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Germany & Greece

5 replies [Last post]
By ElizabethY on Tue, 05-19-09, 14:36

Any experiences or advice regarding travel within these countries would be appreciated. We're planning a trip this fall with our son (PN/TN allergies). DS is German, which helps. My biggest question is, is there a great deal of awareness in these countries where the allergy doesn't seem to be as prevalent? Would you trust any restaurant food? Any information regarding the labeling? I'm kinda scared, but DS's family is in Europe, so we have to learn how to travel there with our son.

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By sidni on Sun, 08-23-09, 01:05

Hi! I've been to Germany several times and lived there as an exchange student. I found Germany uneventful as for allergies :) I've never had a problem there and found people generally quite understand -- although sometimes the issue of "may contain traces" seems to need a bit of explanation.

Peanuts are not terribly common, but some tree nuts are in lots of baked goods and many breads are x-contam. Feel safe going to restaurants, provided you are smart and take necessary precautions. I have never had trouble eating German food, and there are plenty of other safe options-- Italian, for instance. I am vegetarian but I have tried sausages in German (upon much begging over the course of years from my friends there) and they are usually straightforward and I wouldn't worry about them... maybe avoid Currywurst if you're in Berlin. Even in smaller towns, there are often American foods available--- there was a whole section in the town I last stayed at with Hershey's chocolate, Heinz ketchup, and some things I don't remember anymore... Silly all-american things.

In germany, it is required to list all ingredients actually included in a product and you will find many may contain statements. When there, I trust those statements and have never bothered calling. I am PN/TN allergic.

Some helpful words for you...
Danke (thanks), Vielen Dank (thanks a lot)
Bitte (please)
Ich spreche nur ein Bisschen Deutsch (I speak only a bit of German) / Ich spreche nicht gut deutsch ( I don't speak good German)
Sprechen Sie Englisch? (do you speak English? Please include a hopeful smile and a warm thank you if they do!)
Ich habe ein sehr starkes Allergie (gegen)... I have a very severe allergy (to- the word I used is against, but that's the phrasing auf Deutsch).

If you need any more help, I will gladly assist you. Where will you be going?
I lived about 15 minutes outside München but have spent a good deal of time in Berlin as well as some smaller cities (Nürnberg, Augsburg, etc)

Nut allergies are not as widespread in Germany but it seems most people have heard of it. In cities, many people speak English but don't rely on it. Have an allergy card made in German and English that clearly and courteously explains the allergy. I've written it out for you-- if I've made any mistakes, they're minor and won't make any difference in someone's ability to understand.

Ich bin sehr allergisch gegen Nüssen (Erdnußen, Cashewnüssen, Mandeln,Haselnüssen,Walnüssen, Pecannüssen, Pignoli, usw.) Ich muss nichts mit Nußen essen. Bitte sichern Sie, dass keine Nußen Kontakt mit meinem Essen hereinkommen. Vielen Dank für Ihre Hilfe!

I am very allergic to nuts (peanuts, cashews, almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans, pignoli, etc). I must not eat anything with nuts. Please enure than no nuts make come into contact with my food. Many thanks for your help.

Attempting to speak German will greatly improve people's response to you, as the terrible American tourist is not always very warmly received. Eek. :)

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By ElizabethY on Mon, 08-24-09, 17:11

Sidni - thanks so much for your thoughtful response. My husband is from Germany, so we're covered on the language issue (which is really helpful), and I'm working on it :) We've never dealt with the food allergy in Europe, though, as we haven't been back since our son was born, so I appreciate all the helpful info. We're looking forward to doing Oktoberfest this year!


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By Miri on Wed, 09-09-09, 20:20

Hello! We spent four weeks in Germany this summer without incident. It was our first time traveling with my DD (PN/TN Allergies) of 3yrs. My DH is German, so speaking the language helped, but I think I would have managed just fine on my own. Lots of things are labeled and many restaurants did not make any dishes with nuts (we did stay away from desserts). The only thing we did not find was a PN/TN free chocolate (maybe next time). We had a wonderful time. The only stressful part of the trip for me was the flight, so make sure to pack enough food,snacks and wipes. Enjoy your trip!


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By RichieB on Tue, 04-13-10, 09:35

This is pretty late but for anyone else who is interested here are a few helpful resources for Germany.

Reformhaeuser www.reformhaus.de/branche/reformhaeuser.htm (health food stores), DM (chain of supermarkets) and Bioladen (organic stores) cater weel to people with allergies in Germany, if you want a substitute peanut butter though it is best to bring with because peanut butter isn't popular in germany anyways.

You can also get allergy card from www.delicardo.com (a german based company)

Alnatura is also a good chain of supermarkets for allergy sufferers www.alnatura.de

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By Zachnunes on Fri, 05-07-10, 00:07

Last summer I did a trip to both those countries. They really don't use nuts in regular cooking and I felt completely safe. Also English was spojen regularly in both locations.

Have fun

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