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Posted on: Thu, 03/03/2005 - 8:31am
Sandra Y's picture
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Joined: 08/22/2000 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by ElleMo:
[b]
The first statement would definately make me more comfortable than the native speaker who told me they use "granola" oil.
[/b]
Ha! That really made me laugh! I asked a waitress once about how the French fries were prepared. She came back from the kitchen and told me they are fried in "low fat sesame oil."
I tried to tell her this was impossible--there's no such thing as low fat oil. And who fries in sesame oil? She got extremely huffy even though I was being quite good-natured about it. She insisted that is exactly what the head cook told her. I'm pretty sure it was soybean oil, but oh well, we just didn't eat the fries.
And they were all Americans in the restaurant. Except for my immigrant husband, with a HEAVY accent, who was trying to explain food allergies to them!!
I understood what everyone meant in this thread about restaurant workers with accents--I didn't get offended. You can tell by the way the waitstaff responds whether or not they are truly fluent, whether communication is possible, and whether they're "getting it."
And solarflare made a good point--even if your waitress understands perfectly, it doesn't necessarily mean the cooks in the back will understand her.
(Good info earlier in the thread about PF Chang's. I never heard of that restaurant. I'd love to try it sometime)

Posted on: Thu, 03/03/2005 - 9:01am
MommaBear's picture
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Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Sandra Y:
[b]And they were all Americans in the restaurant. Except for my immigrant husband, with a HEAVY accent, who was trying to explain food allergies to them!!
[/b]
good point.
My dear father's "accent" made some of his speech virtually unintelligible to many persons.
That said, [i]I always understood him[/i].
*the first time*.
Despite his "accent", he could read and write several languages as if they were his native tongue. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
He was strikingly intelligent. A solution finder. Insightful.
I guess my point is that I never assume [i]just because [b]I[/b] *can't* understand someone, *they* don't understand[/i]. Maybe it's I that doesn't understand *them*. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] As long as we are discussing "obvious" lack of understanding. But yeah, if *I* lack understanding of *them*, then of course, I'm not going to *trust* the situation. I mean,
[b]I don't necessarily trust persons who say the [i]right[/i] things anyway.[/b]
My father's employer had a life threatening food allergy to many seafoods. He *insisted* [b]my father prepare[/b] his food for him. But then again, [i]they both spoke Greek[/i]. among some other languages.
and, maybe less importantly, *English*. (I mean, they were both *Greek*.)
But of course, that in itself poses the very problem being discussed here, does it not? Maybe it's me, I could be way off.
Also noting, that not only did my father verbally communicate a detailed understanding of my cubs allergies *to me*, [b]he also demonstrated it[/b]. Many of time, he tightened things up a bit. Reminded us in those early years what wasn't a *good idea*. Shared his knowledge and experience as a chef and a parent. KWIM?
"heavy", "thick", "accent", and all. I mean, what determines what is an "obvious" lack of understanding anyway?
General Disclaimer: I am not offering advice in any manner or form. Just describing my own personal, highly individual, and unique situation.

Posted on: Thu, 03/03/2005 - 1:05pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

May I simply say that despite the title of this thread (and the answers received to go with the initial question), I think the discussion in this thread has been quite lovely, for lack of a better word.
To me, the clarity came with my last post, but was further enhanced by people posting after me.
Even if you are dealing with English speaking people (and you, yourself are English), I think one can get a sense if the person you are posing the questions to really understands what you're saying.
So, as I said earlier, it doesn't really matter if the person is Chinese, Spanish, Italian or English, if the understanding of the questions that you need answered to feel comfortable to eat food in a restaurant is not there, it's not there, regardless of the language spoken.
We have had detailed discussions with the people working in the Polish bakery re how PA safe they are and we got answers that we felt comfortable with. We have yet to embark on the same series of questions with the Polish take-out deli, where we have found the most exquisite chicken schitznel (?).
I have most certainly had my questions answered well by people who do not speak English as their first language, just as I have NOT had my questions answered well by someone who does speak English as their first language.
I had initially raised this question because I was hoping now that I have returned to a city where there are "chain" Chinese food restaurants, we *may* be able to try them. It was simply something when I was in Stayner that I was not comfortable doing and it was because of the inability of the people running the restaurant not being able to answer my questions.
After living there, and reading what I read most people here do, I never even ventured to try in my last town.
erik, do we have P.F. Chang's in Toronto? Sounds as though I could get some recommendations from you regardless. Do you know anything about The Mandarin chain? I have one of their restaurants close to me.
But again, an enlightening discussion, which I very much appreciated, thank-you. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Thu, 03/03/2005 - 1:52pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Elle Mo, is it okay for me to say that I got quite a chuckle out of the "granola oil" response?
Sometimes little chuckles can get one through difficult days. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Thu, 03/10/2005 - 5:23am
Yankee's picture
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Joined: 03/08/2000 - 09:00

