What do you ask in restaurants?

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I'm not sure what to ask about peanut products in restaurants. I realize that I have to ask what kind of oil they cook with and if a certain dish has peanuts in it but is there anything else?

Do you let your child eat anything at the restaurant if they use peanuts or peanut butter? Even if it wasn't used in the dish you are ordering?

I just need to know how I can keep my son safe when we go on vacation the beginning of June. We will be eating out for 6 days and I don't want to have any problems.

Thanks! Amy Alex - Age 2 PA only

On May 3, 2005

If I'm not familiar with the restaurant, I often call ahead and speak with the manager or ask to speak with the manager once I arrive (I let the host know I have a FA concern).

I ask what kind of oil they use. If they say "vegetable," I ask them to give me the specific kind of vegetable oil. If they can't, we go.

I let the waitstaff know about the severe PA.

I ask if peanut flour is used in the tortillas or to thicken the sauce (more of a problem in parts of Texas). I ask if my son's food contains any nuts whatsover or has been prepared near something with nuts.

There are cases when we'll eat at a restaurant even if they make PBJ there, but it's after I've had a very detailed conversation with the waitstaff and manager. And only if they use separate gloves and make my son's meal in a separate place using separate utensils.

We don't eat at Asian restaurants because of cross contamination. Period.

If softserve or Bluebell Homemade Vanilla ice creams comes with the kids meal for dessert, we get it without chocoalate sauce.

Since learning of Macaroni Grill's new fried Snicker bar, we will now ask what else is fried in the "safe" oil besides french fries. And we will not get fries at Mac Grill (it's okay--my son only gets fries about once a month, and we usually substitute a real vegetable for them anyway).

If you're not familiar with the restaurant board, I'd read it. It's very helpful. Good luck!

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