It’s not easy to deal with a sesame allergy in Israel. There are two reasons for this:
It is a known fact that Israeli factories don’t clean their machines when they grind spices, so there can be traces of sesame in all spices, including paprika and pepper. Many candies contain sesame and all bread crumbs contain either sesame or traces of sesame. Deep fryers are often used to fry schnitzel (breaded chicken breast), so they are contaminated by the bread crumbs.
At Food Allergy Concierge, we are well aware of the challenges of avoiding sesame in Israel. But we also experienced it on a personal level, when our CEO, Dr. Eliana Aaron had a nephew with a sesame allergy visiting Israel. He knew that he couldn’t eat french fries which had been made in a contaminated fryer, so Eliana made him his own fries which were sesame-free. Despite this, he kept having allergic reactions.
It turned out that instead of using the sterilized bottle of ketchup which Eliana had provided, he was using a communal ketchup bottle. Because the deep fryer was contaminated by breadcrumbs, and therefore sesame, and people were eating contaminated fries and touching the ketchup bottle with their hands, the bottle became contaminated as well!
Traveling to Israel with a sesame allergy is not impossible, but it does require extra effort. Some few select hotels and restaurants are amenable to cleaning sections of their kitchens and cooking meals which are not contaminated with sesame. We have found that the best way to ensure that a meal is sesame-free is to supervise the disinfection of the area and the cooking and serving of the food. For years, we have been doing this for families that come on private trips. We take care of all the food issues so that they can enjoy their vacation, stress-free, safe in the knowledge that their meals contain no allergens.
This year, we are also operating an all-inclusive group tour to Israel, where we ensure that every single meal is allergy-safe as you travel around the country and enjoy the sights and sounds that Israel has to offer. Sign up here to get more information about that trip or email firstname.lastname@example.org to hear about how we can make your trip allergy-safe.
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
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!!!!
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.
L.R., NY, NY
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
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
"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