Zero8 | Resto-Bar

Restaurant sans allergène

I’m going to need to get my passport, a long weekend, and maybe even a French/English dictionary so I can drive to Montreal and have several meals at my new ideal vacation destination: Zero8

I just learned of the wonderful existence of Zero8 thanks to the ever informative Allergy Eats Blog.  Paul at Allergy Eats is always on top of current allergy issues with restaurants (like recent fast-food menu changes), and it’s great to see that a restaurant like this even exists in the first place.  What’s their deal?

Well, they are free of the top 8 allergens, plus a few other things… and seem to be extremely sensitive to the needs of those with food allergies, food intolerances, and celiac disease.  This quote alone from their “Learn More” page is really incredibly comforting:

As everyone suffering from food allergies knows, going to the restaurant with family, friends or colleagues is not always enjoyable: limited knowledge of the ingredients used in dishes, fear of cross-contamination, lack of confidence in the staff are some of the worries that can come with ordering a simple meal!

A food allergy cannot be taken lightly. Difficulty breathing, loss of consciousness, inflammation and vomiting are some of the extreme reactions that the immune system can have when confronted with a food protein. The consequences can be dramatic. Serious allergies can cause an anaphylactic shock, a violent reaction that can cause loss of consciousness and sometimes death.

At Zero8 we offer a secure environment where you can eat with confidence. We guarantee a worry-free meal!

…And something more restaurants ought to understand, express, & practice.  Or at least this could translate to other restaurants:

Since most food allergies are caused by the 9 priority allergens, you may be allergic to other foods. That is why we identify all of the ingredients in our dishes on our menu and that the list of our kitchen’s authorized ingredients is available upon request at any time. Whenever possible, we try to accommodate our clients’ requests in adapting dishes to their particular needs.

Zero8 pays attention to your needs!

Is that too much to ask?

I have no idea why Canada seems to be light-years ahead of the United States where food allergies are concerned.  They have better legislation, tolerance for epi-pens, and awareness.

Chefs in the US need to get behind this!  If there was a place like this in Pittsburgh, you could bet I’d be there all the time and I’d tell all my friends & family about the place.  There were a ton of Pittsburghers at the Food Allergy Walk last year, you have your clientele ready!

Click the Allergy Eats Blog logo to read about Paul’s experience there!

Allergy Eats Blog

My Food Allergy Responses Graph

Inspired by the Food Allergy Fun graph of responses that Tiffany gets when she tells people her child has a food allergy, I made my own graph.  These are the typical responses that I, as an adult, get when I tell people about my shellfish allergy & try to give a brief description of the dangers of cross-contamination.

Typical Responses When I Explain my Food Allergy & Cross Contamination:

This is what I hear all the time.

Click the graph above for the full-sized image.

Food Allergy Fun | Actual Responses – Food Allergy Fun Graph

Sad, but funny.  Food Allergy Fun‘s Tiffany is always good for a giggle.  At least I only have to worry about myself, not a little one.  I could make a similar graph of responses that I encounter when I tell other adults about my food allergy.

Actual Responses – Food Allergy Fun Graph

Actual Responses - Food Allergy Fun Graph

via Food Allergy Fun (click image to go there!)

via Food Allergy Fun: Actual Responses – Food Allergy Fun Graph.

…blah blah blah Food Allergy blah blah blah blah.

Sad, but true.

blah blah blah food allergy blah blah blah blah

Image via Food Allergy Fun

I encourage you to read more at Food Allergy Fun!  Hey, we all have to maintain some sense of humor about food allergies, and when we laugh at excellent cartoons like this, we know we’re all in it together & not alone (like it feels sometimes).

Follow Tiffany on Twitter for more cartoons as they happen!  I’m (obviously) a big fan.

Pittsburgh’s Food Allergy Walk 2011 Recap

4th out of the 5 top individual earners!

4th out of the 5 top individual earners!

So, we had a great time on Sunday at the Pittsburgh Food Allergy Walk!  I was honored to receive a certificate for being a top individual fundraiser, and glad I could help.  I was also asked to perhaps take part in getting the word out next year, and maybe be in on some of the planning.  My online chatter was picked up by this year’s volunteer chair Uwe Winzen, as well as the founder of EpiMoms (I’m a terrible person, I forgot her name already).  How cool is that?

(I say next year, we get the 501st Legion out there!  –  Looks like they appeared at some other cities’ food allergy walks!)

Campaign Progress | Goal: $50,000.00 Achieved: $39,333.05

Campaign Progress - Goal: $50,000.00 Achieved: $39,333.05

As of right now, the site states that we raised $39,333.05 toward the $50k goal.  I head a number in the $40 range on Sunday, but perhaps they’re still tallying cash & check donations made the day of the walk.  With online & offline donations, I raised $560.55 and Bethany raised $106.85… so we raised a total of $667.40.  We quite literally could not have done it without the support of our friends & family.

