Well, reading through this thread certainly has been an education.
I have been taught since I began exploring Orthodoxy that only the Lamb (amnos) is consecrated, and that this is why it is called the "Lamb" - it truly becomes Christ, the Lamb of God. The commemoration particles are just that but they are not called "the Lamb" because they are not consecrated. I was taught that the Mother of God, the ranks of Angels and Saints, and the living and departed are commemorated using these particles, and that they are placed around the Lamb, symbolising the whole communion of the Church, both those physically present and those absent, both the living and the departed, gathered around Christ, the Head. As has been pointed out, the rubrics call for the particles to be placed in the chalice after the Communion of the people, and only the Lamb is elevated at "Holy Things for the holy", and my parish priest was taught to make a small Cross over the Lamb at "and make this bread...", so I never encountered anything that made me think for a second that anybody would consider the commemoration particles to also be consecrated. It just never occurred to me that anybody would think this.
As for why such care is given to the consumption of the particles, well this means nothing more than they have been put to holy use and ought to be treated with reverence. The laity are taught to do the same with the antidoron, not simply allowing crumbs to fall to the floor. One sees them checking their hands, sucking up crumbs. This does not mean that we believe the antidoron is consecrated. Also, as it possible that some crumbs from the Lamb may have become detached on the diskos, it seems prudent to empty everything that remains on the diskos and antimins after communion into the chalice, and to ensure this with the sponge.
With no disrespect intended, the concept of any and anything coming into contact with the Holy Things becoming the Body and Blood of Christ seems to me to teeter on the edge of a magical approach to the Mysteries. A fly landing in the chalice does not become the Body of Christ. The spoon does not become the Body of Christ. Water added to the chalice does not become the Blood of Christ - certainly, it makes the Blood go further if need be by increasing the amount of fluid, but this is by diffusion of particles, surely, and not through some sort of magical passing on of essence through contact. Otherwise, in order to receive Communion, we would never need to serve a Liturgy ever again. We could just touch multiple loaves to a portion of the Holy Body each week, and place a tiny drop of the precious Blood in a massive vat of water, and we would be set up for years to come. As for the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, when I have witnessed the Holy Things prepared for reservation, the Holy Body has been infused with the Precious Blood slowly poured onto it with the spoon, so the question of whether the wine in the chalice becomes the Blood of Christ becomes moot in one sense. It ought to be treated with reverence and fully consumed because of what it contains and what it is used for but the question of turning things into the Body and Blood of Christ strikes me as being in the same sort of of area as the question of whether a consecration happens if a priest says the dominical words and epiklesis as he walks past a shop window where bread and wine are displayed. It betrays a very interetsing understanding of what is happening at the Divine Liturgy.
the uneducated Subdeacon Michael, who speaks only from limited experience and what seems to him in keeping with what he has been taught by those who know better than him