For many people, food allergies can be all consuming. With such extreme consequences, it only makes sense that avoiding these reactions become a full-time job. People will read labels excessively and double check every ingredient in their meals. However, there are still a number of unlikely places where your food allergen could be hiding. Foods with unexpected ingredients and objects with unique bindings can all trigger allergic reactions.
Stuffed Animals – No one ever thinks that their stuffed animals could be a cause of concern – especially not when the concern is an allergic reaction. However, many stuffed animals use peanut shells and soy in their stuffing. For somebody with an allergy to peanuts or soy, this can be life threatening. Make sure that you double check the next teddy bear you gift!
Lotions – Be it sunscreen, moisturizer or even soap, many lotions use tree nuts in their ingredients. For people with tree nut allergies, using one of these products can have terrifying results. Make sure to double check everything, from a hand soap to a hair cream.
Play Doh – It’s colorful, fun, creative and filled with wheat. For anyone with a gluten allergy, Play Doh (and other clays) are a no go. These fun balls of color can trigger dangerous reactions for anyone allergic to gluten or wheat.
Drugs – Many over the counter and common drugs use fish and milk protein in their formulas, something that can be extremely dangerous for anyone with a fish, milk or dairy allergy. Make sure that your doctor and pharmacist know of your allergies before they prescribe you any new medication. Additionally, for anyone with an egg allergy, it is important to know that many vaccines contain egg proteins in them.
Candles – A romantic, candle lit dinner, sounds like a dream. However, before lighting up the fire and setting the table, make sure to double check those candles. Many candles use soy in their ingredients, something that can trigger an allergic reaction to someone with an allergy to soy.
Chalk – Most kids love drawing with chalk, it’s an easy, outdoor activity that promotes creativity. However, for some kids, this adventure can trigger a scary allergic reaction. For a number of chalks, milk protein is a main ingredient in the formula.
Makeup – Wearing makeup is a rite of passage for countless young girls all over the world, however, for some, this step can have a bigger affect than others. Many makeup and beauty products use eggs as a binder in their formulas, which can cause an allergic reaction for anyone allergic to eggs.
Crayons – We’ve all seen it before, a group of kids sitting around with stacks of paper and crayons, drawing up their masterpiece. However, given that crayons use soy in their formula, for kids with a soy allergy, this experience can have dangerous results.
Pet Food – Soy, peanuts, tree nuts and fish can all be found in your pet’s food. Before purchasing food for your pup make sure to check the ingredients in their food the same way you would your own. Even though you won’t be eating the pet food, if possible it is always better to avoid bringing your allergen into your home.
Meat – People with dairy allergies can usually take comfort in eating a good piece of meat. However, there are a number of instances in which that piece of meat won’t actually be as safe as you expect. For example, many deli slices are cut using the same knife as cheeses, and many steaks are covered in butter. It is important to double check every aspect of your meal before digging in.
Dressings and Sauces – You wouldn’t expect to find peanuts in most dressings and sauces. However, too many people have found out the hard way that peanuts are indeed being used in these recipes. While there are still plenty of safe options, it’s important to remember not to take anything for granted. Double check the ingredients every time!
Potato Chips – Most potato chips are made out of potatoes, oil and salt – a delicious and allergy safe snack. However, some brands have been known to have traces of wheat in their chips, making them not so allergy safe. Before eating any snack, make sure you know exactly what you are putting in your mouth.
Coffee – Everybody loves a large coffee with lots of foam, except for when that foam in made from eggs. It is unexpected to have to worry about eggs in your coffee, but given the consistency of the food, it is actually often used in order to give coffee foam that deliciously light texture.
Barbecue Sauce – Most people don’t think fish when they think of a barbecue, however, a number of barbecues sauces actually use fish as an ingredient. Make sure to read all the allergy information before slathering that steak in your favorite sauce.
Breading – While it is easy to assume that breading is made out of bread, many brands have been found to include trace amounts of nuts as well. For many this may add to the flavor and texture, however, for those with tree nut allergies this can be a terrifying discovery.
It may seem redundant to say, but the first step to ensuring your safety is reading labels. Whether it is a food or just a household item, you can never be too sure about what you are buying. When it comes to your food allergies, don’t ever get too comfortable. Keep in mind that recipes change, and you can never trust that something will remain safe. If you aren’t sure about something always reach out to the company before testing it out – don’t be embarrassed to ask about your safety!
Food allergies can oftentimes feel out of control. You work so hard to stay safe and then still find your allergen popping up in the most unexpected of places. Keep your eyes peeled and stay safe, never compromise when it comes to your health.
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