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chinesebob
12-25-2007, 08:16 PM
With the holiday season halfway through I thought I would put this out there to see what people know about food allergies and what they do about them.

As a father of 3 boys where 2 of them have severe food allergies I am intimately aware of the dangers holiday parties can hold for them. Unfortunately I am also all to familiar with festivities gone bad.

As a caterer I have made it a point to ask with every order as well as create sheets for my customers to be aware of what I use in my dishes.
Starting this year I will also be handing out a food allergy reaction sheet just in case just so people know what to do in case something happens even if it's not with my food. It will be a reprint of something from WebMD or the Mayo Clinic.

Earlier this year I was asked to cater for a company party of about 100 people on the night of a big overnight working session where there were new applications/severs/code going into their online system. Even though the coordinator assured me no one had food allergies he couldn't 100% guarantee it. Generally it is not a fear, especially with adults as they know the risks, but this event they ordered 3 pans of my seafood jambalaya. I asked him for safety sake if I could come to their office and ask around to the teams or if they would send an email out asking. They sent an email out and about 85 people responded with a negative. Being the somewhat paranoid person I can be about my food I went in to their office and found the other 15 people and asked them. Low and behold only 2 people had food allergies - to SHELLFISH. They were out of town when the email was sent and didn't respond.

For their party I prepared a special non-fish jambalaya as well as several vegetarian dishes (turns out the other 13 were contractors from India and total vegetarians). When preparing them I used completely different equipment, stored them differently, changed cloves about 25 times, and delivered them in completely different coolers. One of the two people was the systems architect for the event and was invaluable to their work that night. The other was the project manager and was supposed to be coordinating the effort through the night. On the way in I picked up 2 packages of liquid benadryl and gave one to each of them just in case they somehow got exposure another way.

Generally this might seem a little crazy, but they were greatly appreciative and have asked me to cater their April, July, and September project dates. With each event over 100 people it makes it well worth my effort as they refuse to pay less than 10.00 per person for the attention to detail, quality of food, and all around fun that bbq brings to what is generally a miserable long night.

Imagine what it's like in our house.

txschutte
12-25-2007, 09:40 PM
Great topic, bob. I hadn't given food allergies much thought when cooking for the masses. If there is some good info, could you post it here for all to see?

chinesebob
12-25-2007, 10:01 PM
Yep. I'm putting together something now for just that reason. Links to medical sites for further explanation, etc. I've got so many I don't want to blow everyone away or drive them away as it can be.

Tinybud
12-25-2007, 11:47 PM
Good topic, that is alwasy a concern, I myself am allergic to shell fish, mainly being the iodine in the shell fish, I got sick at a halloween dinner this year, and couldn't figure out why, apparently the punch served had calcium fortified orange juice in it, and in the ingrediants was listed seaweed which contains the same iodine as the shell fish, so its not just food, its also drinks you gotta watch out for . Thanks for posting this, and look forward to reading anything you post about it.

JamesB
12-26-2007, 03:51 AM
I too am allergic to shell fish... Not all of them, but some. Also from the iodine but I guess I'm not as allergic as some. Shrimp and oysters are the two things that really set me off... I can have one or two medium sized shrimps and be OK, but that third one and I swell up like a blow fish. Other stuff I can eat like, crab, lobster, clams it's weird... I just have to be careful about it. There are also a lot of medications out there that have various shellfish or fish ingredients that I have to be careful with.

So having faced this for as long as I can remember, I'm always very diligent about ingredients when cooking for others.

James.

bbqbull
12-26-2007, 10:21 AM
I have a good friend who is a chef. He is very allergic to poultry.
His airway swells to the point he has to go to the emergency room.

