20 Questions To Dine With Food Allergies

It’s rare that you get to talk to an owner manager or chef of a restaurant while not in their restaurant or while they are working. I’m trying to ask all kinds of questions to find out if the Wild Card can safely eat while they are tending to me and other customers. Sometimes I feel like I get memorized answers. I think several restaurants go through the same “food allergy training” seminar. Yesterday I got the undivided attention of an owner chef of a local eatery outside of work and I jumped on the chance to question him inside and out of his allergy practices. The good thing is that he is a small deli and he is the main person preparing food so I know he is on top of what is what. It’s also from a place which I love to eat. I sent my labor coach/friend there after I delivered the Wild Card to get me a cold cut sub for lunch, no doubt the best in town. I needed this place to meet my standards and it did! For those of you that have never asked about food allergies, here is a list of some of the questions ER have to think about to ask.

1. Do you have any peanut or tree nut ingredients in your food?
2. Where are these ingredients stored in comparison to your non-nut ingredients?
3. Do you clean your meat slicer after each user?
4. How?
5. Do you fry anything?
6. Do you have desserts?
7. Are all desserts made on premise?
8. Where do you get your chocolate from?
9. Do you know for certain their plant does not handle nut products?
10. Do you mix your homemade cookies with outside cookies for packaging?
11. Do you wah your hands in between handling different types of food?
12. What you’re of oil do you use?
13. Do you bake your own bread?
14. Where does your bread come from?
15. What else does the bakery make?
16. Are you sure they only make bread?
17. Can I have their info to talk to them about food handling and allergen information?
18. Are you tired of my questions?
19. When are you having pit beef again?
20. Are you going to hide the next time you see me?

See the problem is that most people only know the handling and preparations of their restaurants, not their food suppliers and since you don’t have to label for contamination, many people don’t realize if products have been tainted. I’m glad that owner Bill took my concerns seriously and answered my questions thoroughly. It’s nice to know we can get a good meal that wasn’t home made and support local businesses at the same time. This place got an A+ in my book.

Disclaimer: this is not an entire list of questions that need to be asked, it’s dependent on the type of food and “yes” answers.

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