Dining Out with Food Allergies

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Last updated: October 30, 2023

For those with food allergies, dining out can be a stressful and complicated experience. Raquel Durban, Carolina Asthma & Allergy Center’s Registered Dietitian, who specializes in the dietary management of families with food allergies shares her tips on dining out with food allergies.  She strives to empower those with food allergies to take action to protect themselves when dining out.  She also wants this time out to be free from worry and concern.

Tips on Dining Out with Food Allergies:

  • Call ahead to check on the restaurant’s protocol for food allergies. Let them know when you’re coming and more details about your food allergy. Inquire to see if they can provide accommodations for your allergies & are willing to take the extra steps to ensure you’re safe.
  • Once at the restaurant, always communicate with your server about your food allergy. Ask any questions you may have about the ways food is prepared.
  • Bring in a “chef card” that outlines the foods you must avoid. This is a great way to communicate your food allergy to a chef or manager at restaurants. Our friends at Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) provide a PDF of chef card templates in English and a number of foreign languages to use while traveling or at ethnic food restaurants.
  • Confirm when your plate is served that your meal is free from your food allergen.
  • Carry your epinephrine auto-injector or other emergency medication to the restaurant with you.
  • Speak up and advocate for yourself or your child if you are a parent of a child with a food allergy.

Raquel Durban, Carolina Asthma and Allergy Center Registered Dietitian

Learn more about the Dietitian Services we offer.

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