Always wanted to stay at a hotel but worried that your food allergies make it impossible? When you go to a hotel you’ve never stayed at before, you have to explain to them about allergies so they can understand how and why you need to be accommodated. These are the top three things that kitchen staff at hotels need to know about food allergies.
There’s a big range of allergies, from sensitivity to life-threatening. Sensitivity means that a person will suffer from symptoms which interfere with his quality of life, such as digestive problems, migraines and sleeplessness. A severe allergy will cause a reaction within 24 hours and can be fatal. A person with sensitivities can easily eat in a hotel dining room and avoid the foods which bother him, but a person with severe allergies needs special accommodations in order to make that possible. If you or someone in your family has severe allergies, you need to make sure that the kitchen staff understands that you’re not being picky, and that exposure to certain foods could land you in the hospital or worse.
If you need to avoid cross-contact as well as the allergens themselves, it’s important that kitchen staff know that soap only removes 80% of the allergen. Even when you can’t see traces of food, the oils from the food can still be present. Clothing, handles, towels, pots etc. need to be sterilized in order to prevent cross-contact.
Kitchen staff at hotels often rely on the list of ingredients on a package to determine whether allergens are present in a specific food. They need to be told that ingredient lists can sometimes be deceiving, since they don’t always list hidden allergens. For instance, in the US, only the top eight allergens have to be listed, so allergies like sesame are generally not listed. Most European countries have labelling laws which do include sesame, but you need to check the law in the country you are visiting. In Israel, there are no laws at all, so labels are pretty useless. Hotels also need to be told what foods tend to have your allergens hidden in them.
Not all hotels are staffed with people who have the ability, knowledge and time to ensure that the food they serve is allergy-safe. When we encounter these types of hotels, we assess whether the staff is willing to cooperate with us, and if so, we send a supervisor to assist the chef and make sure that the meal you are served is allergy-free. This type of collaboration is great for everyone - the kitchen staff is happy to serve their guest without fear of a misstep and the guest is able to enjoy a stress-free and safe meal.
For more information on our Food Allergy Concierge services, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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