Anyone living in Hong Kong with PA?


My family is moving to HK in August. I have not seen any current posts regarding dealing with PA over there. Can anyone please help me! I don't know what to expect.

Jenny son 3 years pa and tree nuts

On Jul 8, 2006

I don't know about Hong Kong, but a few years ago we moved to Korea. Our son is allergic to peanuts and sesame.

I brought some convenience foods with us in our luggage (mac-n-cheese, ramen, crackers, etc.) so he'd have a few things to eat while we settled in and figured out where to buy foods he could eat.

Once we arrived in Korea, for the first few weeks, I focused on simple whole foods such as fruit, vegetables, rice, chicken, etc., and cooked very simple, straightforward meals that would be safe for him to eat. Meanwhile, I started researching what other foods he could eat.

As we got settled in, I found out which shops sold imported American foods. It takes a long time to figure everything out, but eventually you will be able to find everything you need. I'm sure Hong Kong has a much better selection of U.S. or U.K. products than we have in Korea, so you will be fine.

We also had to figure out which restaurants our son could eat at. We found that American fast food places, like McDonald's, Domino's Pizza and KFC were safe for him, and we also found a few American chain restaurants where he could order some safe meals. Korean restaurants are pretty much off limits for him because of the widespread use of sesame in Korean cuisine, but we found that at barbecue restaurants he can have plain rice and unmarinated meat that we grill at our table.

In Hong Kong, you will probably want to avoid Chinese restaurants, but there may be some types of restaurants that are safe. It will take a little time to locate them and satisfy yourself that they're safe.

It is a gradual process, figuring out how to manage food allergies in a foreign country. In three years, we made one mistake. While we were vacationing in the Middle East, our son had an allergic reaction to cross contamination from sesame in a restaurant where we ate. Fortunately, the reaction was mild.

It's best to take a bunch of Epi-pens with you. Hong Kong probably has them, but they might not be widely available. Korea doesn't have epis at all, so we always get them in the US when we come back for the summer.

Good luck and enjoy your new home.

[This message has been edited by Sandra Y (edited July 08, 2006).]

On Jul 8, 2006

Thank you for such a nice and encouraging email. I will take some food with us, like you said, until we get settled. The place we will be living in for several months has a lot of Americans and a grocery store, so I am assuming there will be a good amount of imported food.

My husband is having someone at his office (Chinese) make up cards that I can carry that say that my son has a severe allergy. I will take a bunch of epis as well. We have an appointment with an American trained allergist the week after we arrive. I am hoping he can hook me up with some moms that can show me the ropes. Thanks again for your email.

Oh! Did you ever fly Korean Air? That is who we are flying with. They have not been very helpful (via email). I have heard the planes are very clean. Jenny

[This message has been edited by jennys (edited July 08, 2006).]

On Jul 8, 2006


See the "Introduction" section. There is at least one member currently living in Hong Kong.


On Jul 8, 2006

I visited Hong Kong for 2 weeks back in October 2004.

There were lots of safe restaurant choices. I found some Italian restaurats which were safe [img][/img] I also ate at 2 safe Japanese restaurants (salmon teriyaki & chicken teriyaki).

I ate at McDonalds (but read the sauce ingredients.. I believe it was the curry sauce that came in the individual palstic container that had peanut ingredients). I ate at KFC and Pizza Hut.

There are more Western restaurants on HK Island, especially if you go up to the Mid Levels where many expatriates from Canada, USA and UK are living. They were even having a big Oktoberfest ceelbration the week we were there.

Kit Kay Chunky bars and Nestle Fruitip candies are safe.

I didn't have problems being in HK for 2 weeks. The main problem you may have is Chinese restaurants, especially if the staff does not speak English.

As you discover HK, I am sure you will find safe restaurant choices. Good luck [img][/img]

On Jul 8, 2006

I did fly on Korean Air. We flew roundtrip Seoul to Dubai, a ten hour flight each way, for vacation once, and it seemed like they were passing out peanuts every half hour. I could smell the peanuts. Fortunately, my son did not seem to notice and did not react, but I was very uncomfortable about it. Since that flight, we've avoided Korean Air. Whenever we fly to the U.S., we use United because Korean Air does serve peanuts. There is very little awareness of food allergies in Korea.

On Jul 9, 2006

Oh Sandra, that just makes me sick to my stomach about Korean Air. I have contacted them via email and they have not been very helpful. They just give me the same thing I found on their site.

I am already going to be a mess considering I am leaving my family and friends.... the peanut thing just tops it off!

Our flight is about 14 hours (I think). I am begging my husband to change airlines. Thank you so much for your help again. Jenny

On Jul 11, 2006

I am sorry that you are going through such emotional turmoil regarding your move to HK. I would first contact Korean Air to find out if they still serve peanuts onboard. Last time I flew, i think they gave out Blue Diamond Almonds. In addition.... Just be aware that food allergies in many Asian countries are rare. Therefore, the natives will not really understand the fuss you make about it and not respond positively. They just don't understand how severe and fatal a reaction can be. So, be extra careful when eating out at restaurants and also eating at native co-workers' homes. We've found peanuts in our vegetable dumplings in chinese places before.