College Roommate has peanut allergies, should we all stop eating nuts? - Peanut Allergy Information

College Roommate has peanut allergies, should we all stop eating nuts?

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My roommate (age 21) is allergic to peanuts, shellfish, and dairy. She doesn't want to make the rest of the apartment (4 girls) stop eating foods we like, but we feel bad when she always has to avoid the kitchen because of us. I want her to feel welcome, but I also want to eat salmon and peanut butter sometimes. What is a good compromise for this situation?

Edit: she is not deathly allergic. She goes out for sushi with us and sometimes eats reeses cups. She has never been hospitalized but still gets very itchy and uncomfortable around these foods.

By GinaT on Oct 22, 2012

She encourages us to thoroughly wash our dishes after we cook and eat anything with peanuts or shellfish, but she often stays out of the kitchen in general. She doesn't want to be a burden but she also avoids the kitchen. Should we stop eating these things altogether, or maybe have specialized kitchenware that she doesn't use?

By rachelroo on Oct 22, 2012

You sound like a really caring roommate.

Does your roomie have an allergic reaction to contact (touching peanuts or inhaling airborne peanut allergens, such as dust from the shells)?

Is she worried about cross contamination?

By cathlina on Oct 22, 2012

A minute amount of allergen can kill her. She can not share dishes, pans, eating utensils etc. with you. You do not want something to happen to her because you all could not make a will follow you everyday of your life....

By joannosha on Oct 26, 2012

as she is not severely allergic and you are not putting her health at risk due to accidental exposure i would say that it is something that should be discussed openly, with all the housemates together, and she will let you know what her comfort level is on this. if she is able to eat these items herself, i can't imagine that she expects you all to avoid them for her sake. maybe she just avoids the kitchen due to not having much of an interest in cooking. communication is the main thing. if she was severely allergic, than by all means, its a different story and these items should not be allowed in the house at all as they could possibly cause her to have a severe, life-threatening reaction.

By cathlina on Oct 27, 2012

Peanut allergen on dishes can not be destroyed with dish washing!!! To avoid contamination in our home, I use paper plates, plastic cups and at times plastic utensils.

By FoodAllergies on Oct 30, 2012

That's awesome that you are thinking of ways to help her out! Have you ever tried other butters such as sunbutter? In regards to dairy there are other milks out there that are good, I use to love milk but have switched over to drinking either rice milk or hemp seed milk. Definitely a different flavor but I have become accustomed to them. Also being prepared in case she does ever have a reaction, do you and your roommates know what to do in case of an allergic reaction?