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 Post subject: Be Careful in Europe
PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2009 11:32 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 12:17 pm
Posts: 252
Location: Niagara region, Ontario
Just thought I'd tell you of an experience I recently had while in Italy. I ate at a restaurant in Venice no problem. My father-in-law is Italian and translated for me and they said they didn't use nuts in anything--dinner was good. Later in Rome, he was not with me, but the tour guide was fluent in English/Italian and spoke to the chefs for me. The chef came right out to the table, and warned me not to eat the buns on the table as they contained nuts, but said the meal we were having was nut-free. (We were having a set meal because of the tour.) I felt really good about this and proceeded to eat my lunch which was very good. However, after that, they set desserts in front of everyone--a nice looking dessert, with pistachios sprinkled all around it on the plate. The server said to me "Don't eat that part, " and pointed to the nuts on the plate!! Needless to say I was a bit taken aback, and someone else in the group ate it. Obviously, they just don't have the education in Europe that our restaurant industry has here. Thereafter, I only ate the food I had brought with me, as I no longer had confidence with the restaurants.

Another way I could tell that Europe is behind us, was that a few times at airports, the security guards had no idea what an epi-pen was. They would gather and have a discussion about them, and after I explained what they were, they decided I could proceed through security. In North America, everybody seems to know what an epi-pen is, and I've never had security give them a second thought.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2009 2:04 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 05, 2009 4:22 pm
Posts: 79
Location: Houston, TX
Well....I am glad you survived your trip to Italy! :-D

That being said, thanks so much for this information....it is true that different areas and different cultures seem to have different understanding of allergies. And it is really important to share that with eachother - travel guides don't say things like, "Allergy Friendly!" It's up to us to inform each other. Thank you!

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Daughter, 10 - NKA

Daughter, 3 - peanut, tree nuts, crustacean, dust mites, cottonseed oil, sunflower oil, mangoes, mustard, and very mild outdoor allergies, eczema, asthma

Son, 2 - asthma, mild eczema, peanut, mild soy, mild egg


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 8:19 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2006 10:53 am
Posts: 207
Location: Winnipeg, MB
My sister-in-law (with celiac) just got back from 3 weeks in Europe - partially on their own, partially on a tour. They said London & Paris were tricky, but Italy unbelievably easy! When travelling on their own she had a card and everyone in Italy acknowledged what is said and knew immediately what her restrictions are. They said Celiac is very common there. On Tour, they had preset meals and each restaurant the guide introduced her and they brought her a designated meal. She didn't have a single side reaction her trip!

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adult son allergic to peanuts, most tree nuts, eggs and penicillin.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2009 6:46 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6463
Location: Ottawa
Soccermom, the difference between your father-in-law and your tour guide is that your FIL had a vested interest in making certain the restaurant "got it". He also either better understood the issue or was more comfortable asking you questions. Tour guides don't want to come across as not being knowledgeable. This one might have translated word your statement as best he could but...ever play the grapevine game? Imagine playing it with language translations to boot!

Glad you survived the trip...I would love to go on an eating tour of Greece, Italy, France, Spain and Morocco (my husband will tell me what is wrong with this plan from a geographic/political point of view) :roll:

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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


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 2:54 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2009 7:35 am
Posts: 3
I wouldn't generalise and say that europeans are not that educated or sophisticated when it comes to restaurants, there are good and bad restaurants everywhere, maybe the italians are not as allergy conscious. But putting nuts on your plate and then pointing out "don't eat that part" is a bit careless and weird :P Anyway, I hope you enjoyed your trip regardless of this incident :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 8:10 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6463
Location: Ottawa
I think that different countries/cultures seem to have different top allergens.
Shauna James Ahern AKA Gluten-free Girl wrote an article about her experience in Italy for the Winter 2008 edition of Allergic Living.
Quote:
Officially, one in 250 people in Italy has celiac disease, but anecdotally, the incidence is higher. Over the past decade, the country has responded; every child is routinely screened for the disease. I was told that adult celiacs are given two paid days off a month, in order to buy and prepare their food. Drugstores stock shelves of gluten-free chocolate croissants, almond biscotti and focaccia.

http://www.allergicliving.com/columns.asp?copy_id=164

So I can see how mharasym's sister-in-law who has Celiac would feel that this was a country who "got" allergies. They seem to have "gotten" her health issue better than this country!

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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


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