Food allergies

T he holiday season is the time to gather around a table co- vered with delectable foods, each recipe more spectacular than the next. However, your traditional Christmas meal can turn into a real headache when one of your guests has food allergies. Here are some tips for coping with this problemwhen preparing themeal.

Food choices Sometimes just a few simple adjustments to the menu are all that’s required to accom- modate your guests with allergies. When you do your grocery shopping, look for the special food aisle where products are labe- led “egg free,” “lactose free” or “nut free.” Bulk products should be avoided because cross contamination is more frequent with these types of foods. Also, make sure you

Prevention People with allergies are responsible for their own health. Consequently, it’s up to them to bring all the necessary drugs to treat a possible reaction, such as antihistami- nes, a bronchodilator and two epinephrine auto-injectors. Despite all your precautions, allergenic substances can still sometimes be found in seemingly harmless food. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

read package labels before buying sauces or prepared appetizers; they may contain ingredients that you wouldn’t expect to find there. Preparation Be very careful when cooking your meal. Prepare allergen-free foods first in order to reduce the risk of contamination. Wash your hands and thoroughly clean your cooking tools after handling allergenic foods.

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