Disney does food allergies with the best of intentions.


So, you know how I’m always saying I’d like a push from a consumer level rather than government regulations or mandates regarding food allergies?  This is what I’m talking about:

On our first trip we asked one of the chefs why they do such a wonderful job accommodating food allergic children at Disney World, he said, “We want the repeat business.”  It would be wonderful if other resorts would take this cue from Disney and realize that if they accommodate food allergic children and their families, we will return with pleasure and continue to be loyal customers.

Check out the full article by Lisa Giuriceo on Allergy Eats, it’s honest, inspiring and gives hope.  Someday we’ll be safe.  Someday accidents won’t happen.  I just may have to save my pennies & book a Disney vacation.

Former logo of the Walt Disney World Resort, u...

Sadly, my only dream is to not go into anaphylactic shock.

Share your food allergy story to help a student [from Allergy Eats]


Allergy Eats Logo

Share your food allergy story to help a student

I haven’t posted about food allergies in a while.  I guess nothing has “set me off”. I guess that’s a good thing, right?  This is a good share though… You can help spread Food Allergy Awareness by helping this student put together a presentation for her sociology class using your stories.

This was the initial message to Paul at Allergy Eats:

Hey Paul,

I’m doing a presentation in my sociology class about the social impact and quality of life of food allergies on children, teens, and young adults. I was wondering if you could put on the website a place where people could talk about the impact FA have on them and/or their children? I’m also looking for how it impacts the family members and close friends of the FA individual.

Thanks!

You can get more details on how to share your story here: Share your food allergy story to help a student

I’m sure that any & all help is appreciated.  Even though I’m too old f=to even qualify for “young adult” any more, I shared a link to my “background” blog post and the more recent humorous graphPlease, share your story & share this link!

Hopefully the presentation can be posted online when finished, and we can all benefit from that much more food allergy awareness.

Zero8


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

New AllergyEats App


So, I’ve blogged about Allergy Eats many times before.  You know I think it’s an awesome resource, but can only be useful if users rate restaurants.  Now, it’s easier than ever to do… with new iPhone and Android apps!

AllergyEats Apps!

AllergyEats Apps!

AllergyEats T-shirt

AllergyEats.com

You can read the word from Allergy Eats about the release here or get the app you need here.

Paul from AllergyEats is good people, he recently donated to FAAN for my Food Allergy Walk in Pittsburgh!

I encourage you to spread the word to anyone that you know with food allergies, so we can all take advantage of the awesome ever-expanding database now available anywhere that you can get cell phone service!

http://twitter.com/#!/AllergyEats/status/108896162949496832

http://twitter.com/#!/allergicgirl/status/108895739429658624

16 Tips for Dining Out With Food Allergies (via Calorie Lab)


EpiPens are portable epinephrine-dispensing de...

Image via Wikipedia

I haven’t blogged much about food allergies lately, so I’ll let this be a substitute post… with tips compiled from the experts.  This is a great list, & I agree with everything stated, though I have my own personal way of going about things.

Calorie Lab | 16 Tips for Dining Out With Food Allergies: Insight From Food Allergy Experts, Advocates and Professionals

16 Tips for Dining Out With Food Allergies: Insight From Food Allergy Experts, Advocates and Professionals

So, do you have a separate fryer for fish & shellfish?

What do I do different?  I don’t like phone calls.  Sometimes, the wife calls for me.  Sometimes, I peep the menu online.  Sometimes, I break down & call ahead.

A lobster ate my baby!

Shellfish on a menu jumps out at me like this.

My favorite anecdote on this subject…  I called an Amish restaurant in Ohio and asked if they had shellfish, and was told that they had lobster, shrimp, and oysters… but nothing was served in a shell.

I’ll let you think about that for a minute.

Anyway, I can’t stress enough… ask the right questions, to the right people.  Don’t trust people telling you “oh, they don’t have any [whatever you’re allergic to] on the menu”.  Happens to me all the time.  90% of the time, they’re wrong.  Check yourself!  Ask if there’s any daily specials that don’t show up on a regular or online menu.  To relax, it helps to surround yourself with supportive friends & family.  It helps to go back to places that you know are safe.  Don’t eat w/o your Epi Pen close by.  (I have been guilty of this.  It’s dumb – like riding a motorcycle without a helmet.)

Allergy Eats, AllerDine, & Eating With Food Allergies are great resources.  There are many other resources out there too.  Use ’em!

What do you think about the tips?  What do you do before dining out with food allergies?  What advice would you pass on to the food allergic?