Hosting someone with a food allergy may seem daunting but it doesn’t have to be. Here are 5 tips for having a safe summer picnic and party:
1. Ask the question(s) – Always ask guests if they have a food allergy or other special dietary need and involve the person in the menu planning If someone in the group has an allergic condition, inquire about precautions you can take in food preparation to make the picnic allergy-safe.
2. Always Always Read Labels – Did you know some brands of mustard contain milk? Did you know many BBQ sauces contain gluten? Even meat and veggie burgers can contain fillers and preservatives filed with allergens.
3. Condiment, Sauce and Dressing Alert — Many are filled with allergens used as fillers such as milk, wheat, soy. Make your own dressings and sauces which is actually easy to do and healthier too! Consider using individual condiment packs instead of a large bottle of ketchup or mustard to prevent any cross contact
4. Keep Everything Clean — Soap and water are best for removing allergens from hands and surfaces. Bring tablecloths to cover tables. Be sure you thoroughly clean grills. Residue from that burger or buttered steak you last cooked more than likely is on the grill, and even a trace amount of dairy could make someone sick or send them into anaphylaxis. If you are at a park and using a public table, bring wipes to clean tables and a tablecloth to cover tables that may not be clean or free of allergens.
5. Be Prepared- No one wants a summer party interrupted with a trip to the ER but it’s important to know where the nearest hospital is in case something happens. And be sure you are somewhere that gets cell signals. . And of course, if you have a food allergy,never go anywhere without your Epi device –in fact doctors advise having 2 Epi devices at all times.
With a little planning ahead, label reading, and attention to detail you can have a happy, Food Allergy Safe Summer. For delicious, easy to make, allergy friendly recipes, be sure to check out the recipe section of the DairyFreeGina website.
And please share your best tips for safe eating in the summer in our comments section.