Dealing with Food Allergies When Dining Out

JOPLIN, MO-- Dealing with food allergies is tough enough at home, but can be even more of an issue when you go out to eat.

"Make sure they know what kind of recipes that food is in. Make sure they know what will happen to them if they're exposed to that allergen is it a mild reaction where they have itching or severe where their throat will swell up and they, it's life threatening," said Freeman Clinical Dietitian Kristen Woodruff. And whether your allergy is soy, gluten or shellfish - make sure friends and family members know what to do if your meal triggers a reaction. "A food allergy action plan. These are things you can get from your physician or download online and it basically shows this is the allergy I have this is the reaction I have this is what to do this is who to contact if i'm having issues."

Check out the menu beforehand - it could be online, otherwise call ahead. At the restaurant, ask staff to watch out for cross contamination. "So you're ordering french fries and the wait staff says, 'Fine, because french fries are potatoes,' but you hve to be careful for cross contamination. They can fry those french fries in the same oil they fry onion rings."

And some restaurants are more sensitive to food allergies. "A lot of restaurants will have little icons on their menu that show this is gluten free, this is lactose free, this is nut free."

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