This is my common refrain when a conscientious dining partner asks what they should not eat with me nearby. (Seriously, is that not the sweetest thing ever? To ask? I’m always touched by such niceness from business associates, old and new friends, dates, and mere acquaintances.) I tell them, “Eat whatever you want just don’t fling it on me.”
I need to ingest an allergen to illicit a reaction. (Or for my kissing partner to have recently ingested my allergens and not tell me.) Nuts or salmon being at my dining table won’t get me. I’m not even nervous about it. *Talk to your allergist about what you need to stay safe.*
However, I saw my eye doctor recently and when chatting during the eye exam about what I do -- my coaching practice, my blog and food allergies generally -- he told me a story. Oy. Doctors. What they find funny and what we civilians find funny is not necessarily the same thing. But this story illustrated why these nice consciousness people “might” have a point when asking if they should not eat my allergens during that meal.
When Dr. G. was an intern--he’s an eye surgeon--a woman came into the ER with one eye swollen shut. Since he was the eye guy, they called him for a consult. This woman explained she was severely allergic to shellfish and had been dining at a shellfish restaurant; however, she ordered something without her allergen. When he examined her eye, he found that she had a tiny piece of shellfish lodged in her eye socket.
Someone’s shellfish at the table had been flung on her!
Upshot: it is possible that your allergen can be flung on you at the dining table; however, I imagine the actual risk is very rare. Shellfish is a special circumstance: exoskeletons are cracked and parts do go everywhere. But, For me, unless someone is shelling nuts at the table, I believe I’m safe.
I tell you this not to give you one more thing to worry about, but it's something to consider. Talk to your medical provider and figure out what it safe for you. For reals.
As for me, I’ll still say you can eat whatever you want when dining with me, please, enjoy – but really, keep flinging to a minimum.