It’s not easy to deal with a sesame allergy in Israel. There are two reasons for this:
- There’s no awareness of sesame allergies in Israel.
- Sesame and sesame traces can be found in all kinds of foods you would not expect them to be in.
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.