Wednesday, June 13, 2012

In the News: Food Allergies and Restaurants

Lately, the news has been full of stories that touch on food allergies and restaurants. I wanted to share some of them, because dining out with life-threatening food allergies continues to be a stressful experience. We can never be 100% certain that we are being heard in a restaurant regarding allergies -- or that life-threatening food allergies are completely understood by restaurant staff and chefs. That said, there appears to be a growing awareness, so I wanted to share some stories and links that are interesting and/or helpful as we strive to find "safe" places to eat.

A family member forwarded me this recent Wall Street Journal article about how restaurants are coping with diners who have food allergies or food restrictions. Much of the article deals with gluten-free issues, but there is some significant mention of life-threatening food allergies. Click here to read the story.

The Allergic Living Facebook page recently shared this link about a new bill in Rhode Island that proposes each restaurant should have mandatory training on food allergies, to the point that at least one person on staff must be expert at dealing with them. This bill was led by a teen with nut allergies. Currently, Massachusetts is the only state in the U.S. that has any kind of enforced food allergy law with regard to dining establishments. You can read this news story here.

This next article has nothing to do with food allergies, per se, but I wanted to include this link because many times, I have heard from those of us who are being perceived as "over the top" with regard to restaurant caution. Restaurants can be great, but they can also be hazardous to your health for basic food safety/hygiene/management reasons. (Those of you who watch Kitchen Nightmares know that they can fill an entire show with this topic!) Now add severe food allergies: caution is definitely required! Click this link to read about general dining out rules for health and safety.

I wanted to offer a great link from a dining out with allergies expert, Sloane Miller of Allergic Girl. She wrote a wonderful piece for Allergic Living magazine about dining out with food allergies/intolerance and she shares some wonderful tips and reassuring advice. Click here for the article.You can find so much allergy advice in this publication, so go to their web site to find out how to become a subscriber. I'm an associate editor and before that, I was a devoted reader/subscriber. And I still am, of course. :)

Finally, I hope those of you who are coping with nut allergies and feeling overwhelmed by a new diagnosis will check out my e-book : " The New Nut-Free Mom: A Crash Course in Caring for Your Allergic Child, available on Kindle and on your computer using a free Kindle App. You can also download to your iPad. Here is the link to my e-book, available on Amazon. Here is what Susan Weissman, author of "Feeding Eden", a parent's memoir about raising a child with food allergies, had to say about my e-book.


Debbie said...

Great about training restaurant employees. Undoubtedly it will be the customer who pays for it and will probably be reflected in increased prices.

Cindy said...

Thank you for these resources! I haven't dined out in a few months, because my allergies have gotten more and more severe. It looks like I'll be stable enough to dine out in a couple months or so, and these tips will help me manage my new allergies and my old ones so much better.