Traveling to Korea with a PA and Seafood allergy

6 replies [Last post]
By Christy Lynn on Mon, 06-28-10, 16:59

We are trying to plan a trip to Korea, more specifically JeJu island, Yong In University and Seoul. My son has a life-threatening peanut and seafood allergy and my husband has an allergy to shellfish. My son is 15 years old and has studied Tae Kwon Do with the same Korean instructor since he was 4 years old. We would be traveling with this instructor and his family. He would have the opportunity to train at the University where his Master trained. This is something he really wants to do. We just can't seem to find anyone with a peanut or shellfish allergy, who has traveled there.
We have traveled to England. And we know that we need to make arrangements with the airlines. We will use United, because they have been the most user friendly. We also will bring Chef's cards in Korea and will bring instructions in Korean for medical treatment if we needed it.
I just can't seem to find anyone who has done this before. Is there anyone out there, who has done this or knows if we can safely travel here.
Thanks so much
Christy Lynn

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By angelasmith on Sun, 07-11-10, 08:22

We are embarking on a blind adventure to Switzerland soon. My PA daughter is 11. Although I do not have any concrete advice to give. It sounds as if we are taking the same initial steps, and I just wanted to wish you the best of luck on this amazing opportunity for your son!

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By takizakura on Mon, 07-12-10, 13:18

Hello. I don't know how well Chef's cards will go over in korea. (That's not to say you shouldn't try it, definitely please post about your experience on here afterwards). There are a lot of Americans living in Korea through the armed forces. Why don't you contact the Armed Forces and find out if they have any advice too? Also, definitely bring your own safe food to eat while there. McDonald's should be safe for the peanut allergy as well (I take my p/a son there all the time here in Japan). Sometime they have shrimp burgers here though which could lead to a cross contamination problem. Will you be staying in a place where you can prepare your own food at all? What does the instructor say? I wish I had better advice for you!

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By Zachnunes on Thu, 07-15-10, 05:56

Hey I have been to Korea. They don't really use peanut oil in Korea (too expensive) and most their food do not contain peanuts. They do have peanuts for snacks and such at bars, but that is easy to spot. They also use penauts and nuts in desserts. I travelled with cards for the chefs and it seemed to work fine for me.

I have a life threatening allergy to nuts and survived with not a single scare. I even ate local food and it was all good.

Seafood is really easy to spot and avoid. And there are a lot of great korean food that doesn't have seafood.

Also Takizakura, why do you take your son to Mcdonalds in Japan? Japan has almost no nuts in a single dish. I have lived in Japan for 3 years and have seen nuts maybe 10 times.

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By Christy Lynn on Tue, 07-27-10, 02:15

Thanks to everyone who answered. We are beginning to think that the shellfish allergy is going to be a larger problem for a trip to Korea. Are they aware of cross-contamination issues with shellfish? We have tried contacting McDonalds Korea, but get no reply to e-mail. Anyone know if they are aware cross-contamination for shellfish at McDonalds in Korea?

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By Zachnunes on Wed, 07-28-10, 02:00

Well McDonalds Korea has basically the same menu as back home. From what I can remember I didn't see and shellfish. I could be wrong though.

You can still some Korean food and it will be very safe even with a shellfish allergy. I suggest Bulgogi (Korean BB) its just marinated beef cooked infront of you. No shell fish no nuts and all tasty.

Also Kimchi is a spicy cabbage thing (sometimes other veggies) served with every meal. It is nut and shellfish free.

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By nutfreedad on Thu, 08-12-10, 13:24

You still have to be very careful. Most of the Korean food are o.k. but sometimes, they put peanuts in the least suspected dishes to add twist. They are not as familiar with PA so it is important to learn some Korean phrases and ask managers by stressing on "life threatening" part as you would in US.

I would keep out of bakeries and eating cookies even if they are not declared.

I have a PA son whom I'd love to take to see Korea but we have indefinitely put it on hold because his mom can not deal with the uncertainties.

Good luck!

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