Hand a "Chef Card" to your waiter / waitress which clearly itemizes your allergen and common variations of it. (For instance, peanuts might also be referred to as ground nuts, beer nuts, or monkey nuts.) Include instructions that cooking surfaces, utensils and ingredients must be free from your allergen(s).
Make it easy! Put "Table # _______" on your card so that your waiter/waitress can enter it while at your table (before handed to the chef). Best case scenario, the card stays with (or is taped to) your plate.
Having an allergy is certainly not fun.
Those with severe food allergies have no choice but to read ingredient labels on everything we ingest and/or apply.
Grocery shopping takes a LOT of time. Most of our meals are made "from scratch" because of additives in many prepared foods. I, personally, have severe peanut and soy allergies. I find locating a "boring" loaf of bread hard (a good many now contain soy flour). Many brands of canned tuna fish contain soy. Yikes!
And, ingredients change. What might have been "safe" for me at some point, no longer is. So, read, read, and read!
Some items of concern are:
- foods and drinks
- hair products: shampoos / conditioners
- skin products
- makeup (i.e., lipsticks, etc.)
- pet foods/treats (watch handling them!)