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Plan ahead for safe, enjoyable dining out with food allergies by consulting Barrington IL specialists

Dining Out With Food Allergies Barrington IL
Visit Food Allergies Page to learn more | Contact Us

An estimated 15 million people have food allergies in the U.S., according to University of Chicago researchers. Food allergies among children alone have increased 18 percent in the decade between 1997 and 2007.

While these allergies may make you apprehensive about dining out, more restaurants are recognizing that it’s good business to have the means and protocols in place to serve the many potential patrons allergic to specific types of foods.

Just as you have modified your diet, and the way you shop and prepare foods at home, it takes a little bit of planning to ensure dining out is enjoyable and safe.

Before you go

The Food Allergy Research & Education nonprofit created the SafeFARE program. These tools are for both those with food allergies and for restaurants creating a safer dining experience.

Start by using SafeFARE’s online restaurant search. You can type in a number of parameters, such as cuisine and neighborhood, to identify those restaurants deemed “food-allergy aware.”

Results from this database represent businesses that have completed food allergy training programs and have maintained an annual verification process through certified industry associations.

It’s also a good idea to review the menu at your potential restaurant in advance. Call the business outside of rush hours (between 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.) and ask to speak with a manager or chef. You can discuss your food allergy with him or her and gauge how he or she will be able to accommodate your request.

At the restaurant

Even if you feel comfortable with the dining establishment and professionals you spoke with in advance, you should never leave home without the medications prescribed to you by Drs. Askenazi, and Hahn. This may include your epinephrine delivery device and any other quick-relief meds you may have. You should also wear any medical ID bracelets with information about your allergies, in the event that you have a reaction.

The big risk at dinner is associated with cross-contamination. If foods for those with allergies are not prepared in an area separate from other guests’ meals, there is the chance the allergen may affect your food. Likewise, different utensils and cutting boards should be used to prepare your food to, once again, reduce the possibility of an offending substance ending up on your plate.

Even something as seemingly innocuous as “plate stacking,” whereby the server brings out multiple meals at a time by balancing several guests’ plates, can spell disaster for your meal if your food is exposed to an allergen from another person’s meal.

If you are in doubt about how the food was prepared or if something seems “off” when you look at the meal, go with your instinct. Have your server send the food back. It’s best to exercise as they say “an ounce of prevention” rather than requiring a “pound of cure,” especially when it comes to food allergies in which avoidance is the only treatment.

As specialists in these types of allergens, the Advanced Allergy & Asthma Associates and Food Allergy Center of Illinois can discuss your options for dining out with food allergies in Barrington IL. Let us help you minimize your risks, so you can still enjoy social events like dining out, by calling 847 888 8802 to schedule a consultation.

 

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Dr. Noga Askenazi, Advanced Allergy & Asthma Associates

Advanced Allergy & Asthma Associates

Dr. Noga Askenazi | Dr. Eugenia Hahn | Meredith Cirrincione

Dr. Noga Askenazi is a nationally recognized asthma and allergy specialist who is board certified in pediatric and adult allergy. Her areas of special interest are innovative treatment of rashes, sinusitis, food allergies, asthma and immune disorders. She was past President of the ISAAI (Illinois Society of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology), works on state and national committees for advancement of the allergy field and is a consultant for Advocate, AMITA, Northwestern amongst other health care systems. Her joy is helping patients reach their goals after together determining best treatments. Her staff and patients are a chosen family, and she invests in their happiness. She enjoys gardening, biking and cooking to good music.


Dr. Eugenia Hahn is a highly recognized board certified allergist and immunologist who treats patients of all ages. Her areas of special interest are food allergy, eczema, and asthma. She is president of the Illinois Society of Allergy & Asthma, a National Committee leader of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, a member of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology working on new treatment options for patients. She is a consultant for Advocate, Northwestern, AMITA, Northwest Community healthcare systems amongst many others. Her patients mean everything to her as she takes pride in finding the why behind the problem. She enjoys reading and spending time with her family.


Meredith Cirrincione is a board certified Physician Assistant and specializes in treating allergies, with a focus on asthma, rashes, environmental allergies, chemical and food allergies. She holds a Masters in Physician Assistant Studies from The Chicago Medical School - Rosalind Franklin University of Health Sciences. She is a Fellow member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, the Illinois Academy of Physician Assistants, and the Association of PAs in Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. She likes to approach things holistically. She is a strong patient advocate and adored by her patients. She enjoys singing, reading, cooking, and the great outdoors.