You are viewing Allergic Living Canada | Switch to United States

Talking Allergies

* FAQ    * Search
* Login   * Register
It is currently Mon Jul 28, 2014 10:39 pm

All times are UTC - 4 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 11 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:56 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2010 7:59 pm
Posts: 1
Our family is traveling to Italy this summer. We have food allergies to Peanuts/Nuts/Celery/Carrots/Shellfish. We will be traveling with translation cards to assist with communications. Open to any tips for traveling through Italy with food allergies. Specifically Peanuts/Nuts. Does anyone know of any restaurants in Rome, Florence or Venice that was accomodating to food allergic patrons?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 7:07 am 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6455
Location: Ottawa
Ooh, Italy- I am jealous! :) Welcome to Allergic Living's Talking Allergies.

There have been several great articles by our Scott McKenzie on the subject of travel.
http://allergicliving.com/features.asp?copy_id=245
http://allergicliving.com/features.asp?copy_id=169

We have a travel section in this forum you can check that out for more ideas on travelling. Try posting your questions there for a better response. You can also use the search button to look for posts about Italy.

_________________
Moderator
Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 8:13 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 4:27 pm
Posts: 300
Location: Montreal
GTLatte, first off welcome and I must ask: is your username a reference to GTL from Jersey Shore on MTV?? Haha! If it is, it's funny.

Anyways, I am Italian so if you want to double check how to say anything feel free to run it by me. My biggest and best advice to you is DO NOT EAT PACKAGED FOOD. They do not have labeling laws in Italy and anything in a product that is less than 20% does not have to be listed....but less than 20% is still enough to give us a reaction. That is how my brother had his allergic reaction. Trust me, trying to get to the hospital from the staff room in the Coliseum is no fun at all.

Rule number 2 would be pack A LOT of safe snacks from home. We packed some but knowing what I know now, I would have packed a lot more. Just because, when you're out and about walking, it would be nice to just pull something from your backpack that you know is safe and then buy a water bottle or something. You can obviously buy water from street vendors.

Do not be alarmed if you see stands that are selling roasted chestnuts. It is a common snack but you don't see those things everywhere. I literally saw 1 in Rome. It's the only thing they sell (peanuts aren't really big in Italy) and if you see them, just walk the other way haha. The one I saw was near the Spanish Steps but it's not like the smell was so overwhelming that I couldn't continue touring or anything.

Good thing to know is that most restaurants make every single thing in their own kitchen. It's not like Canada where sometimes they have frozen pizza dough or bread. Everything is made on site so you can ask them what's in it. 99.999999% of all pizza doughs are made literally with flour, water, and yeast. So at least you know that will always be safe. And I just noticed eggs are not an issue for you so pasta will always be safe as long as you are careful to not order epsto (unless you make sure there are no nuts).

I'm just tellin you now, in Italy allergies are not as prevalent as they are in North America and because Italians love their food they might be shocked that food can hurt one of their customers. BUT....every restaurant stafff and cook will treat you like family, no joke, and because of that will make sure to keep you safe. Just be calm, speak clearly or show your cards and keep it simple. No fancy sauces or complicated flavours. Also, because of the carrot and celery allergy (are they ana?) be careful obviously of anything that might be done in a stock (but I guess you already know that).

Ok that's all I can think of right now. But please don't hesitate to ask more questions. And apart from your allergies, you will have a blast! I am totally biased but really, it's a beautiful country with some great historical sites and just all around nice people!

_________________
Associate Editor at Allergic Living.
Allergies to all nuts and legumes except soy and green beans.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:46 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 2:45 pm
Posts: 796
Location: Vancouver, BC
I'm jealous too. I will be of no help because we went to Italy before kids, and I was more worried about everyone smoking in the restaurants rather than what was in my food!

That said, I 2nd the idea about packing your own snacks/dry food. This is what we have done any time we have travelled with the kids, even though we have not yet left N America. I have brought loaves of bread, crackers, cookies, chips (basically high risk foods) with me in my checked luggage. I also always get a place with a kitchenette, so we can just make our own simple meals instead of eating out, which for me is stressful. I freeze my bread when we first get there so it stays fresh for the duration of our trip.

Have fun and good luck!

_________________
DD 2004 Allergy to peanuts, egg, sesame, and new: lentils and chick peas
DS 2006 Allergy to peanuts, tree nuts, milk, egg, kiwi fruit, eczema


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 10:59 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:48 pm
Posts: 614
Location: Ontario, Canada / Cambridge, UK
Keep an eye out for restaurants that display the "Bollino Blu" logo. It's an initiative for "transparency" in food ingredients and a symbol of quality. The focus is nutrition, calorie content, hygiene and traceability but there has been a lot of talk about the establishments being allergy aware because of this.

The link is in Italian but you can see the logo here: http://www.bollinoblu.com/clist.php?did=9

There is an online guide with a list of certified restaurants, divided into regions.

http://www.bollinoblu.com/clist.php?did=27

Italy is part of the EU labelling legislation so allergens are required to be declared on packaging. It's the "may contains" that are not legislated.