Dr_KY
12-26-2007, 10:23 AM
I have a very close friend who just found out she has an allergy to fruit of all things.

chinesebob
12-26-2007, 11:41 AM
This is the check list that I used but here it's published from a health safety site. - but it's become standard practice. Oddly enough it's in a New Zealand site.

http://www.nzfsa.govt.nz/publications/food-focus/2007-08/page-14.htm
Managing allergens in your food business

Food recalls involving allergens are common. The majority of allergen recalls handled by NZFSA involve mislabelling or undeclared allergens. Others include cross-contamination.
If you run a food business, here are some things you could do to start managing the risks around food allergens:
• keep accurate written details about all the ingredients of prepared food, as well as pre-packed foods
• ensure your ingredient lists are up to date
• if you change the ingredients in one of your products, make sure you also update your labels and the ingredient information you make available to your customers
• destroy all old labels and lists as soon as they have been updated (but keep a copy for future reference in case of problems)
• check all the ingredients in the dish/recipe (and what they contain) as well as what you use to cook the dish with, or garnish, eg: don’t fry food in oil that has previously been used to fry food that may have contained an allergen
• clean all surfaces and utensils that may have been used to prepare foods containing allergens
• if there is any doubt about whether a food contains even a small amount of an allergen, tell the customer – don’t guess!
• store allergenic foods in separate containers,
• separated from other foods
• use paper towels for drying hands rather than cloth towels
• make sure all staff are aware of the serious consequences of food allergies and ensure regular training is provided to all staff employed in business.

chinesebob
12-26-2007, 12:27 PM
This is the standard for food allergies. http://www.foodallergy.org/allergens/index.html

If you look on the left hand side under common food allergens. Each link contains more information about the basics and the potential side effects if exposed.

Here is an extensive explanation on WebMD from the Cleveland Clinic.
http://www.webmd.com/allergies/food-allergy-intolerances

The above links also have information on what to do in case of a reaction. High level preparation for a reaction is - administer benadryl immediately. If the reaction is severe liquid will still go in and you can pour it in if necessary. Especially if it's a child.

If swelling of the mouth or face occurs check the voice. If the voice is coarse - call 911 and tell them there's someone having a food allergy reaction. Most ambulances don't carry epinephrine shots so you have to tell them. If the benadryl has already been administered keep a close eye out on the person. If breathing stops then CPR may be necessary - but BE certain. The 911 operator can probably put you in touch with a doctor to advise.

If this scares the crap out of anyone don't worry too much - it doesn't happen that often. http://www.wrongdiagnosis.com/f/food_allergies/stats.htm I've seen different numbers but they aren't that much higher generally around 1-2%. Reactions are more, but death is rare.

The biggest challenge with food allergies is with small children. They eat everything without thinking about it. 10-15 minutes time for a reaction and depending on the condition it will be anywhere from hives to full blown anaphlaxis(anaphlyactic shock). If it's a big party with a lot of people it's hard to keep track of them so better to avoid altogether. Other kids may see it happening and not understand or know to get an adult.

Ok, just remember I'm a parent of children with food allergies who's been to the ER once so I'm more of a freak than most.

Hope this helps anyone out there looking for information.

JohnMcD348
12-26-2007, 11:49 PM
My wife goes through allergic reactions and varying levels of sensitivity to a point that she never really knows what she is or isn't allergic to. Doing the regular allergen tests in a clinical setting she scores a 4+ to a 5 on EVERYTHING except Coffee and dogs. The last time she had it done, she told the nurse and she was blown off. The nurse got half way through the 118 pricks and was told to give her the benadryl and cortisone shots NOW(STAT!!!) by the Allergist who happened to walk in. Her dietary problems tend to be more prep related than the actual food or spices. She can eat pretty much anything as long as it is cooked beyond recognition. Ordering a steak, it has to be butterflied and cooked near Charcoal Briquette. She can't eat yellow rice or Oregano, which is bad since she from a strong Italian family. Her issues and reactions are more of a GI related reaction. If her meat is the least bit undercooked, it will run through her before we even leave the restaurant. Put a little Oregano in the spices, and she'll be in the hospital on a vent if they can get her intubated in time.