My allergist made me promise to never eat in an asian restaurant. He told me that it would be foolish to do so, as the risk of cross contamination is so high. True, you have to be careful in every restaurant, but why go somewhere where your chances of being exposed are so much greater?
My doctor had a patient once who ignored his wishes and ate frequently at an asian restaurant. She was fine every time. One time (the last time) she had a reaction. She took her epipen and decided to jog thinking the medication would get into her sooner. Instead, the jogging sped up the anaphylactic shock and she died. After being told that everything was fine. And this from a restaurant she had eaten at numerous times. I miss chinese food so much, but unless there wasn't a peanut on the premises, I wouldn't do it.

Posted on: Thu, 03/10/2005 - 5:47am
erik's picture
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Joined: 05/15/2001 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Yankee:
[b]I miss chinese food so much, but unless there wasn't a peanut on the premises, I wouldn't do it. [/b]
Hi Yankee,
Do you eat at non-Chinese restaurants that have peanuts on the premises? If yes, how do you keep safe in these places?
I'm just thinking of this, as I was at an Italian restaurant the other day that has a pasta with peanuts in it (clearly labelled on the menu).

Posted on: Thu, 03/10/2005 - 9:29am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

erik, where have you been? I have missed you this week! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
Wouldn't it be fairly safe to say that eating in Asian restaurants is a higher risk than eating at other restaurants where peanuts are not part of a lot of the dishes on the menu? I think that's basically Yankee's point (although I am not speaking on his/her behalf).
Is Thai food considered Asian? I mean, I don't think ANY of us are stepping into a Thai restaurant in this lifetime.
For me, I'd really have to go with DH and check it out during the day, without the kids, to see how it was.
I remember having a discussion with one of the Mandarin chain restaurants when Jesse was first diagnosed (meaning I really knew nothing) and we did order the food in.
I wouldn't want to take a senseless chance with Jess though if it simply meant him trying another ethnic cuisine.
And erik, you must admit that peanuts in Italian cuisine is fairly rare, perhaps even a *trendy* thing, and certainly not traditional as it would be with Chinese food?
Any restaurant we step into may very likely have a peanut product on the menu (I mean that greasy spoon does have pb to spread on the toast with your breakfast), but again, the chances.
This raises another question for me - do most of us stick to fast food/chain restaurants rather than regular restaurants? In thinking of my experience (which has not been extensive), I would have to say, yes, I do stick to chains/fast food.
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Sat, 03/12/2005 - 1:20am
erik's picture
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Joined: 05/15/2001 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Cindy Spowart Cook:
[b]erik, where have you been? I have missed you this week! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img][/b]
Very busy lately so not much time for PA.COM ..I have missed a lot of posts.. too many to read [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/tongue.gif[/img]
Quote:Originally posted by Cindy Spowart Cook:
[b]Wouldn't it be fairly safe to say that eating in Asian restaurants is a higher risk than eating at other restaurants where peanuts are not part of a lot of the dishes on the menu? [/b]
Yes, in general it is true. But my point is that just because you have a peanut alleegy, it doesn't mean you can never eat in an Asian restaurant. And just because it is a Western restaurant does not mean it is safe. I ate at Prince Sushi last week and they do not use peanuts at all, while when I was at the Bay cafeteria, they had a big bowl of peanut butter in the grill area for making peanut butter sandwiches (so some Asian restaurants can be safer than some Western restaurants)
Quote:Originally posted by Cindy Spowart Cook:
[b]Is Thai food considered Asian? I mean, I don't think ANY of us are stepping into a Thai restaurant in this lifetime.[/b]
Yes, Thai food is Asian. And I never eat at Thai restaurants as they use lots of peanuts.
Quote:Originally posted by Cindy Spowart Cook:
[b]I wouldn't want to take a senseless chance with Jess though if it simply meant him trying another ethnic cuisine.[/b]
You don't have to take a senseless chance. Just do the same as you would at any other restaurat. Ask questions, and if you are not satisfied, don't eat there. It doesn't matter whether it is an Asian restaurant or a Western restaurant, we always have to ask the same set of questions and if we're not satisfied, we walk away.
Quote:Originally posted by Cindy Spowart Cook:
[b]And erik, you must admit that peanuts in Italian cuisine is fairly rare, perhaps even a *trendy* thing, and certainly not traditional as it would be with Chinese food?[/b]
Yes.. it is rare... but I have found that peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are not made in Asian restaurants, but thye are quite common in Western restaurants (rish of cross contamination with knife used to cut the ssandwich, cutting board, etc). So we always have to keep our guard no matter where we eat.
But yes... Italian food is probably the safest type of food we can eat, as peanuts are very rarely used (although pine nuts are common as they are the main ingredient in pesto)
***********************
So in summary, I do agree that many Asian restaurants are risky and not to be eaten at... my only point is just beacuse you have PA does not mean you can never eat in an Asian restaurant, and just because it is a Western restaurant does not guarantee that it is safer than an Asian restaurant. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Sat, 03/12/2005 - 10:05am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

