Ask, Read, and Label! Three Ways to Increase Safety this Holiday Season!

Nutless Life

by: The Team of Nutless Life

“Does this amazing looking dish contain...?” isn’t exactly this year’s top icebreaker question to ask at every holiday function for people with food allergies. However, it is the number one question those of us with food allergies must ask. If you aren’t already experiencing this, you can imagine how extremely tiring and difficult this can be, especially during the holiday season. To keep everyone safe and cheerful this year please remember to do these three simple things: Ask, Read, and Label.

Have a Diet Restriction?

Ask: Talk to the host, ask what is being served and be sure to talk to other guest attending about what your needs are. Share a list of safe dishes and ideas with others. This way you can be included and remain safe.

Read: Check all labels and really take the time to truly understand what the label reads, if you are unsure if something is safe then ask for help.

Label: Think about taking with you some way to identify your restrictions. Wear an awareness bracelet or pin that is always visible for others to see. Another solution is to add your restrictions on a sticker and simply slap that sucker right onto your shirt. “Hello, My Name not feed me...”

Hosting a Get Together?

Ask: Talk to all of your guest in advance, this is important! Ask if there are any diet restrictions, write them down and spread the awareness by giving a copy of the list to anyone attending. Be sure to provide ample time for everyone to respond.

Read: Check all labels and really take the time to truly understand what the label reads, if you are unsure if something is safe then ask for help. People with allergies have become quite good at doing this, ask someone. Also, there are plenty of resources online that can help. Never just assume it’s safe.

Label: Allow those with restrictions to double check labels. Don’t make your guest have to dig through the trash or spend time on their phones trying to search for information.

Hold onto all original labels and packaging of any product(s) used. Be sure to label your items, by using food allergy sticks (like the ones that were provided in the November edition of “Nutless Life”) or fold an index card in half and write down what each dish is and what is inside it, place the information cards in front of each dish. This will make it quick and easy for your guest to know what is safe and what isn’t.

Please help spread allergy awareness by sharing this information with your family, friends and coworkers. When creating shareable dishes this year recall the top allergen list; The list is: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish/ shellfish, and sesame. It is common knowledge that it can be difficult to create dishes that are free from all allergens. However, if you remember to ask, read, and label, before making shareable dishes, you reduce risk which allows more time to be spent enjoying the holiday cheer.

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