[Updated from a previous article]

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How to Accommodate Allergy Needs While Hosting the Holidays

Food allergies are continuing to rise and the food service industry is accommodating the
needs more today than ever before. Cooking and dining in the home is a whole different
ballpark. While those with allergies know what to avoid and how to prep meals for
themselves, dining at a friend or family member’s house can be a bit daunting. If you are
hosting the holidays for a loved one who has an allergy or food sensitivity, it is always good to
learn how to accommodate their needs. Here is how the host/hostess can arm themselves with a
few tools for an allergy friendly holiday!

Photo Credit: GFJules

Step One: Preparation

Before any good party/hosted dinner, it’s important to plan for the occasion with recipes, decorations and shopping lists. When someone is attending with special dietary restrictions, planning is even more vital.

First, ask your guests if they have any special dining requests/allergies. Remember, the one who is allergic is the best advocate for themselves! Once you know what to avoid, start planning for the meal. Be sure to double check that the ingredients you select are truly free from allergens. The gold standard is to find ones with our Certified Free From™ seal on them. Here’s a directory of these distinguished products.

Photo Credit: Better Batter

Step Two: Day Of

When preparing to cook the meal make sure to be mindful of cross-contact. Cross-contact happens when one food comes in contact with another food and their residues get mixed. If your meal isn’t entirely allergy-friendly, use these helpful hints when prepping:
• Prepare/cook allergy-friendly meals first. This helps avoid any dripping/cross-contact on surfaces and in the oven.
• Use separate surfaces when preparing. Use one countertop for all food prep and the other only for allergy-friendly food prep.
• If you are serving buffet style have the allergy-friendly meals at the start of the line. If you have it the other way around, it’s more likely that food will be pulled into the allergy-free dishes by accident in the plating process. Identify the allergen-friendly items and tag the utensils needed for them.

Read more about cross-contact here.

Photo Credit: Mulays

Step Three: Enjoy!

Once you have taken the measures to ensure your guests are eating safe delicious meals, it is now your turn to enjoy! Those who are living with food allergies and intolerances will appreciate you tenfold for going the extra mile. The effort will not go unnoticed, and you will be prepped for the next holiday.

Congrats on researching how to take care of your friends and family members around the holidays with allergies!

About MenuTrinfo®:

MenuTrinfo® is a company dedicated to ensuring safe food service by providing allergen and nutritional information, as well as programs such as Certified Free From™, AllerTrain® and a wide variety of services for colleges, universities, manufacturers of consumer-packaged goods, and more. We excel in employee food allergy training and certification, as well as food safety guidance and menu consulting. MenuTrinfo® has become a trusted partner for food service partners and manufacturers across the United States, and the company’s mission is to protect lives and make dining experiences as safe as possible for those with allergy restrictions.

For more information on finding a food allergy solution and safely enjoy the holidays, get in touch with us!