Friday, April 10, 2009

3 Steps to Assure Your Dinners Out are Safe and Sound

Tickets for our next Safe and Sound Dinner on April 27 are now on sale
Rose’s Wheatfree Bakery and Café in Evanston is the first gluten-free, certified bakery in Illinois. Although Rose’s bakery does regularly use tree nuts, the Safe and Sound Dinner menu will be free of the 8 major allergens and gluten.
Rose and her team have designed a wonderful, seasonal menu , and we’ve taken extra precautions to make sure your dinner will be a safe and sound one. Indeed, all Safe and Sound dinners will implement the necessary safeguards.
Dining out can generally be a frightening, intimidating experience. When I was first diagnosed with food allergies, I would wait till I got home to eat, a particularly challenging feat when you’ve been out all day and really need a bite to quell your appetite.
The good news is that you take steps that will significantly reduce the risks that can occur when dining out.

3 Steps to Assure Your Dinners Out are Safe and Sound

1. Research, research, research.
· Go online to see where other people with food allergies are dining. Check out our allergen-friendly restaurants list:
· Download menus and assess whether or not they can accommodate your specific diet needs

2. Give the restaurant a heads up you’ll be dining there.
· Speak to the manager or chef and ask if they can offer allergen-free alternatives
· If they seem hesitant or uncertain, ask to speak with someone else or pick another restaurant. Your health is worth it!
· Give the waiter a restaurant safety sheet. It lets the kitchen know your specific allergens and lists emergency contact information. You can download a safety sheet from my Web site:
· Try to go early in the evening to minimize the risk that your order might be inadvertently mixed up with those when the restaurant is busiest

3. If the service and food are good, offer the restaurant a special thanks and spread the word. The more we support restaurants that adapt to our needs, the more restaurants will be willing to make accommodations.

Here are a few other tips to consider when selecting a restaurant:
· Be especially cautious at buffets. It’s much more difficult to control for cross- contamination with shared utensils and spillage.
· If your meal is deep fried or cooked in oil, make sure your order is prepared separately from those where allergens are used.
· A good place to gauge a restaurant’s commitment to health and safety is to inspect the state of the restroom.

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