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PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2010 5:39 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2009 4:24 pm
Posts: 190
Location: B.C.
Okay so we have the dress, shoes, hair and makeup appointments all in place. The prom includes a dinner followedby a dance. My daughter is allergic to peanuts and nuts. At least 3 other grads have the same allergies. I have called the hotel which is catering the event and found the contact. Menu has not yet been chosen. ( I told them to avoid anything with peanuts and nuts). They plan to have a buffet. The solutions offered for the allergic students include A) identify themselves to the chef who will (infront of all their peers) take them along the buffet and point out what is okay and what is not
B) have a separate plate prepared in the back and brought out for them.

Which option do you think has fewer risks? I am thinking that the tour is too little too late because the serving utensils can go in the wrong dish. This also again forces the allergic kids to stand out and be different.
The allergy friendly dish prepared separately and brought out may be slightly better provided their are no mix ups.

Does anyone have another idea for handling allergy safe meals in a banquet setting. This is the high school prom so a very memorable occasion and subject to lots of peer pressure.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2010 9:08 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 11:21 pm
Posts: 78
Location: Connecticut, USA
If it were me I would want a previously made peanut/nut-free plate brought to me. I would want to talk to the chef ahead of time to be sure he or she "gets it" very well. Everyone else should know that your child has food allergies and so it shouldn't be a big deal. This is very polite IMO. but your child's feelings matter, too. If there are things on the buffet made with allergens I would not want to eat any of it, really.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2010 11:34 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2009 4:24 pm
Posts: 190
Location: B.C.
Thank you for your feedback. I have made contact with the person who will make arrangements on the hotel end. I have her email and she seemed open to suggestions. My daughter's safety and feelings are the motivator for me looking into how to make this as safe and smooth as possible.
Does anyone have experience with an event that went extremely well? What worked?


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 7:02 am 
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Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 4:27 pm
Posts: 300
Location: Montreal
Hi Cathie,
I graduated from high school 5 years ago and my allergies at the time were also peanuts and tree nuts. It was at a hotel but it was a sit down meal so they brought the plates to everyone. My mom called and spoke with the head waiter and the chef and actually everything was ok for me except the dessert (which is typical, right?). So nothing had to change. I would be REALLY shocked if the meal had those allergens, it's just so uncommon unless it's Asian cooking or something. But if, after you talk to them the buffet still seems a little iffy, insist on the pre-prepared dish and just make sure you get the point across with cross contamination.

I have tons of experience with this kind of setting because since I was a kid (had my allergies since I was 3 ) I've been to tons of huge Italian weddings at halls. It is always your best bet to speak to both the head waiter and the chef. Most of the time the organizer will at least tell you to speak to the head waiter and then you can insist on speaking to the chef too. Nowadays, allergies are soooo common so I don't think they're gonna be all too shocked but just remember to hit all the right points (seriousness of allergy, cross contam., etc.)

Don't worry, she'll have a blast. Once you get all this behind the scenes work done, no one will notice if she gets treated a tad differently. I had to identify myself to my table waiter, who then brought the head waiter over to confirm everything. No one noticed and no one cared. We still had a blast!

Good luck and trust me, your daughter appreciates all this work you're doing for her!

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


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 1:45 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2009 4:24 pm
Posts: 190
Location: B.C.
Thanks for the encouraging advice Lisa! Much appreciated.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 6:35 am 
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Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 4:27 pm
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Location: Montreal
My pleasure! And if you have any problems or more questions, we're all here to help.

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


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 6:43 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6490
Location: Ottawa
Yes, follow Lisa's recommendations. We had an 80TH birthday at a hotel restaurant which was known for their Sunday Buffet. The restaurant manager and chef were more than willing to create a separate plate for my daughter.

I am finding that good restaurants take pride in being able to accomodate allergies. Chefs like a challenge but they also like a bit of notice. They want the evening to be enjoyed by all-they are selling an experience as much as the food!

