After over a year of lockdowns and takeaways, everyone is embracing trips to restaurants, bars, and everything in between. However, if you have a food allergy, eating and drinking outside the home can be super stressful. Luckily enough, there are more legislations and rules in place to keep you safe nowadays but here are a few extra things you can do to be on the safe side!
Check, Double Check, and Then Check Once More
- When you make the reservations, let the restaurant know what requirements you have. If you book online, there is usually a special notes section where you can tell them.
- Call before you go! If you want to be sure, give them a ring a few days before and ask them for an allergen menu.
- Let them know once you arrive. Usually, the waiter will ask if there are any allergies on the table but if not, mention it to the manager.
Scroll Though Food Allergy Websites
Use the resources that are out there! There are plenty of forums and organisations out there designed to send in you in the right direction and save you time when looking to eat out.
- For a gluten allergy, Coeliac UK has an amazing list of GF accredited venues that have been tried and tested!
- For nut allergies, Nut Mums offers a comprehensive list of reviews and recommendations from parents of children with a nut allergy. Bear in mind that this is more of a forum so you may need to double-check. Metro also has a great article!
Don’t Be Scared to Send Food Back
Give your food a really good check when your meal arrives. If something does not look or smell right, don’t be scared to send it back. It’s always best to air on the side of caution! If you do have a food allergy incident, you should notify the Food Standards Agency to inform them.
- Think about the cuisine: this may seem obvious but different cuisines pose differing levels of risk. For example, Thai food will be more likely to contain nuts and Italian food generally contains gluten.
- Timing: when the restaurant is busier, cross-contamination is more likely.
- Prepare for emergencies: if you do require some form of adrenaline auto injector or medication, make sure you have it to hand.
How Can FoodLama Help?
If you need to keep up to date with the ingredients lists of your favourite products, download FoodLama! You can input the dietary requirements for your household so that you can chill out and let FoodLama label check.