away from home
As most reactions occur when you are eating away from home, extra caution is always needed. It is easy to ask, "Does this have nuts in it?” it is probably even easier to answer, “I don't think so." Your job is to explain to the server how serious the allergy is, it could cause death, but that it is possible for them to ensure that is it safe for your family to consume.
Be very clear in how you inform them of the severity of the allergy – you many find an establishment that is not comfortable with the allergy, but it is far better they tell you up front than attempt to slap something safe together and fail.
It is helpful to call ahead to restaurants to determine if they could be a safe option and how you feel they will respond to your needs. When you visit a restaurant for the first time - go during non-peak times when they won't be swamped with orders and something may be missed.
Above all else, just because you believe something is safe there is always a risk - no matter how small. Being prepared with your antihistamine and adrenaline injections is absolutely necessary. Never eat out without them!
Fast Food/Large Chains:
You do the research, you answer your own questions, you don't need to take someone else's word on what is safe.
These food chains ensure that each restaurant purchases the same products every time, they cannot switch brands here and there to save money - they must follow protocol and the ingredients of their brands are always up-to-date with what they are serving.
For more info on eating out, see the Peanut Allergy Handbook.
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