How to Avoid Food Allergy Mix Ups

As many people with food allergies will know, how your body reacts to allergens can vary dramatically. With the help of a reliable food allergy treatment, minimizing or even preventing allergic reactions may be possible. However, those who do not get professional assistance are actually taking risks with their health. If you have an Atlanta event planned this holiday season, make sure to stay safe with our allergy tips.

How to Prevent Allergic Reactions From Food Mishaps

Whether you are hosting a dinner party this holiday season or plan on attending one, it is important to take a few precautionary steps to avoid any food allergy mix-ups that could potentially land you into the emergency room. We know it can be embarrassing to ask for special care to be taken when preparing food, but there is no shame in ensuring the safety of everything on your plate. If you are the host, these steps will be easy to implement on your own, but if you are a guest, simply ask if the host can incorporate a few simple steps into the evening to help you avoid any mishaps with your diet.

6 Ways to Prevent Allergic Reactions During Holiday Dinners

Follow these simple methods to safeguard yourself and other guests from exposure to allergens during dinner.

1. Volunteer to help prepare the food. If you are part of the preparation, you can ensure that there is no cross-contamination going on as the food is being cooked.

2. Clean surfaces thoroughly, especially in the area where the food was prepared. These are prime areas for allergen residue to be left behind.

3. Educate the guests. Encourage guests to thoroughly wash their hands after touching allergens to avoid contaminating frequently touched doorknobs, handrails, etc. You could also explain the difference between a food allergy and a food intolerance to provide greater understanding.

4. Label each of the dishes. This can add a sense of formality to the dinner as you can even choose a fancy font and paper. You can even go as far as color-coding labels as red for “not safe” and green for “safe.” With labels on each dish with its ingredients, you can avoid accidentally consuming foods to which you are allergic.

5. Avoid any “self-serve” finger food dishes that could put you at risk for cross-contamination. Bowls of chips, fruit and veggie trays and meat and cheese trays are perfect examples of places where traces of an allergen could reside. Encourage guests to wash their hands before handling food, use tongs, and to place these finger foods on a plate instead of eating them straight from the tray.

6. Don’t share any plates, forks, or cups throughout the evening. Even if you share with someone you trust, you can still be at risk for consuming an allergen by accident.

Most importantly, be your own advocate. Don’t worry about inconveniencing others when it comes to food safety. By taking these simple steps, you can enjoy the holiday season without the fear of having an allergic reaction. As always, it is important to keep emergency numbers and an EpiPen (if needed) with you at all times.

How to Deal With a Severe Allergic Reaction

In the event that a person comes into contact with an allergen and experiences a severe allergic reaction, you can take the following important steps.

  • Pay attention to severe allergy symptoms like vomiting, wheezing and breathing issues.
  • Call emergency services for assistance in cases of a severe allergic reaction.
  • Identify whether the person has been prescribed an epinephrine auto-injector.
  • Make the individual comfortable while waiting for the ambulance to arrive.

In the event of a severe allergic reaction the above steps are critical. However, there are additional solutions to implementing allergy treatment over the long term. For instance, desensitization with oral immunotherapy treatment (OIT) is perhaps the most effective way to minimize allergy risks and achieve a long-lasting allergy solution. With OIT, patients receive small doses of an allergen to build immune system tolerance. This treatment takes approximately 12 months.

Trusted Atlanta Area Food Allergy Treatments

Schedule a visit to Chacko Food Allergy Treatment Center for specialized food allergy guidance. Our food allergy testing and treatment centers are located in Alpharetta, Atlanta, Canton, Cumming, Druid Hills, Duluth and Johns Creek. To reach us, call (678) 668-4688 or request an appointment.

Image Credit – Alexander Raths/