erik, an excellent point that I now very clearly understand. Thank-you for taking the time to go through it point-by-point with me. I really appreciate it.
Now, I need a Chinese Food restaurant recommendation from you - downtown would be fine. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] I won't even run off to grab a falafel while I'm downtown if I could eat Chinese Food again! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Thu, 03/17/2005 - 4:08am
mandylou's picture
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Joined: 02/26/2005 - 09:00

After reading some of the posts i am just now learning that they sometimes use pb to seal the egg rolls. I did know that some restaurants use peanut oil though. I always find at least one person at the restaurant that speaks english well enough to find out what kind of oil it is. Most places where i live use vegetable oil. I have found a place that i can go to that i dont have much of a reaction to their food. I try to avoid dishes with sesame seeds too, i think that i some times have a reaction to them as well and peanuts. Just have to be careful no matter what restaurant you go to.

Posted on: Tue, 04/26/2005 - 3:17am
Melrose Mum's picture
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Joined: 01/23/2002 - 09:00

I've just found out that Blue Ginger (owner Ming Tsai, from t.v. show Simply Ming) in Wellesley, MA is EXTREMELY aware. Ming's son is PA (and more) They have very strict procedures regarding the one dish that contains peanuts. The manager explained how peanuts are only used at one wok station, and how the wok is cleaned before cooking for someone with an allergy. HE told me about how they avoid cross-contamination, etc. Apparently, they are quite well known for dealing with food allergies. We'll give them a try and report back....however, the menu is more East Meets West (fusion) you can check them out at [url="http://www.ming.com"]http://www.ming.com[/url] and BTW, the 'thai dipping sauce' has nothing to do with peanuts.

Posted on: Tue, 04/26/2005 - 6:15am
ajgauthier's picture
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Joined: 04/13/2005 - 09:00

hiya - great thread! I'm going to check out the policies of the PF Chang's in my area (Tucson, AZ) and see if they have the same guidelines.
I've never eaten at a chinese, indian, thai, or pacific rim restaurant. It's just not in my comfort zone due to cross contamination.
However, I routinely eat at Japanese places, but I do call and ask about their ingredients. Usually these are sushi and teppanaki places. Bennihana's (the ones I've eaten at) do not use peanut oil or ANY nuts for that matter. I was so impressed! I could eat ANYTHING off the menu! (This was in Atlanta, GA and in Boston, MA).
I've bought a good indian cookbook, chinese cookbook, and pacific rim cookbook, as, I do like those styles of food. I modify recipes using canola oil to fry and completely know the rest of the ingredients are fresh and of my making...no nuts or peanuts!
Adrienne :-)
------------------
30-year old survivor of sever peanut/tree nut allergy

Posted on: Tue, 04/26/2005 - 6:46am
cooper's picture
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Joined: 12/20/2002 - 09:00

Melrose Mum - Thanks so much for the info about Blue Ginger. Never thought I could go there with my son - so this is great news. Thanks for posting.

Posted on: Tue, 04/26/2005 - 8:25am
solarflare's picture
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Joined: 02/07/2002 - 09:00

The one cuisine that I do really miss is Thai. We've found a Vietnamese noodle house that is safe enough for Jason, but Thai is impossible.
I have to settle for making Pad Thai at home with a fish sauce base rather than a peanut base (I prefer it that way anyway).
I didn't know that Ming Tsai had a son with food allergies. I watched his show on Food Network a lot when it was still airing.. my local PBS affliates don't carry Simply Ming. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]

Posted on: Tue, 04/26/2005 - 12:25pm
pgrubbs's picture
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Joined: 10/27/2003 - 09:00

I miss Asian food. i cook it at home but it is not the same. I love Ming Tsai! (sorry about the spelling!)

Posted on: Sun, 05/01/2005 - 2:59pm
fuzzyfurball's picture
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Joined: 06/27/2002 - 09:00

I do routinely avoid Chinese Restaurants because I have recently begun to react to the food. I was already aware that egg rolls are definitely a NO-NO. We have a Chinese place that does not use peanut oil when they stir fry, and are well aware of my allergy. THat is the only place I will eat Chinese food b/c I have NEVER had a reaction. One dr. said to eat at only one chinese rest. Another one said to avoid it altogether and not to eat ANY nuts. (I have regularly been okay with pecans and walnuts, but I am careful what brand I eat.)

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