For people with food allergies, eating can often be scary. Without control over the kitchen, groceries, and utensils, it can be tough for them to trust that their eating is safe. Given this, if you, or someone you love, do 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.

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Read Labels

One of the simplest ways to ensure your kitchen's safety 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. To ensure that there are no dangerous mix-ups or anaphylactic mistakes, ensure that every product in your home has been reviewed for all the potential hazards.

Create Labels

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.  

Scrub

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 be a great tool in keeping any kitchen allergy-free.

Could you keep it in the Kitchen?.

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, those with food allergies must 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.

Have a First Aid Kit

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!

Guests are No Exception

It may be uncomfortable, but it is important to educate them of your house rules when having guests at your home. 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 to ensure your house stays clean and allergy-free.

Cook Carefully

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.

Could you keep it Away?

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 your loved one is allergic to one of your favorite foods, the result is worth it. By keeping the allergenic food outside of your home completely, you can provide your loved one with a safe place to eat without worry.

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Conclusion

Food allergies are all-consuming. Not only do they affect the individual living with the food allergy, but they also have a large effect 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 allow those with food allergies to feel comfortable and safe in their environments.

Sources

 
Article with Dr. Eliana Aaron on the importance of companies like The Food Allergy Concierge: 

https://blogs.yu.edu/news/a-picture-of-health/