Adults with Food AllergiesBack to Category View
Empowered Adults in Shared Living Spaces
Teal Tactics to ensuring a safe shared space:
- Choose a roommate that will respect your allergies and advocate to keep you safe.
- Choose a roommate that will take precautions if/when eating your allergens in the home and respect your safe space in the home.
- Use caution when sharing food or drinks in case your roommate/partner/significant other has eaten your allergen. It is best practice to not share utensils or water bottles/glasses.
- Keep your own designated allergy-free kitchen items separate from your roommates, such as a toaster, dish sponge, etc to minimize the risk of cross-contact.
- Make a dedicated shelf and drawer in the fridge an “allergy-free” shelf for those with food allergies.
- If your roommate brings something home that contains your allergen, make sure it is labeled to avoid accidental consumption.
- If your allergen is in your home, ensure that it is contained within a secure container and clearly labeled.
- If your roommate does bring home alcohol that contains your allergen, make sure it is labeled properly and stored in a designated/safe area.
- Keep a clean, safe space; use appropriate cleaning products if eating or cooking with your allergen.
- If your allergen IS consumed by your roommate, ensure your roommate washes his/her hands properly with soap and water.
- Request advanced notice if your roommate is cooking with your allergen, to avoid accidental exposure.
- Keep a designated kitchen cabinet for safe foods and drinks.
- Communicate and educate your roommate (their family & friends) about your food allergy on a regular basis.
- If outside food is brought in, and it contains your allergen, respectfully decline OR make sure it is properly labeled with a dedicated serving utensil.
- Ensure that your roommate knows where your epinephrine auto-injectors are and how to use it in case of emergency.
- Ensure that your roommate knows what your Allergy & Anaphylaxis Emergency Plan is and how to follow it.
- Suggest going grocery shopping together – show your roommate how to read labels so you can ensure safe food coming into your home.
- Teach your roommate how to cook for someone with food allergies and how to avoid cross-contact.
- Frequent cleaning of common spaces and items is necessary to avoid a contact allergic reaction (i.e. remote control, refrigerator handle, chairs).
- Thank your roommate for his/her compassion, empathy, understanding, and trust!
Food allergies affect as many as 32 million Americans, including 26 million adults.
Be “Empowered” with these Teal Tactics on how to start and maintain the discussion of food allergies in shared living spaces!
Click here to learn more about managing food allergies as an adult.