I did notice that I was in the minority… all the walkers received a ribbon: Blue for people with food allergies, green for friends & family supporters.  I didn’t see too many people my age or older with blue ribbons.  It seemed to be a core of families who had small children & young teens with food allergies.

Kyle Dine

Kyle Dine

It was fun to finally meet & see a performance from Kyle Dine after talking via Twitter & Facebook.  After all, we do represent the #FoodAllergyDudeArmy.  Kyle does great work educating kids on what to do regarding not taking food from just anyone, getting an adult to read labels, and speaking out right away about reactions…  as well as letting them know they’re not alone.  I also got to personally thank local celebrity Sally Wiggin for her generous donation!  She called me a sweetheart.

I have some photos up on Facebook, and hope to send them to FAAN so they can be placed in their Flickr photostream.  Hopefully others will comment on the day’s events at the Pittsburgh Food Allergy Walk Facebook Page.

Got a nice little video thank-you from FAAN too:

Smiley Cookie

Smiley Cookie

One of the coolest things I took away from the day was talking to Chef Regis Holden from Eat ‘n Park about their food allergy policies & procedures.  He told us how he worked with Bill Moore, their Director of Safety and Security, to develop practices from marking the order, to looking up all of the ingredients with possible cross-contaminants, to this awesome little purple kit with a sterile sanitary contaminant-free cutting board, knife, tongs, and other tools.  Chef Holden also spoke of yearly allergen training video refreshers, and of how he had just recently heard good things about the Eat ‘n Park on Banksville Road which is nearby.  I may just have to go see for myself, and blog about their process and my adventure!

Thanks again to everyone who gave us donations, and to the walk organizers.  I think we did some good work for FAAN!

Search Terms for 7 days ending 2011-07-27 (Summarized)

Amusing search terms from the last week…

Search Terms for 7 days ending 2011-07-27 (Summarized)

2011-07-20 to Today

Search Views
sonic allergen information 15 6
sonic allergy information 5
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food allergy awareness poster massachusetts 3
allergen signs 3
mussel allergy 2
parking chair 2
shortcode texting blocked on sprint 2
hollywood magic movies police 2
message 1051 sprint 2
star wars movie order 2
movie list with gorillas 2
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food allergy poster 2
giant eagle vs shop n save vs kuhns 2 1
funny farm film 1
were can i buy arby’s bbq sauce 1
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brooksfilms, ltd. (mel brooks) 1
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kids pizza mazes 1
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k.cfarobinson chick-fil-a 1
my childhood devrim filmleri 1
sprint msg 1051 1
error code 1051 epic 1
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tanya staal 1
sonic allergies 1
awkward family photos thanksgiving letter 1
baby secret of the lost legend 1
text message response msg 1051 1
dutch haven homemade rootbeer 1
2111 mcdonald’s drive 1
did katelyn carlson have an epi pen 1
k.cfarobinson. 1
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sprint 1051 1
katelyn carlson allergy 1
kronenwetter water problem areas 1
allergen signage 1
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functionless art is simply tolerated vandalism…we are the vandals 1
msg 1051 1
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“commonwealth of pennsylvania” “seal” 1
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katelyn carlson 1
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kately carlson 1
toybox video songs 1 1
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why is short code texting blocked on my sprint account 1
food allergic tragedies 1
if i try to text a short code on my phone i will get a message saying the shortcode you texted has expired or short code texting is blocked but it isnt blocked and it hasnt expired 1
doritos and shellfish allergy 1
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goofy nudes 1 1
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sonic allergen menu 1
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sonic allergy 1
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cellphone cross contamination foodservice 1

Keep in mind we don’t count your own visits. This report from 2011-07-27, 14:20:43 UTC-4.

Get a proclamation from your state governor that says “diarrhea”!

Food Allergy Awareness Week


So, Food Allergy Awareness Week 2011 is still a little far off, but at the same time it’s quickly approaching.

Personally, I’m all about pushing it from a consumer-level rather than having some government mandates handed down to reluctant (and perhaps allergen-ignorant) business owners.

But, at the same time, I see the monumental importance of government recognition.  It spreads awareness and gives hope to those of us trying to express the validity and seriousness of food allergies and anaphylaxis.

So, I urge you to do your part, and write to the governor of your state asking for them to declare recognition of Food Allergy Awareness Week.  From the FAAN website:

Take ActionFood Allergy Awareness Week: May 8-14, 2011

Ask your Governor to Issue a Food Allergy Awareness Week Proclamation

Issuing a Food Allergy Awareness Week (FAAW) proclamation is a great way to help raise awareness in your State!

Ask your Governor to declare May 8-14, 2011 Food Allergy Awareness Week!

In 2010, FAAW was recognized in a RECORD 37 STATES! Let’s break this record in 2011!

As of Feb 8, 2011, only one proclamation has been issued (Minnesota). Only 49 more states to go!

So, what are you waiting for?  It only takes a few minutes, and you may even get a nifty official-looking document from your governor with a state seal that has the word “diarrhea” on it.  I mean, how funny is that?