Am living abroad (in South Korea) and I have a note w. my PA and TNA allergy spelled out, but even when I ask the proprietors/waiters and they come back saying that there are no nuts in anything, I'm still hesitant to trust them. I also tend to panic and freak out after I've had some food and it's lead to some really embarrassing situations. I feel like I'm being a PITA all that time, but it's my life on the line here...
I'm nervous and jumpy, especially after reading that some reactions don't show up for hours.
Part of me thinks that I need to calm down, but part of me thinks that the paranoia is justified.
Someone please reassure me...
On Aug 12, 2008
My son is only 11 and we have not ventured out of the US. I know many folks on this board have safely traveled abroad and eaten at restaurants on their trips. I would be feeling like you do unless I was able to ask many questions and understand the answers despite the language barriers.
Would it be possible for you to ask more questions? If I am not feeling confident in the restaurant when I tell them about the allergy, I ask more specific questions about how the kitchen is laid out, whether there can picture anyway that someone scooping nuts onto a salad or onto ice cream would use the same utensil when serving or preparing touch my son's salad with the same utensil,because something that little could cause a severe reaction, etc. If they say there are no nuts, then I double check the menu and question foods that may have hidden ingredients like sauces, breaded coatings,etc.
It is always a good idea to stay with the simplest foods so you do not have to worry so much about hidden or multiple ingredients or increased opportunities for cross contamination.
Their reaction to those questions and their answers give me a comfort level or convince me to leave.
Generally we do not eat out very often. But when we travel, we do go out now and then. There are definitely times when I simply cannot get a comfort level eating at restaurants no matter what. It usually means that I am stressed about other things as well, or too tired to have confidence in myself dealing with an emergency, not confident in the emergency care available, not familiar with the place or people, don't feel like a have a good support network.
If you are in a new environment, can you cook for yourself until you are more comfortable in general, develop a relationship with a doctor, become familiar with the hospital and emergency care there?
Have you done a search on the boards for South Korea? I recall someone on the boards that had moved there a few years ago. Not sure if she is still using this discussion board, but if she does, perhaps you can contact her.
On Aug 12, 2008
I don't really have much advice just wanted to say I am sorry that must be a really hard situation! Do you have anyone there you are friends with that can translate for you? It is hard for me to get managers of restaurants to give me the information I want about cross contamination etc and we are speaking the same language! Is there a place that you have eaten successfully at? Do you mainly stick to basics? for my son for instance when we go out we order things that are steamed or fresh fruit etc - here in the US anyway I have found most places steamers are pretty safe but I guess I have heard in some other countries they boil peanuts vs fry them....so I guess that would depend as well.
Sorry to not be more help hopefully someone else can assist. I also visit this site - it seems to have more adults with PA perhaps you would get some advice if you posted there: [url="http://allergy.hyperboards.com/"]http://allergy.hyperboards.com/[/url]
On Aug 13, 2008
My son is PA/TNA. I never feel comfortable just talking to the waiter/waitress when we take our son out to eat. I find it more reassuring to speak with the manager. If the manager seems on top of what is used in the kitchen and how they prevent cross contamination, etc., that puts my mind more at ease. I don't know who you are speaking with at these restaurants, but perhaps if you spoke with the manager it may ease your mind a bit, that has worked for us. Good luck!
On Nov 10, 2008
I don't have to worry at all...I do NOT eat in restaurants. And after five years of swearing restaurants off, I really don't miss it. Sometimes, I do go and sit with my family at a restaurant but do not partake. I watch the grandkids so everyone can enjoy the meal. I prefer being safe.