_________________
16-year-old son: peanuts, nuts, raw egg whites, asthmatic
Self: allergic rhinitis, fragrance/chemical sensitivities, oral allergy syndrome


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 2:26 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 4:27 pm
Posts: 300
Location: Montreal
Storm, I know Italy is part of the EU and must therefore obey whatever legislation is in place but it depends on the products. When we were in Rome, we bought packaged cookies that had ingredients on them and it did not have eggs listed in there and my brother had a terrible reaction (he's allergic to eggs). When we were at the hospital, the docs told us that ingredients less than 20% of the product don't need to be listed. I don't know if it's because it was a small company or what, but I would still be leary of buying packaged food there.

_________________
Associate Editor at Allergic Living.
Allergies to all nuts and legumes except soy and green beans.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 2:47 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:48 pm
Posts: 614
Location: Ontario, Canada / Cambridge, UK
~Lisa~

I don't know what year you went to Italy but it must have been 5 to 8 years ago or the doctor was not up to date on legislation. I have been living in the UK since 2004 and am very familiar with the EU food labelling legislation. By the way, I am Italian from Montreal too.

From the EUROPA (European Union) website:

Directive 2000/13/EC has been amended by Directive 2003/89/EC of 10 November 2003, as regard indication of the ingredients present in foodstuffs.

This last amendment makes obligatory for all ingredients to be indicated on the label. The new labelling rules in particular aim to ensure that consumers suffering from food allergies or who wish to avoid eating certain ingredients for any other reason are informed. They foresee that all ingredients in foodstuffs will have to be included on the label and abolish the "25% rule" which up to now meant that it is was not obligatory to label the components of compound ingredients that make up less than 25% of the final food product. The new Directive also establishes a list of ingredients liable to cause allergies or intolerances; alcoholic beverages will also have the obligation to mention allergens on their labels.

These new provisions will be fully implemented as from 25 November 2005.


Links to the Directives here: http://ec.europa.eu/food/food/labelling ... isl_en.htm

This is the current labelling standard in relation to allergens:

Whether the food contains any of the following allergens - gluten (found in cereals including wheat, rye, barley and oats), crustaceans, molluscs, eggs, fish, peanuts, soybeans, lupin (used in flour), milk, nuts, celery, mustard, sesame seeds, or sulphur dioxide and sulphites at more than 10 milligrams per kilogram or 10 milligrams per litre. The rules state that the allergen information must be shown in the ingredients list where one is used ('may contain' type statements and allergy boxes are voluntary).

_________________
16-year-old son: peanuts, nuts, raw egg whites, asthmatic
Self: allergic rhinitis, fragrance/chemical sensitivities, oral allergy syndrome


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 5:08 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 4:27 pm
Posts: 300
Location: Montreal
Fair enough. I went summer 2005 so just missed that. Too bad...it could have prevented my brother's reaction and a really traumatizing event for all of us.

Thanks for posting...kind of makes me more optimistic for when I go back!

_________________
Associate Editor at Allergic Living.
Allergies to all nuts and legumes except soy and green beans.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 5:06 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:48 pm
Posts: 614
Location: Ontario, Canada / Cambridge, UK
~Lisa~, yes there was a transition period. It is very unfortunate that your brother had an allergic reaction.

I still recommend that travellers bring their own snacks as much as possible. That is the safest option.

My sister and her family are leaving on a trip to Europe next week. This includes Italy. My nephew is allergic to nuts and peanuts so I have been giving her a lot of info on EU labelling laws. They will be staying in places that have their own kitchens. I'll report back to let people know about their experiences.

_________________
16-year-old son: peanuts, nuts, raw egg whites, asthmatic
Self: allergic rhinitis, fragrance/chemical sensitivities, oral allergy syndrome


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 8:45 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2010 10:48 am
Posts: 4
I was JUST thinking about this...my husband and I went on a Med tour two summers ago with come siblings. We ate like KINGS. It was insane....the food was amazing. But I was so sick the whole time...so weak, I had trouble getting around. I didn't know then about my sulfite allergy and I was basically eating myself into a stupor with all the vinegars, olives, salted food. A lot of the food was fresh but still all of the natural sulfite foods, like garlic, onions and mushrooms were probably in everything...not to mention the cheese....So I was thinking about how much better I would have felt if I knew the problem and if I could at least try to eat around it. I gained 10 pounds in 2 weeks from retaining water and I wasn't peein by the time we got home. Scary!
It sounds like bringing notecards and lots of snacks is a must and it sounds like a trip of a lifetime...I wonder if the same allergies are as prominent there as they are here...hope you can enjoy it to the fullest!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 2:55 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:48 pm
Posts: 614
Location: Ontario, Canada / Cambridge, UK
My sister and family are back from their trip to Europe. They stayed in places with their own kitchens and they hardly ate out at all. My sister preferred cooking and says it was easier than dealing with the restaurants. She found all the labelling easy to understand and lupin was also listed in the list of allergens. They ate a big breakfast every morning, skipped lunch (my nephew would have some safe snacks brought from Canada) and then cook dinner. On the rare occasion they had to resort to MacDonald's but they still had to check the ingredients. She says the ice cream cones in Italy contain peanut oil.

All in all, the trip was a very positive experience.

_________________
16-year-old son: peanuts, nuts, raw egg whites, asthmatic
Self: allergic rhinitis, fragrance/chemical sensitivities, oral allergy syndrome


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 11 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 4 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group