chinesebob
12-27-2007, 02:15 PM
My wife goes through allergic reactions and varying levels of sensitivity to a point that she never really knows what she is or isn't allergic to. Doing the regular allergen tests in a clinical setting she scores a 4+ to a 5 on EVERYTHING except Coffee and dogs. The last time she had it done, she told the nurse and she was blown off. The nurse got half way through the 118 pricks and was told to give her the benadryl and cortisone shots NOW(STAT!!!) by the Allergist who happened to walk in. Her dietary problems tend to be more prep related than the actual food or spices. She can eat pretty much anything as long as it is cooked beyond recognition. Ordering a steak, it has to be butterflied and cooked near Charcoal Briquette. She can't eat yellow rice or Oregano, which is bad since she from a strong Italian family. Her issues and reactions are more of a GI related reaction. If her meat is the least bit undercooked, it will run through her before we even leave the restaurant. Put a little Oregano in the spices, and she'll be in the hospital on a vent if they can get her intubated in time.

WOW! It's always the thing where when you think you have it bad someone else has it so much more difficult. My middle one is a 3 on uncooked beef which I don't understand but it could also be a cross contamination thing from that. Fortunately we don't have that too often. Unless he tries to eat my NY strip or porterhouse when we have them. Because those would still be walking if I could get my wife to let me.

JohnMcD348
12-27-2007, 11:39 PM
I like mine just past walking stage. Pink and runny but warm. I learned how to cut my meat and eat it without it being presented fully to the wife when we are out at resturaunts. She does OK with it now but initially, I would have to get my stuff med/well to well, but not as well as hers. She said that until she was about 18, she never had a problem with allergies, they just all hit her at once and put her in the hospital overnight. Before that, she loved a good Medium steak.

91vw03
12-28-2007, 09:50 AM
We have a friend of the family who's little girl is alergic to eggs and nuts. They carry an epi pen with them. It makes it hard to cook breakfast when they come over and I have to read every package before handing out snacks/food. My wife also doesn't give me enough notice as to when they are going to stay so that I can get pancake mix that doesn't have or require eggs, etc. So she usually ends up having cereal while everyone else is eating pancakes.

I also had a customer when I worked in the resaurant that was allergic to salt. I had to wash the pans, utensils and use new ingredients for her food. She didn't come in at the busy time so it wasn't a big deal.

Thank god my kids don't have any alergies or my wife or MIL would have killed them already.

chinesebob
01-01-2008, 06:16 AM
I also had a customer when I worked in the resaurant that was allergic to salt. I had to wash the pans, utensils and use new ingredients for her food. She didn't come in at the busy time so it wasn't a big deal.


They were probably allergic to iodine. Some people that are allergic to "seafood" or salt are actually allergic to iodine. Typically shellfish is because of a protein reaction.

MIL? Know exactly how you feel. After this holiday season we're never going to our family's houses again. Or at least until my 2 year isn't an eating machine putting everything and anything into his mouth.

CajunSmoker
01-01-2008, 06:45 AM
My youngest son is allergic to fish. Not shellfish, just the regular fish like catfish, crappie, tuna etc. Shrimp, crawfish, oysters don't cause any problem. Fake crabmeat sets him off big time though.

Squeel Appeal
01-01-2008, 07:50 AM
I am actually allergic to raw onions , I can eat em cooked or fried , or even steamed , if I use raw onions have to be used my wife does the honor of that prep . After its warmed in the pot for heating and making the sauce I can handle the sampling or eating.