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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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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:38 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2007 1:40 am
Posts: 429
Location: Alberta, Canada
I am sure all will go great and your daughter will have a great time. Is it possible to go to the hotel during the day to see what is being prepared and talk to the person in charge of the food and have a "calm" look at the menu with out other people there. I have been in the position quite a few times where it was buffet and have had a "special plate" brought out to me. Now I am an adult not a teen at an event but I would have to say that is more noticeable that going to the buffet line with everyone else. I have had questions why... With that said most people of any age are more concerned with what is going on with their plate, their hair, their dress...trying to make sure they are up to par to worry about what is happening with another persons plate. I am sure a great time will be had by all the grads! Tell her to enjoy the day :D

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Me-Allergic to Peanut, Tree Nut, Coconut, Shellfish, ASA and Asthma
My Husband and Children No Allergies


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 11:49 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2009 4:24 pm
Posts: 190
Location: B.C.
Thank you for all of the feedback. i am contacting the hotel a good month ahead of the event. So far the school has not selected the menu. I will talk to the chef and waiter.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 2:48 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
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Location: Toronto
Quote:
Does anyone have experience with an event that went extremely well? What worked?


As an adult who sometimes goes to conferences, with buffet lunches/dinners served in hotel ballrooms, I second the separate plate approach.
It's great that you're conversing with someone in charge ahead of time. If it's on their agenda, they can manage.

I find the separate plate the safest, since sometimes with just notice ahead, they can forget and put out nuts for the salad or some such. Either that, or your daughter is told to be at the front of the line - e.g. no cross-contam.

Here's wishing your daughter a wonderful prom night.

_________________
Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 10:46 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2009 4:24 pm
Posts: 190
Location: B.C.
Thank you for your encouragement and advice.
I requested that peanut and nut items be removed from the buffet menu, the chef and head waiter be notified that there would be several anaphylactic students (I count about 5) attending and that arrangements be in place for separate plated meals to be available for the allergic students.
I just received an email arranging for all of these requests to be met.


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PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 9:11 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:40 pm
Posts: 2034
Location: ottawa
Hi Cathie, how did graduation go?

_________________
DD 12 yrs -no allergies
4 yr old DS - asthma/eczema Anaphylactic to Peanuts, all tree nuts, sesame , all pea/lentil legumes, gelatin.
Allergic to trees, grass,ragweed, feathers, dander, mold and dust.
Outgrew eggs, fish, shellfish


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PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 12:51 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2009 4:24 pm
Posts: 190
Location: B.C.
Thank you for asking. Prom was this past Saturday. It was a lovely event.
I was very thankful that I contacted the chef well ahead of time and arranged to have a plated meal for my peanut allergic daughter. It was reassuring and much safer than the buffet. I emailed the chef on duty a few times. My daughter simply identifed herself to her server and her meal was brought out so that she could eat at the same time as her friends who went through the buffet. She had a lovely meal and was provided a plate of fresh berries for her dessert.
Her friends were concerned when they bit into their dessert to discover that one actually contained peanuts. (They are not allergic but are very supportive) All made a voluntary point of washing after their meal. So glad we did not just allow her to pick from the buffet which I had been told would be nut-free.
I think it is really important to communicate with the chef who will be on duty for the event.


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PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 6:20 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:40 pm
Posts: 2034
Location: ottawa
Cathie, I am so glad to hear your daughter had a lovely time as well as having a safe meal!! All the extra effort and phone calls are worth it if you can relax (as much a mom can :D ) and enjoy the special evening.
We were at friends at Christmas and they had asked that anyone coming bring nut free food. To the hostess horror one of the dessert bars turned out to be peanut butter...wasn't even labelled on the box. It was one of those grocery store bakery dessert boxes which come covered in the saran wrap. Now that could have put a damper on your evening.....glad your daughter stuck with the berries!!
Your daughter has great friends, they sound very observant and considerate. So now what....the stress of college. :lol:

_________________
DD 12 yrs -no allergies
4 yr old DS - asthma/eczema Anaphylactic to Peanuts, all tree nuts, sesame , all pea/lentil legumes, gelatin.
Allergic to trees, grass,ragweed, feathers, dander, mold and dust.
Outgrew eggs, fish, shellfish


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PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 7:21 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6490
Location: Ottawa
I'm so glad she had a good evening! :D

_________________
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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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