At the beginning of our food allergy journey, we kept separate utensils and cookware to minimize cross contamination from allergens like dairy, eggs and nuts. Over the years we've come to rely more on the dishwasher to clean kitchen items effectively and much of our kitchen-ware is used for all food prep. So, it was with great interest that I read the July 2012 article in Consumer Report, "Dishwasher Detergents: A Tarnished Reputation?"
While the article doesn't specifically address food allergens, the testing did evaluate whether detergents removed food residue like peanut butter, pudding and cream cheese. This is important in a household where some family members eat peanut butter sandwiches and bagels with cream cheese, while others are allergic to those same ingredients. The winners? Finish Powerball Tabs, Cascade Complete All in 1 Action Pacs and Finish Quantum.
I know that some households feel more comfortable keeping all allergens out of the kitchen, or at least keeping separate utensils and cookware. Due to the large number of allergies we were dealing with, that wasn't working on our house. I frequently change dishcloths and try to buy the detergents most highly rated for removing food residue. Fortunately Consumer Reports did the work for us and I'm comfortable with any of their top three.