N8man
01-01-2008, 09:56 AM
My Parents found out the hard way that I have Food Allergies. Watermelon. 4 years old and enjoying eating and rubbing the rine all over my face then Bam, can't Breathe, covered in Hives!!! They rushed me to the Country Doctor,(Remember Those?) and found out I was Allergic to all the Melons, Strawberries, and Sunflower Seeds. Now, with all the Food Companies being so Health Conscious, I can hardly find any products like Chips or Crackers and such without Sunflower Oil in them!!!!
When there are Work Events that involve FoodStuffs I just don't participate.
My CoWorker brings HomeMade and Store Bought Treats and such to me and knows the Drill, What's in this, Where did it come from, Were you present when it was prepared, Did you read the Label? Even with due diligence, Package Ingredient Lists are at best hard to read and easy to miss key items, i.e. "May contain one or more of the following: Cottonseed, Corn, Vegetable and/or Sunflower Seed Oil". My problem is one of "Does it or Not?"
Miss out on a lot of Eats, but can't take the chance!!!!

wnkt
01-01-2008, 02:03 PM
My niece is allergic to almonds....when she was growing up and would come over to stay we had benedril on hand if she started wheezing.

Im allergic to enchillada sauce....well not exactly allergic, but if I have any it comes out of any and every exit in my body at an accelerated pace to put it mildly as I can.

chinesebob
01-01-2008, 03:18 PM
My youngest son is allergic to fish. Not shellfish, just the regular fish like catfish, crappie, tuna etc. Shrimp, crawfish, oysters don't cause any problem. Fake crabmeat sets him off big time though.

They use fish oil in the fake stuff for flavor, unfortunately.

Kung Fu BBQ
01-01-2008, 05:07 PM
Does Lactose Intolerance count?

Oh and shrimp.

chinesebob
01-01-2008, 05:36 PM
Does Lactose Intolerance count?

Oh and shrimp.

So you totally miss out on the shrimp flavored ice cream?

I was lactose intolerant until around 17. I hated it. If the school ran out of non-dairy creamer for my breakfast cereal I ended up with OJ and rice crispies. Yuck.

Kung Fu BBQ
01-02-2008, 08:37 AM
So you totally miss out on the shrimp flavored ice cream?

I was lactose intolerant until around 17. I hated it. If the school ran out of non-dairy creamer for my breakfast cereal I ended up with OJ and rice crispies. Yuck.

you outgrew it?

I was fine until about 22. I worked at a pizzeria, I thought they were using bad ingredients, everytime I ate pizza I would be in the bathroom wrecking the walls. I thought maybe it was just my stomache saying NO MORE PIZZA!!
But then the same thing happened when I ate ice cream.

A friend turned me on to Lactaid and lets just say I love pizza and ice cream. I stopped drinking milk though.

chinesebob
01-02-2008, 09:39 AM
I did that for a while, but it went away one day. Count it one of God's blessings as up to that point it was so painful after eating anything with Milk products I would be in a pain that even a woman in PMS would have trouble identifying with.

smoke-n-my-i's
01-02-2008, 11:09 AM
Thanks for the input.

I thought I was the only crazy one.... allergic to pork... can you imagine that one? Just about all prepared food has pork in it.... OUCH ! ! !

It has taken me years to learn to ask and look before eating. And if in doubt, leave it alone.

In fact, I am so allergic/sensitive to it, that if just a utensil is used to turn a piece of pork, and then used to turn a non-pork product that I eat, WHAMMO........ I get a severe migraine in less than 30 minutes that will last sometimes for about a week..... no fun at all, and no medicine helps. Just suffer through it........

Imagine me, doing competitions, and cooking pork butts, and pork ribs. Just think about all the gloves I go through and how many times I was my hands, wrists, and arms. I use 2 cookers, 2 sets of utensils, 2 tables, well... 2 of everything..... I have to double pack.... Even the pork goes into it's own ice chests.

This is serious stuff everyone. And a LOT of people have allergies and just don't even realize what it is. Sometimes it is just minor reactions, that just go away after a short time period. Others are, well, more severe.

A great thought on your part Bob to check to see if any one had allergies. I am sure a LOT of people catering don't think about it, nor do they stop to think not to use the same utensils while cooking more than one type of meat. The same tools for everything.

Keep the info coming.

Bill

chinesebob
01-02-2008, 11:45 AM
Thanks for the input.

