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The Sesame and Seed Section

Managing Sesame and Seed Allergies

Avoidance: Eating Out Safely

Eating at restaurants is tricky for anyone with allergies, child or adult. Those with sesame or mustard allergies, however, may want to avoid fast-food burger places because of the sesame buns, amount of mustard on the premises. With sesame, Asian or Indian restaurants are also not a good choice – and vegetarian restaurants often rely on seeds for protein.

Better choices are those that use less sesame as a mainstay, perhaps a good steak house (careful about marinades and seasoning) or Italian pasta.

Always let servers know about the allergy and ask them to check all ingredients with the cook.

Avoidance: Cross-Contamination

Because seeds are so tiny and portable, cross-contamination is a threat. In other words, the baked goods you buy could have seed residues from previous baking sheets, and the same goes with cooking from a relative’s house.

Toasters may contain sesames from bagels and barbecue grills could have sesame residues from buns warmed there, or meat that’s been marinaded. Talk to anyone who has prepared food to find out what kind of oils, and ingredients were used.  Err on the side of caution.

Preparing for an Emergency

Everyone makes mistakes. Accidentally eating sesame seeds can happen – you buy 12-grain bread and don’t check it carefully enough and your child reacts or it’s your allergy and you forget and offhandedly nibble a cracker at a party.

It’s important to be prepared. A physician will prescribe an auto-injector full of adrenaline and you should have it on you at all times.

Prepare for an emergency. Post emergency information on the fridge. Practice using an auto-injector (EpiPen or Twinject) before an emergency. There are trainers and starter kits available online.

Next: Emotional Outlook

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