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June/July 2009 Issue
Some Allergy Friendly Tips on Eating Out
If you’re food allergic, select a restaurant with a gluten-free menu. A chef who is able to work with one special diet is usually able to accommodate other dietary needs.
Contact the manager during non-peak hours and explain your food allergy or sensitivity. When you make the reservation, have staff note your allergy next to your name. When you arrive, ask to speak to the manager or chef to confirm your special needs.
Make It Clear
Along with providing a list of the foods you can’t eat, be sure to discuss potential cross contamination concerns. Invest in dining cards to quickly explain your condition. Visit LivingWithout.com for gluten-free and dairy-free cards.
Become a Regular
Select a few favorite restaurants and develop a relationship over time. Chefs at small, local places know the menu and can help you select items that are safe.
Chain restaurants often use prepackaged dishes. This means kitchen staff have little control or knowledge of specific ingredients. If you eat at a chain, choose one that offers a gluten-free menu. See page 20 for a list of restaurants.
Keep It Simple
Select simple dishes with fewer ingredients. Avoid casseroles, sauces, soups and marinades.
Be appreciative to wait staff, the chef and the manager. Gratitude goes a long way in ensuring a good experience on your next visit.
Go with Your Gut
If you’re uncomfortable with the response from restaurant staff, don’t eat there. Pick another restaurant.