Ethnic foods

Posted on: Mon, 08/07/2000 - 3:22pm
rmsdreams's picture
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Joined: 08/07/2000 - 09:00

Less than a week ago, my son had an allergic reaction to Chinese food (which he has eaten before). This reaction was life threatening.
According to both the emergency room doctor and the ICU doctor (both are ethnic) most ethnic food is either cooked in peanut oil or has peanuts/nuts in them. We had no idea about peanut oil.
In certain restaraunts, pans are not washed in between dishes that are cooked. Therefore a dish containing nuts as an ingrediant (such as water chestnuts) may be cooked in a pan, and used again (before washing) to cook a dish without nuts. We are thinking this may be what happened since he has not had an allergic reaction before.
It doesn't hurt to check, but I still don't feel safe unless stronger rules are enforced about the way meals are prepared. Any ideas?

Posted on: Mon, 08/07/2000 - 11:23pm
TheDaddy's picture
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Joined: 06/13/2000 - 09:00

I bought a wok so I could prepare oriental dishes for my wife and our children. (to handle the mid life crisis, i took up cooking) So many dishes seem to have peanuts in them.
Also, beware of seafood restaurants because they like peanut oil for the higher cooking temperature. I have to leave our two girls in the car while I go inside to check. Just standing in the lobby gives them breathing problems and they need their inhaler.

Posted on: Tue, 08/08/2000 - 12:57am
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

I don't take Chinese food for granted. Nearly every item on the menus I see contain peanuts. And if a restaurant serves any dish containing nuts, I won't let my son eat there. One can try to make special requests to the waitstaff and/or chef to thoroughly clean pans and cooking utensils, but who knows if they will be taken seriously or not. And if one tries the "my child will die right here" angle, I would not be the least surprised if they are asked to leave the restaurant.
Also, water chestnuts are not part of the nut family. I believe they are a root vegetable and should not pose a risk to a nut-allergic individual.
There is also exhaustive information on this website about peanut oil if you would like more info. Try the 'search' function.

Posted on: Tue, 08/08/2000 - 5:04am
dettu's picture
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Joined: 08/12/1999 - 09:00

My husband is Chinese, and we have never fed our son anything from a Chinese restaurant, not even plain boiled rice. Not only do they not wash out the pans, they also use the same ladle, spoon, etc. to scoop food out of various dishes and pans, and can use the same scoop for the rice as for everything else. Plus the peanut oil, and the potential for cross-contamination...yikes. The only ethnic food I'm OK with is Mexican, which he doesn't like anyway. He has eaten in a Middle Eastern restaurant here in town, but I made sure to show them my "how to read a label" cards and to emphasize that their traditional garnish (pistachios) should come nowhere near his plate--and everything was fine. But no Chinese for him. We're currently investigating whether sushi is risky, because he wants to try it.

Posted on: Tue, 08/08/2000 - 1:14pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

dettu- Let me know if you find out any information on Sushi and its safety...We take our daughter to the local Mexican restaurant and I would love her to try the Mexican food. RIght now we just get her something off the kids menu (hamburger and fries), but I think in talking to the waiter...most (if not all) the food is safe. I love sushi and so does my husband. I would love to be able to go to a Japanese rest. and atleast order her plain rice if it is safe (no cross contamination issues)..let me know. Thanks

Posted on: Wed, 08/09/2000 - 12:32am
TheDaddy's picture
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Joined: 06/13/2000 - 09:00

Be careful of Mexican restaurants, too. Our local Taco Cabana here in Houston, TX uses peanut oil in some dishes.
We have had good luck at Taco Bell. I don't know how close to real Mexican food it is, but the price is right...

Posted on: Wed, 08/09/2000 - 12:45am
Heather's picture
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Joined: 10/08/2006 - 09:00

Regarding Mexican food - On The Border has a corporate policy of not using peanut oil. Restaurant is under the same management as Chili's and the Macaroni Grill, it's called Brinker International restaurants. I still double check when I eat at Chili's, but so far I've found that policy to be true.
[This message has been edited by Heather (edited August 09, 2000).]
[This message has been edited by Heather (edited August 09, 2000).]

Posted on: Wed, 08/09/2000 - 1:03am
andy's picture
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Joined: 04/26/2001 - 09:00

I once had an enchelada with red sauce in a mexican restaurant and the red sauce had peanut butter in it. You never know. Andy

Posted on: Wed, 08/09/2000 - 7:44am
Triciasmom's picture
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Joined: 08/03/2000 - 09:00

In some Mexican restaurants they serve mole' sauce on enchiladas, chicken, etc. Most mole' sauces contain chocolate and peanuts

Posted on: Thu, 08/10/2000 - 4:52am
ihatepeanuts's picture
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Joined: 04/08/2000 - 09:00

It is a shame about Chinese restaurants.
I love eating Chinese but our PA son will
probably never be able to. We do go to a
local Chinese buffet place but always bring
in his own meal. I wonder how that will go
when he is older? He is only 5 now. My
husband had given him some pineapple from
the fruit bar and now he always asks for it.
I said we can't give him any anymore because
you never know when people scoop it up and
put it on their plate if it is touching something else that could have peanuts in it.
It's just not safe. At this restaurant they
always have peanut butter chicken on the
buffet. Yuk! I used to make my own
chinese stir fry and serve him some (he never
was very crazy about it). Now I am not sure
if I should even do that because of the
possible soy sauce cross contamination I have
read about. Has anyone yet found a safe
soy sauce?
Tracy

Posted on: Thu, 08/10/2000 - 6:08am
redtruck's picture
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Joined: 01/23/2000 - 09:00

We just started trying Chinese again since finding out about my daughters pa last year.
She always used to eat it before and we stopped for a year then tried it again last month. We told them about it and they said they have many customers who are allergic. They dont use peanut oil and only have a few dishes with nuts. I know this is no guarantee by any stretch, but so far so good! Also, it is not a buffet.
Greek food is ok, pork,chicken shiskobob, and salad and fries or roasted potatoes and rice.
Italian food is ok too, just avoid the pesto sause and desserts. Pastas, pizza, fish, meats are all good and shouldnt pose a problem.

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