I will be traveling to Italy with my son who is PA & TNA. My fears of traveling abroad have lead to my canceling of the trip three years in a row now. I understand that the allergen labeling in the EU should be good but without having been there recently I have now way of knowing. Has anyone visited there recently and taken notice of the allergy labels, if they really exists and how well documented the ingredients are. I am fortunate in the fact that I will be staying with relatives and will be able to monitor food preparation while there but I am still very concerned that I may miss something because of my inability to read the language well. If anyone has any pointers as to things they have noticed there that I should look for, please send me your advice. Another concern of mine is that is access to adequate medical attention in the less developed parts of Italy such as the Abruzzo region where I will be staying. Again, if anyone has had the unfortunate experience of having to visit a hospital while on vacation, what was your impression of their ability to treat the reaction.
On Feb 11, 2008
we have been to italy with our allergic son, some years ago.
he is allergic to a wide varity of food ( and environmental allergies)
EU labeling from nov 05 now includes 12 major allergens, kiwi and lupine are to follow soon. Food is labeled in english. ( prepacked supermarket food.)
Stick to the same rules that you do at home, bring some good clear translation cards, AND buy a good phrase book. Most have an allergy section these days.
You can work out the italian nut warnings by researching them in advance before you go.
We went self catering , and went to restuarants. Had a fab time. DO NOT DELAY YOUR HOLS SIMPLY BECAUSE OF ALLERGIES> get out that and have the fun you deserve!
we want to go back to italy again,!!! fantastic time!!!!
please feel free to e-mail me if you want.
On Mar 12, 2008
Tree nuts will be more difficult for you, but I had no problems with my PA in Italy. I'd like to move there! It's like they've never even heard of peanuts!
We bought a translation card, but I speak a bit of italian so I rarely needed to even show them.
On Mar 12, 2008
I am an adult with PN and TNA. We were in Rome in the fall and had a wonderful time. I ate safely in several restauarants. The regional cuisine in Rome used nuts rarely if at all in the main dishes. I looked at the menus and there was one or no dishes with nuts so I felt comfortable- I also spoke with the waiters of course. There is alot of regional variation in the use of nuts in Italian cuisine so I would use your judgement in the area to which you are travelling. I avoided all desserts including gelato (cross-contamination) concerns. I had previously travelled to Florence, Lucca, and the Cinque Terre without problems. Do check with your airline. Delta is the US partner for Alitalia and last I heard Delta serves peanuts. Have a great time!
On Mar 26, 2008
Hi there was wondering if you remember any of the names of the restaurants you went to in Rome. I have contacted a few restaurants but have either received no reply or they have indicated they have nuts on their menu. My son is 14 and this is our first trip to Europe. Of course I am extremely apprehensive and so would appreicate any specific names of restaurants. Thanks for your time.
On Apr 30, 2008
I dont think that researching restaurants before hand will help in any way. Resturants change owners and staff quickly and italy has many more independant restrurants than chain ones.
Its best to concentrate on learning how to ask questions , picking safer meals, and using chef cards than anything else.
On May 5, 2008
We just returned from a trip to Spain! We have PA & TNA along with about 20 other FAs...
The BEST thing I can tell you to do is 1. Get a letter from your Doctor allowing you to carry your medications on the plane and 2. Go to FAI (food allergy initiative) and download their Italien translated sheets for restaurants.
The later sheet, written in spanish, for the chef, was indespensible for us - P was able to eat in a restaurant without incident!
I say go - seriously - if you're really worried, then ship ahead food that you know is safe for your son (we did this) and stay in an apartment or house with a kitchen...
It really is worth it for them to discover the world when they're young! Look at the world from the point of view that there is plenty of food out there for your child!
On May 19, 2008
I have PA/TNA. While I haven't been to Italy (other places in Europe though), a good portion of my family lives there and my parents were there about a year or so ago.
They were on the lookout for nuts (because they want me to take a trip there!)... Hazeluts and Almonds are more common (often in desserts) but some regions use them only minimally. Our family is from Apulia, and most of the food there is quite simple! Peanuts are a rarity in Italy (other parts of Europe too... several of my German friends had never eaten PB before, but instead things like Nutella).
On their most recent trip, my parents were convinced that I could have eaten at almost any restaurant they were in (and I believe it!) Peanut oil will rarely be used-- fancier places might use a hazelnut for a special dish, but most restaurants will doa very large portion of their cooking in olive oil.
Please don't cancel your trip! Make some allergy cards, look into the regional cuisine, and maybe stay somewhere with a kitchenette so you can prepare your own foods and pack them as back-up. Bring a good travel language book (in cities you will find more english speakers, in rural areas, it will probably be very limited). Make sure you learn how to say things relating to emergencies, if god forbid you have to call an ambulance.
You can make *yourself* a card wth keywords to scan for... la nocciola, le nocciole= hazelnut, hazelnuts il noce, i noci = walnut, walnuts la mandorla, le mandorle= almond, almonds l'arachide, le arachide = peanut, peanuts il mogano, i mogani = cashew, cashews l'allergia, allergico= allergy, allergic
( a may contain statement might be somehting like this: Contenere le arachide)
For overseas travel, you should carry extra Benadryl and/or a prescribed fast-acting antihistamine, several epi-pens or twinjects, AND a translated instruction sheet for emergency workers in case they're unfamiliar with it... However, you're in a developed, European country with good medical training, and I can't imagine they would not have learned how to treat allergic reactions!
Good luck and please enjoy the trip!!!!!!!