I thought I was the only crazy one.... allergic to pork... can you imagine that one? Just about all prepared food has pork in it.... OUCH ! ! !

It has taken me years to learn to ask and look before eating. And if in doubt, leave it alone.

In fact, I am so allergic/sensitive to it, that if just a utensil is used to turn a piece of pork, and then used to turn a non-pork product that I eat, WHAMMO........ I get a severe migraine in less than 30 minutes that will last sometimes for about a week..... no fun at all, and no medicine helps. Just suffer through it........

Imagine me, doing competitions, and cooking pork butts, and pork ribs. Just think about all the gloves I go through and how many times I was my hands, wrists, and arms. I use 2 cookers, 2 sets of utensils, 2 tables, well... 2 of everything..... I have to double pack.... Even the pork goes into it's own ice chests.


As bad as nuts and shellfish are - that is the saddest thing I have ever heard in my entire life. WOW. The great thing is that you can get through it. You know how to deal with it and survive.

I'm definitely taking you off the bacon list then.:-D

I know you probably realize this already but generally migraines are caused by constrictions in the blood vessels in the brain. This usually affects different senses in the body, hence so many people have the tunnel, aversion to sound, bright lights, etc. Food related migraines are generally related to nitrates, but not 100% as is probably your case because then all of the other good foods would do it too. Like nuts, shell fish, coffee, chocolat, beer, whisky, whiskey, etc.

Year and years ago after a car accident I was in my Dr and I spent 6 or 7 months trying to figure out why I had constant migraines, sometimes to the point of being completely disabled for several hours. Including the harshest most depressing diet I've ever been on to eliminate the potential for the above type of reaction. Eventually we found the cause but more importantly in the mean time we found a strange little medicine that contained a really high dose(pot of coffee) of caffeine and a muscle relaxer. This would really knock me out but it got rid of them.

I'm not a Dr. or associated with one, but I unfortunately I have had my fair share of medical related troubles in or around my life.

smoke-n-my-i's
01-02-2008, 06:07 PM
I'm definitely taking you off the bacon list then.:-D

I know you probably realize this already but generally migraines are caused by constrictions in the blood vessels in the brain. This usually affects different senses in the body, hence so many people have the tunnel, aversion to sound, bright lights, etc. Food related migraines are generally related to nitrates, but not 100% as is probably your case because then all of the other good foods would do it too. Like nuts, shell fish, coffee, chocolat, beer, whisky, whiskey, etc.




Thanks for taking me off your bacon list....

And the funny part.... my blood pressure is normal even with a full blown migraine.... it is the same before, during and after one.... go figure...

I can eat the nuts, shell fish, coffee, chocolate, with no problem.... I am a chocolholic btw.... don't do the alcohol bit. Coffee, only Columbian Supremo.... in other words, hi octane caffeine.

So far it is only pork.... and I can tell you real quick if anything has pork in it, or was in anyway near the good stuff I can eat. So, we don't go out to eat much, as you would be surprised at the neglect in food handling. Cross contamination. Even where I work at the cafeteria. I saw what was going on, and walked out. I take my own lunch now.

They deep fry all their breakfast meat, then deep fry the county style hash browns in the same oil...... cook the eggs on the same griddle they warm up country ham on, and use the same utensils.

I have learned to deal with it, and I am a survivor.....

Bill

chinesebob
01-03-2008, 11:50 AM
Well you made it this long. That says something.

redy2smoke
01-03-2008, 05:27 PM
Great post for us that have never been exposed to the complications that many people have to endure in their day to day lives. Thanks Bob for your knowledge ( some self learned ) and sharing. WHAT A GREAT NEIGHBORHOOD I HAVE FOUND!!!

DATA BANK OF KNOWLEDGE AND COMMON SENSE!!!

smoke-n-my-i's
01-04-2008, 10:14 PM
Had to go to the doctor's the other day....

No more coffee, chocolate, tomatoes, spicy foods, fatty foods, etc.....in other words, nothing that is good.

