salad bowl.