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5 ways to enjoy an allergy-friendly gathering

Couple smiling over a salad.

Dec. 22, 2022—When you're hosting a dinner party, your main concern may be making sure the food tastes delicious and the atmosphere is just right. But you'll also want to consider safety, if any of your guests have allergies or other reasons to avoid certain foods.

To help protect your dinner guests with food allergies or other dietary restrictions, consider these tips from FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education):

1. Ask your guests about their dietary needs. The first step you can take to protect your guests is to ask them if they have any food allergies or other dietary concerns. If they do, ask how you can make your gathering safe for them. For example, you may need to avoid certain ingredients or prepare separate dishes for them. Can they recommend safe foods you can prepare?

2. Let guests bring their own dish if they want. People who have allergies may be used to bringing their own safe dish. But they may worry about how you'll react. Let them know they're absolutely welcome to bring their own.

3. Use caution to avoid cross-contact. That's when allergens get from one food to another. An amount of food protein too small to see can trigger allergic reactions.

To help prevent cross-contact:

  • Always wash your hands with soap and water before and after preparing foods and before serving your guests. If you touch peanuts and then touch a salad, for instance, you could make someone with a peanut allergy sick.
  • Cook the allergen-free meal first. Carefully clean cutting boards and all cooking pots and utensils. And consider using a separate area and utensils to prepare this part of the meal.
  • If you’re serving buffet style, invite your guests with food allergies to serve themselves first.
  • Provide separate serving utensils for safe and unsafe foods.

4. Don't throw away the ingredients list. Keep any package labels from foods you purchased to prepare the meal, as well as any recipes that you used. Your guests may have questions about the ingredients you used.

5. Label the foods and drinks, making them easy to identify. You might use food-allergy stickers or taped-on labels to identify either the items to avoid or those that are OK for your guest to consume.

Which eight foods cause the most food allergies?

Learn the answer and discover more about food allergies.


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