For people with food allergies, eating can often be scary. Without the control over the kitchen, groceries and utensils, it can be tough for them to trust that the food they are eating is safe. Given this, if you, or someone you love, does live with a food allergy, it is important to ensure that you know how to keep your kitchen safe. Ranging from shopping, to cleaning, every step of the process requires careful attention and understanding.
One of the simplest ways to ensure the safety of your kitchen is to pay attention to what you are putting into it. While many people get the privilege of mindless shopping, those living with food allergies are not provided that luxury. In order to ensure that there are no dangerous mix-ups or anaphylactic mistakes, make sure that every product in your home has been reviewed for all the potential hazards.
When dealing with children or an unfamiliar house guest, labeling your allergenic food can often come in handy. By creating a clear marker as to what food is safe and what should be avoided, you can feel comfortable that all the diners in your home are safe. Additionally, it may be a good idea to create separate cabinets and storage places specifically for allergy safe foods – leaving the labels as nothing more than an added precaution.
Your hands, your counters, your dishes and your utensils – scrub! When trying to keep your house allergy clean, soap and water quickly become your best friend. Many people can have their allergies triggered by cross contamination – something as simple as using the same fork as someone else. Given this, it is important to keep your surfaces clean and your bodies allergy free. Make sure everyone washes their hands after eating, that all dishes are thoroughly cleaned after use, and your utensils are soaked in sudsy water. Many even take it one step further and purchase separate utensils for allergy free use only. Soap can help remove food protein from surfaces and could be a great tool in keeping any kitchen allergy free.
Many parents hate when their children take food up to their bedrooms – but for parents of children with food allergies, this rule can be the difference between life and death. When dealing with an anaphylactic allergy it is important that those with food allergies have zero contact with the food they’re allergic to - something that becomes exceedingly difficult if there are crumbs sprinkled throughout the house. By keeping eating strictly to the kitchen, any mess can be quickly and easily cleaned, keeping the risk contained and allowing your home to remain allergy safe.
Never leave anything up to chance! No matter how hard you try to keep your home allergy safe, there is always the possibility that something will slip through the cracks. Instead of scrambling after something goes wrong, create a plan that will ensure you know exactly what to do. For example, keeping a first aid kit with Benadryl and a spare EpiPen can ensure that you are prepared for any situation. However, always remember that in the event of an emergency, you should always contact your doctor!
It may be uncomfortable, but when having guests at your home it is important to educate them of your house rules. Make sure they wash their hands before sitting down to dinner and don’t be embarrassed to ask for their cake recipe before serving it to the table. Additionally, remember that babies are messy and that your friend’s baby may spread food all over your home. Set down a blanket and cover your surfaces in order to ensure your house stays clean and allergy free.
Cross contamination is one of the most prevalent issues when it comes to cooking allergy safe food. It is too easy to get a splash of peanut oil in an allergy free stir fry, or a tiny sesame seed in a loaf of allergy safe bread. Keep your food safe by preparing your allergy free food first - only cooking your other dishes once the safe ones are packaged and stored away. Moreover, make sure that you are only using properly cleaned dishes and utensils, allowing your allergy free family member to eat without worry.
Not everybody has the option of keeping allergenic foods out of their home, however, some people definitely do. While it may be difficult at first, especially if you’re loved one is allergic to one of your favorite foods, the end result is worth it. By keeping the allergenic food outside of your home completely, you are able to provide your loved one with a safe place to eat without worry.
Food allergies are all consuming. Not only do they affect the individual living with the food allergy, but they also have a large affect on the people around them. For many, knowing somebody with a food allergy can mean rigorous cleaning schedules and picky shopping carts. However, while these precautions and rules may be annoying, they are what allow those with food allergies to feel comfortable and safe in their environments.
Article with Dr. Eliana Aaron on the importance of companies like The Food Allergy Concierge:
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