Eating at a restaurant, bakery, cafeteria, or fast food establishment can be an enjoyable and convenient experience. However, if you have food allergies, it’s imperative that every precaution has been taken to ensure the food being served is safe. Persons with food allergies should generally avoid high-risk types of restaurants, including:
Buffets and deli stations (risk of cross-contact).
Asian cuisine (peanuts, tree nuts used in many dishes).
Bakeries (risk of cross-contact).
Ethnic (language barrier).
Some good ways to reduce exposure risks, are to look for the allergy information from the restaurant. Some chains are food-allergy aware and may post allergen information on their Web sites. Try to establish a good relationship with manager, staff, and consider using a “chef card” to alert the staff about your food allergy. Most of all, if anyone with a food allergy is not comfortable with the items served, leave the restaurant to avoid an emergency.
Learn more about food allergies from the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Connection Team.