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Food Allergy Concierge Blog

Should Israeli restaurants carry EpiPen’s?

  Last week Israel was shocked with the news of a 23-year-old woman with a milk allergy dying suddenly because of an allergic reaction. She was eating out in a kosher meat restaurant. Kosher restaurants have an obligation not to bring anything containing dairy into the restaurant. The young woman ordered a desert with whipped cream, assuming it didn’t contain dairy because the restaurant was kosher and could not serve dairy with meat. The restaurant had run out of whipped cream, so they ran out to a store to buy more. The restaurant staff didn’t make sure that it was parve...
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The Peanut Allergy

Peanut allergy is one of the most prevalent allergies in the world. The allergy to peanuts can range from severe to mild symptoms, depending on the case. Peanut allergy is widespread among children.  The peanut allergy is not airborne. An airborne allergy is a biological substance that triggers an immune system when it enters the body. Meaning, if someone is eating something with peanuts across the room, you will not have an allergic reaction.  An allergic reaction Symptoms Mild symptoms  A rash HivesRunny nose  Severe symptoms  Difficulty breathing Repetitive coughing Vomiting Swollen lips Hives spread all over the body    Causes  The peanut allergy causes an immune...
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Fears that Food Allergy Children Have and How to Deal with Them

As parents, we look to support our children. It is important to us that they feel safe, loved, and understood. However, if you are a parent with a child with food allergies and yourself have never had any, you may find it difficult to relate to your child. Without knowing how food allergies can affect your daily life, how could you possibly help your child through it? While every child is different, we have found some patterns among those in the food allergy community and have compiled a list of things your child may be dealing with and creative ways to...
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Does Having Food Allergies Affect Career Choices?

When someone has food allergies, their lives can seem limited. They must make serious dietary changes. They often can't eat out at restaurants, and they have to make sure no one in their work/ or school comes with their allergen. Most people don't realize that people with food allergies are sometimes limited in their career options. Many jobs aren't possible for people with food allergies. The classic example is a chef. When someone wants to become a chef or a baker, they are likely to encounter their allergen. If their allergen only affects them when they eat it, it might be...
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Early Introduction of Allergens to Children

In the past, food allergies were considered rare. However, there has been a huge increase (50%) in the number of people who have food allergies between 1997 and 2011. In fact, 32 million Americans suffer from food allergies and 1 in every 13 children has a severe food allergy. Each year over 200,000 people (in the U.S) require emergency medical care for allergic reactions to food.  These are very scary statistics. Parents with kids who have food allergies must modify their lives and the lives of their families to accommodate their children. They are also constantly worried about their child suffering...
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How To Do a Nut-Free Pesach

Nut allergies have become increasingly popular over the past few decades. In fact, on average, it affects over 3 million Americans every year. Living with a nut allergy is a challenge, especially during Pesach, where most recipes, particularly cakes, cookies, and sweets, have some form of nuts. Since 2005, the law requires companies to label all their food products for allergens. However, many products still might have cross-contamination. During Pesach, many of the packaged kosher for Pesach foods have cross-contamination with nuts. Many factories produce many different types of food, some of which contain nuts. This causes cross-contamination with their food,...
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Food Allergies & Pregnancy – a personal story

I always considered my family one that was close-knit and accepting. Call it naivety, but that’s how it was. Until something happened that opened my eyes a little bit: My sister-in-law developed allergies to peanuts. At the age of 29. After a pregnancy (her third). I was 12 at the time. Let me preface by explaining that my sister-in-law had a reputation of being a hypochondriac, so that didn’t help. All I remember is one Sunday we got a phone call that my sister-in-law was taken to hospital after an anaphylactic reaction to something as of yet unknown. What followed for her...
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Common Food Allergy Substitutes

Having food allergies doesn't always mean that you have to give up your favorite meals. There are many great options to replace an allergen with a safe substitute. Here are some of the most common substitutes for allergens. Milk Milk is high in fat and protein. So, when thinking of a substitute, we need to find something that has similar qualities. Soy milk is a good option for replacing milk. It has almost as much protein and calcium as regular milk. Rice milk, Cashew milk, and almond milk are also great substitutes for milk (however, they are lower in fat). The...
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Sanitizing vs. cleaning

Over the years, we have had many cases of people who ate out in restaurants with a child who had a food allergy. The manager and staff ensured that everything was thoroughly cleaned and safe for consumption. However, their child ended up having an allergic reaction to the food. Most people don't realize the vast difference between cleaning versus sterilizing and that sterilizing is crucial for anyone with severe allergies. A common allergy myth is that people think that soap and water are enough to prevent cross-contamination. While soap, water, and paper towels are enough to keep your hands clean from...
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Allergy Guilt & Tips

I can't recall a single cinematic scene in which a person with food allergies expresses their feelings of guilt about their allergies' negative impact on their loved ones' lives. Family, close friends, classmates, or co-workers may not be allowed to eat certain foods around them, or they may have to ask they are significant others to change an aspect of their diet so that intimate contact will not expose them to dangerous allergens. This is a crucial aspect of having food allergies that nobody discusses and of which the public (allergy-free individuals) may aa be aware. Having a food allergy, and...
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Mishloach Manot & Food Allergies?

