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Old 12-25-2007, 08:16 PM   #1
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Join Date: 04-07-07
Location: Westerville,OH
Default Food Allergy Poll

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.
Chinesebob - Central Ohio
A Chinese speaking white guy in search of the perfect bbq.
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