Food Allergy Counseling

Food Allergy Counseling
Sloane Miller, Food Allergy Counselor (Picture © Noel Malcolm 2013)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Trying New Foods Safely


I try new foods and new processed foods often, both for myself (my new thing a week plan) and for this blog. Below is a quick thumbnail of my most crucial steps when trying a new food product. Do you have more steps? Please add them in your comments.

First and foremost, know that any processed food product is an eat at your own risk proposition. Even after doing due diligence, accidents can happen, unknown cross contact or even a labeling error. It is always: buyer beware.

The best way to stay safe when trying a new food product is to make sure you understand your food allergy diagnosis, know what you can and cannot eat, know the symptoms of a mild food allergic reaction versus a moderate to severe one, know what to do in case of accidental exposure, have your emergency medication handy and know your allergy action plan.

If you are unsure about what you can or cannot consume, consult with your board certified allergist and/or a registered dietitian who is familiar with your dietary diagnosis so you know exactly how to move forward.

If you have you gotten the go-ahead but still feel unsure, try a new product in the waiting room of your doctor’s office. Call ahead and ask them if this would be okay. Or alternatively, try a new product with a safe friend, one that knows about your needs and knows how to help you in case of an emergency.

Don’t try a new food on a Saturday night at 10pm. That is high traffic time in your local hospital emergency room.

Don’t try a product that you feel unsure about. Whether the label is unclear or there is isn’t a label, never risk it.

Remember: the world of food is large and the allergen-friendly category of treats, baking products and cookbooks is ever expanding. If one thing doesn’t work with your needs, keep looking or searching as there are others like you and there are other products for you to try.

2 comments:

Willow said...

I've become more comfortable with bringing my own lunch. But even that can be tricky, because some dining establishments (and you know who you are!) don't allow patrons to bring their own food. I used to feel embarrassed, but oddly, now that I have been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease I feel better able to navigate my allergy needs.

Oh, also, the whole nut allergy thing can be tricky around the Christmas holidays. I went to one staff reception where folks were eating nuts with their bare hands & then extending a hand in greeting. I wasn't totally comfortable, but this is one situation when not being able to eat actually helps the situation. I just made a mental note not to touch my hands or face until my next trip to the washroom.

KB said...

Thanks for the advice!