4 helpful restaurant tips for food allergy sufferers

November 14, 2014

Dining out doesn't have to be stressful for people who suffer from food allergies, so long as they take these necessary precautions. Here is how you can make dining out easier.

4 helpful restaurant tips for food allergy sufferers

1. Pick the right restaurant

If you have a very particular kind of food allergy, make sure you avoid restaurants that specialize in that item.

  • For example, if you're allergic to shellfish, it's wise to avoid seafood restaurants.
  • If you've been invited to a restaurant that you're unsure about, do some research about the cuisine or call ahead to ask about the menu.
  • If you're in charge of picking the restaurant, try choosing one that offers a wide variety of options to erasure that you, and any other food allergy sufferers, can find something that's safe to eat.

2. Call ahead

If you're planning to eat at a restaurant, call ahead and make sure there are some items that you can eat that do not contain your allergen.

  • When you call, ask to speak to the manager of the restaurant, since he or she is the most important point of contact in the facility.
  • He or she can then relay instructions to the servers, to the chefs, and to the maître d'.
  • Explain that you're interested in dining at the restaurant, but you have concerns regarding your food allergy. This will give staff the time to gather adequate information and to plan ahead for your visit.

3. Verify cooking methods

Just because your allergen is not the featured ingredient of a certain dish, it doesn't mean it isn't disguised somewhere in a broth, sauce or filling.

  • Inform your server about your allergy, and make sure he or she verifies with the chef that the ingredient hasn't been used at any point in the cooking process.
  • Many restaurants keep an allergy list that details which menu items are safe for those with particular allergies.

4. Return to good restaurants

If you visit a restaurants whose staff have taken care of you in the past, it's a surefire way to ensure an allergen-free meal in the future. Consider keeping a list of restaurants that you've enjoyed to consult whenever you're choosing a place to eat out.

Don't let a food allergy stop you from going out and enjoying a delicious meal at a restaurant. Just be sure to take a few precautions beforehand to stay safe.

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