I am on medicine for 30 days. Then go back to see if I am better. If not, they will schedule a visit to have the scope down the throat to see how bad it is. Hiatal hernia......and a sinus infection to boot.

Well, I have to have my coffee, I can cut back some on my eats, but I will not cut out my Q......

I will see how the meds do, and go from there. From what I read on Mayo Clinics website, I am not in the minor stage....more like the advanced stage... so I am trying to get my mind set on possible surgery if the meds don't do it. Will see.

This could be worse than allergic to pork....:eek:

chinesebob
01-05-2008, 12:13 AM
Had to go to the doctor's the other day....

No more coffee, chocolate, tomatoes, spicy foods, fatty foods, etc.....in other words, nothing that is good.

I am on medicine for 30 days. Then go back to see if I am better. If not, they will schedule a visit to have the scope down the throat to see how bad it is. Hiatal hernia......and a sinus infection to boot.

Well, I have to have my coffee, I can cut back some on my eats, but I will not cut out my Q......

I will see how the meds do, and go from there. From what I read on Mayo Clinics website, I am not in the minor stage....more like the advanced stage... so I am trying to get my mind set on possible surgery if the meds don't do it. Will see.

This could be worse than allergic to pork....:eek:

What escalated this? Reflux?
My migraine diet was - nothing with any kind of nitrates. That means no chocolate, coffee, soda, canned food, pizza, pork, beef, margarine(which I think is evil), nuts, prepared food, etc. I lost over 30# in one month that way. It was pure hell. Though my cardio got a lot better which improved other things that my Mrs didn't seem to mind.....

Scope down the throat isn't that bad. A lot of times they give you versed(sp?). it's the other end you'll dread...

Good luck. You'll pull through this like it was a walk in the park.

smoke-n-my-i's
01-05-2008, 10:24 AM
I am sure I will make it... just will take some time.

It is a very uncomfortable nagging pain that I am living with right now. Maybe that is why I have been so "crabby" lately. Almost as bad as PMS.... :eek:

So if I sound a little harsh at times, just over look it for now.

If I can survive the appendix problems I had, the gall bladder problems, the allergy to pork, I can survive this one too.

Stoke&Smoke
01-16-2008, 01:47 PM
I'm fortunate enought not to have any severe food allergies, but I do have a couple I'd like to know if anyone else has experienced. I used to love eggs cooked over easy, but found in my late twenties that they began causing my throat to burn and constrict, so I now only eat them cooked "hard" so there's nothing runny. I wonder if it's hormones or additives now used in poultry feed?

The other thing is a skin allergy. Whenever I handle uncooked poultry (chicken, turkey, doesn't seem to matter) it I don't wear gloves, within a few minutes my hands and wrists will begin to itch like crazy, it's totally maddening! Easy enough to get around with the gloves, but just wondered if anyone else has the same experience
Dan

chinesebob
01-17-2008, 08:11 PM
I'm fortunate enought not to have any severe food allergies, but I do have a couple I'd like to know if anyone else has experienced. I used to love eggs cooked over easy, but found in my late twenties that they began causing my throat to burn and constrict, so I now only eat them cooked "hard" so there's nothing runny. I wonder if it's hormones or additives now used in poultry feed?

The other thing is a skin allergy. Whenever I handle uncooked poultry (chicken, turkey, doesn't seem to matter) it I don't wear gloves, within a few minutes my hands and wrists will begin to itch like crazy, it's totally maddening! Easy enough to get around with the gloves, but just wondered if anyone else has the same experience
Dan

I work with a guy that has this very thing. Both my boys that have food allergies have the egg allergy as well. Chicken they are ok, but my wife is a freak about chicken juice of any kind so she doesn't let them anywhere near it. Your reaction to the runny eggs is exactly that - reaction to the protein in the eggs.

soultrue
01-22-2008, 12:39 PM
hey brother , check if you have eating any msg mono sodium gludamate its in alot of foods and comercial spices