Purim is a stressful time for parents who have children with food allergies, particularly regarding mishloach manot. While Purim is a joyful holiday for the Jewish community, the exchange of gift baskets, called mishloach manot, can be very challenging for people with food allergies. People make all kinds of delicious baked goods and treats for their family and friends, often with eggs, nuts, sesame, and other allergens. People who have food allergies, however, feel left out, and they are worried about an allergic reaction. All parents want their kids to be happy and participate in cultural (or religious) events, like normal...
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An Allergy-Free Trip in Israel - Tips

Israel is a beautiful, exotic, historical country with many excellent tourist sites like the Old City in Jerusalem, the Galilee sea, and the Ein Gedi Reserve.  Israel has a fast-growing culinary world with fabulous fresh food options and the heavy Mediterranean and exotic Asian fusions mixed with European influences.  Millions of people visit Israel each year from virtually every country in the world, but until now, Israel was challenging for people with allergies.  Nuts and sesame are a staple of the Mediterranean Diet. When you walk past a bakery, everything is covered in sesame and nuts! However, few people in Israel...
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Can honey be a cure for allergies???

The world is going natural! And what better way to live by this than by treating allergies with honey. Right? Well, not so fast. The theory behind using honey as a treatment for allergies is that repeatedly exposing a person to small amounts of an allergen desensitizes them to it- similar to an allergy shot. And while this is great in theory- unfortunately, it is not backed by science. Honey has reportedly been linked to lessened symptoms of people with seasonal allergies, but conclusions haven’t been consistent in clinical studies, with some studies showing 0% effectiveness. Honey’s healing powers Honey has...
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Vegan capital of the world

Welcome to Tel Aviv- a beautiful city filled with love, life, adventure, and a whole universe of veganism! Yep- welcome to the Vegan capital of the world- a title previously held by Berlin, now by Tel Aviv, a city in Israel filled with the unique flavors that are signature to the vegan world, with farm to table a literal reality. Tel Aviv boasts more than 400 vegan or vegan-friendly restaurants, serving the ever-growing number of 200,000 vegans, which has blossomed over the last 6 years. Vega eating in Tel Aviv is a chance to taste some of the best food in...
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Elderly people with food allergies: PART 2

For part 1, click here. By the time a couple is in their 60’s, they have a set way of living and managing their lives. Change is hard, and opinions are unappreciated. Many couples with one spouse who has a food allergy live harmoniously with the allergen in the home. The partner without the food allergy most likely has a system set up to enjoy the products without endangering their partner, whether this includes only using paper wear when eating, washing their hands extra carefully, or brushing their teeth after eating the allergen. If they have received guidance from their allergist-...
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Challenges of eating out during gap-year

Hungry?  Want to grab a snack after night seder?  Your friends are all gathering around (ok, maybe a bit less with social distancing 😉 ), chowing down on burgers, fries, or pizza, and you are crunching your apple.  That is the unfortunate reality of the life of an allergic kid during their gap year.  It’s such a hard decision.  Stay in North America where you know you are safe from allergens (clearly labeled and general awareness) or go to Israel where there is no awareness and no labeling, but be with your friends and have a year of learning in Israel. ...
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Where are all the allergy-friendly restaurants in Israel???

The food allergy community in Israel faces numerous challenges- from the lack of accessibility to allergy-free products to a culture highly focused on foods that include the most common allergens like sesame and peanuts, to a society that falls far behind in their knowledge and awareness of food allergies. Researching safe products is a full-time job, shopping in bakeries a faint dream, and ensuring adequate care within the school setting, a journey not for the faint-hearted. It’s no wonder that it is hard to find an allergy-friendly restaurant in Israel with a history like that. A quick search on google of...
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Elderly people with food allergies: PART 1

More than 54 million people in the US are aged 65 or older, with this figure expected to continue to increase over the next 20 years. Similar trends are seen across the globe, with 11% of the population classified as elderly in Israel in 2015- a number with an expected 77% increase over the next 15 years. In Israel, the percentage of the elderly population living in nursing homes stands at 4.5%, assisted living facilities 2%, leaving most of this population still living within the community. The presence of food allergies within the elderly community is currently estimated between 5%-10%. Still,...
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What does using an Epinephrine Auto-Injector feel like?

