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Living with multiple life threatening allergies By Ruth Holroyd

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1 Living with multiple life threatening allergies By Ruth Holroyd

2 Firstly, an apology Aimed at food service Issues still relevant Opportunity for ALL freefrom food manufacturers and retailers FIRegs Feb 2014

3 Being on the allergic march......a brief history Born 1973 – chronic eczema, atopic child, hay fever, allergy to cats, dogs, horses, dust etc. causing asthma Peanut allergy – “don’t eat peanuts” 20’s – ongoing eczema, cutting out food – success! 30’s - Anaphylaxis to nuts, all dairy; celery, tomatoes – chronic eczema 40’s - Allergic to soya (asthma), Kidney beans Wheat intolerance Egg intolerance

4 So what happens?

5 Not just gluten free

6 What do you do when you eat out? Just stroll along and try somewhere Accept last minute dinner invitations Try new places Adventurous menu choices Enjoy varied cuisines Snack on the go, anywhere, anytime x None of the above – the handbag picnic

7 Typical lunch on the go...

8 Eating out with allergies Research venues Pre-book by email and phone Check again – chef - menu Arrive early When arrive – alert staff of allergens When ordering – laminated card Reiterate allergies Remain alert – eat with your eyes! Conversation over meal about allergies Check for any symptoms; tingly itchy lips, asthma

9 The worst (years ago...) Ice cream in France – no nuts (noix) – One bite was enough – mouth swelling – Waitress explained they were not noix just noisettes... Nuts in a curry – Instead of replacing dish, nuts scraped off – FIRST Anaphylactic reaction: vomiting, unconscious – No EpiPen

10 Tales from the front line The goodThe bad We can explain which dishes will be fine and which we can easily adapt. Leons Yes we can modify everything on our menu. Choose whatever you want! We do occasionally use allergens in our kitchen but we take precautions to keep in sealed containers and will use clean boards, knives, utensils etc. Nandos No we can’t serve you here, we can’t guarantee no traces Stoke Park and The Three Oaks, went out of their way to explain and provide something special, a bit different. Not just fruit salad!!! When asked to check if a pie contained dairy, waiter informed me it did, but that I would be fine if I just took an anti- histamine like another guest was doing!!! The Russell – honest that gravy contained celery but let me bring in flask of my own! Err, yeah that should be OK... Menus with GF, DF, NutsThe glazed look, Independent cafes who get it, Jakes CafeYes that meal is gluten free (not even mentioned gluten!)



13 What we really want Honesty Kindness To eat out without fear To be able to order from a menu Simple, healthy, allergen free options Not just boiled chicken, bland meals and fruit salad

14 My greatest bug bears No holiday from allergies Lack of knowledge and understanding People who don’t listen There is no stupid question - admit when you don’t have the answers Lack of freefrom snack and take-away options People thinking you’re being fussy It’s not all about ‘gluten free’...

15 Blessing in disguise I CAN eat EVERYTHING ELSE! Healthier – no processed foods Learnt about food, what’s real and what’s not Discovered cooking Confidence to demand better Blogging, business Meeting new people Helping others

16 Thank you! To finish, a poem Ruth Holroyd Twitter: @whatallergy

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