finding safe local restaurants

Posted on: Thu, 01/09/2003 - 4:31am
Nicole1401's picture
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Joined: 12/27/2002 - 09:00

Hi,
I am new to the peanut allergy website. My 18 month old daughter was recently diagnosed with a severe peanut allergy. I have called some restaurants regarding their use of peanut products in order to compile a list of restaurants that are safe for her to eat at. So far, it seems that the national chains are informed and allergy aware and have a prepared answer for me. On the other hand, the local restaurants seem to have never heard the question and don't understand the seriousness of the situation. Even if I can get them to tell me if a dish contains nuts or is prepared in peanut oil, I don't think they understand cross-contamination issues or that a food containing peanuts could have come into their restaurant from a food service. I saw in one of SF's posts on the discussion board that you eat at your local delis and diners. Could you (or anyone else) please give my any tips you have on how you communicated with them so that you were confident with their answers? I would really appreciate any help in this area. We have some local pizza and Italian restaurants that we used to love and now haven't set foot in for months.

Posted on: Thu, 01/09/2003 - 7:28am
AJSMAMA's picture
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Joined: 06/12/2002 - 09:00

Well the good news is that I have found Italian restaurants to mainly use olive oil. Since your child is only one and half it should be fairly easy to stick with the basics. My child hates red sauce (he's two) so we order noodles with butter when eating out at Italian restaurants. I ask them to make sure they use only real butter, to read the ingredients on the pasta, and to check to make sure there are no nut containing foods around these things. Often they will tell you where their desserts (almost always containing nuts) are located/prepared in relation to the other food in the kitchen. We eat Pizza Hut, Papa Johns, Sbarros and Minuteman pizza without problems. I haven't found any unsafe pizza yet.
Jaime

Posted on: Thu, 01/09/2003 - 8:51am
MaryM's picture
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Joined: 12/11/2006 - 09:00

I have yet to find a pizza I can't eat! I agree with Jaime - Italian restaurants often use olive oil almost exclusively. When you go out to eat speak with the waiter, if you are not happy with their answers ask for the manager or to talk to the chef. I generally eat at Italian places (LOVE bertucci's) or order very simple foods, a Steak and a baked potato. I will admit that we don't eat out as much as before my big reaction, but we have found some safe places and truly enjoy them. I find calling ahead can be a bad idea - I called a few places once and was basically told that i shouldn't eat at their establishment even though they don't use peanut oil...My best advice - if you go to a restaurant and are uncomfortable with the responses just leave.

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