If you own an Epinephrine Auto-Injector, whether an Epi-pen®, Auvi-Q®, or other, you most likely have read all you can about what an allergic reaction looks like, how to administer your auto-injector, and the importance of an allergy plan. And while there is plenty of information out there to help you start your journey- there are fewer resources to help you get a feeling about what it’s like to have Epinephrine injected into your body. Hopefully, this article will fill in the gaps. If you have any questions, feel free to comment below. Important: Most patients who have passed away from...
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Psychological Allergic Reaction

Your child is squirming on the couch, picking fights with their siblings, and is irritable. You try to get him ready for bed- but he’s difficult. Finally, after going to the bathroom, he settles down for a bit, and you can get his PJ’s on and brush his teeth. But then the bad mood comes back- he’s just not settled, his gassy- and on the toilet again. An hour later, he is calm enough to go into bed- late again! And oh’ so sad. You know it’s going to be a long night…… Sounds familiar?   Emotional responses to food allergies...
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What Our Clients Say

Meticulous in their preparations

During our recent visit to Israel, we really struggled to find food for our son who has anaphylactic level allergies to egg and sesame. We approached both restaurants and hotels and were told they were unable or unwilling to take responsibility for preparing his food.

 After learning about Dr. Eliana on-line, we contacted her in the hopes that she could provide a ‘normal’ restaurant experience for our family.

 Both she and Shani were meticulous in their preparations with the restaurants to ensure that our son had a wonderful and safe experience.

 We truly appreciate their efforts to take care of our son, and to provide us with a lovely vacation experience.

T.M., Chicago, USA

Comfortable, calm, and at ease

We want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the amazing gift you have given us over this Pesach- the gift of having you with us!!!!

We have NEVER felt more comfortable, calm, and at ease than we did these past 10 days. Your warmth, professionalism, kindness, and care shown through in all that you did.

My children are so grateful that they were able to be with you this Pesach. You made sure that they were so well looked after and they felt so at ease and comfortable with you! You were so amazing and approachable to them! And they LOVED all the food you so amazingly prepared (supervised allergy-free food preparation, managed menus) for them!

It’s very difficult for us to trust people when it comes to our kids and allergies. You magically were able to take away ALL of our anxieties, and nervousness (and we don’t give that away so easily!!)

We can never fully thank you enough. We truly feel that you instantly became part of our family and we look forward to G-d willing being able to be with you and plan amazing trips with you many many many more times!!!! 

CO, Canada
April 2016

Very Helpful

Thank you and may Hashem bless you for the work you do. My son Jacob said your allergy card has been very helpful. I am so grateful- beyond words.

Yasher Koach!
L.R., NY, NY

Delicious and Safe

Thank you for delivering our allergy free baked goods to our hotel.  We just tasted the focaccia and it was delicious!

All the best,

S.C., New Jersey

Thank You

We can't thank you enough for assembling this top-notch team of specialists to work with our daughter while she is in Israel.

T.G., Philadelphia, PA

The Allergy Card was Extremely Helpful

"Food Allergy Concierge assisted us with a very helpful, detailed customized allergy card in Hebrew.  The Allergy card was extremely helpful for multiple allergies and allowed us to eat safely in several eateries and hotels. Highly recommended.”

G.A. Illinois USA

Allergy Free baked goods for the lockdown

My family ordered a week's worth of food from Food Allergy Concierge during the most recent lockdown. Having the food on hand, and knowing that it was safe for everyone in the family to eat, helped turn the lockdown into a stay-cation! We were still able to take a break from cooking and worrying, and we look forward to using FAC's services again in the future.

Our Latest Blogs

21 April 2021
  Last week Israel was shocked with the news of a 23-year-old woman with a milk allergy dying suddenly because of an allergic reaction. She was eating out in a kosher meat restaurant. Kosher restaurants have an obligation not to bring anything c...
14 April 2021
Peanut allergy is one of the most prevalent allergies in the world. The allergy to peanuts can range from severe to mild symptoms, depending on the case. Peanut allergy is widespread among children.  The peanut allergy is not airborne. An airbor...
07 April 2021
As parents, we look to support our children. It is important to us that they feel safe, loved, and understood. However, if you are a parent with a child with food allergies and yourself have never had any, you may find it difficult to relate to your ...