When you go out to eat, you don’t expect to be taking your life in your hands when you step through the restaurant door. But if you suffer from a food allergy, that’s exactly what you are doing. Six deaths a year are caused by food allergies and it seems the restaurant world isn’t exactly manning the barricades when it comes to food safety.
Let’s just clearly define what a food allergy is, as opposed to a food intolerance: A food allergy is not a rash or an itch or a bloated stomach. It involves an immune system response and it causes histamine to be produced in the body, leading in many cases to anaphylactic shock, which can be fatal if not treated immediately. The eight commonest food allergens are peanuts, eggs, milk, shellfish, wheat, fish, soy and tree nuts. Think how common all of these ingredients are in a kitchen, how many, many recipes they are used in, the inevitability of cross-contamination – and it might cause you to wonder how anyone with a genuine food allergy can ever eat out safely. Read full post