Traveling in Israel with food allergies is challenging! Did you know that 15 million Americans have food allergies, and 1 out of 13 children have life-threatening food allergies? Whether you are allergic to nuts, sesame, chocolate, certain cooking oils, or fruit, the fear of managing your allergies or having an allergic reaction abroad may hinder your travel plans to Israel.
Parents of children with severe food allergies are often drained after any travel when even trace amounts of the allergen can lead to a potentially fatal reaction. The intense monitoring required is exhausting, leading one to think... why are we on vacation?
Israeli and Mediterranean cuisine is indeed filled with high-risk allergens such as peanuts, tree nuts, and sesame. Sesame seeds are very popular here, found in schnitzel, techina, Humus, halva and flavorings. The popular Za’atar spice, which is in many dishes, contains sesame. Almost all chocolates in Israel have traces of nuts. Many cakes and pies are baked with ground nuts.
So is there anything you can do? Food Allergy Concierge has food allergy specialists who are specially trained, understand your concerns, and can help you, whether you plan a family trip to Israel or send away a student-child for his Gap Year. It is important to know that you can never be 100% certain that there was no cross-contamination unless you see food being prepared.
Here are our top 4 tips for traveling with food allergies in Israel:
- When you enter a restaurant or hotel dining room, alert the staff to your allergy.
- Translate your allergies into Hebrew. Remember that every nut has a different name, and many Israelis hear “nuts” but do not understand that almonds are also nuts! A professional allergy card is crucial!
- Verbally explain the importance of preventing cross-contamination.
- Remember: There is no legal requirement for food producers in Israel to list allergens, so contacting the manufacturers is often needed.
Food Allergy Concierge offers a wide range of services to assist families traveling with food allergies ranging from professional allergy cards to on-site monitoring of all prepared foods at hotels and restaurants, ensuring your food is being prepared in a sterile and 100% allergy-free environments – the highest level of service available to assure families.
With proper forethought and preparation, people with allergies can safely travel to Israel. We are here at your service to assure you of a stress-free vacation in the land of milk and honey… and lots of sesame seeds!
Contact us today to set a free consultation.