Food allergies are no picnic for anyone. They can be especially challenging during the summer when there are endless parties and barbecues to attend. When you or someone you love has a food allergy, it’s important to take every precaution to make sure you’re able to worry a little less and have a lot more fun! With that in mind, here are a few tips we’ve put together for you – whether you’re hosting someone with a food allergy or you or a family member has one – to help keep the good times rolling and everyone safe.


Let People Know

Knowledge is power. Tell people about your food allergy. If no one knows about it, they can’t try and accommodate for it. This is especially true if you have a child with a food allergy. Everyone – including other children – needs to know about the allergy so that no one inadvertently offers a treat that could cause a reaction, and in some cases, a life-threatening one. And if you’re hosting the event, inquire on your invitation if someone has a food allergy and have them let you know in advance.


Keep It Clean

If you’re hosting someone with a food allergy, be sure to thoroughly clean your grill and any utensils you’ll be using. It’s also a good idea to use foil to wrap food in before putting it on the grill, keeping it totally clear from any cross-contamination with other foods. Having baby wipes, wet wipes or damp washcloths handy is also good for getting hands and toys cleaned after eating and preventing accidental cross-contamination.


Separate Foods

Another way to help alleviate food allergy concerns is to keep allergy-free foods separate from the other foods at your barbecue or picnic. You could set up an allergy-friendly table with all the foods safe for those with the food allergy. Keeping things separate prevents any cross-contamination from serving utensils accidentally being used in multiple bowls. Condiments are another area of concern. If you are hosting a get-together or have a food allergy yourself, consider squeeze bottles or individual condiment packets versus jars with utensils.


Label Utensils and Dishes

Providing a magic marker for people to mark their cups, dishes and other utensils is a great way to help those with a food allergy, keep track of their items and make sure they are safe to use. You might also consider labeling the food on your table, allowing guests to know exactly what each item is and whether it contains a food or ingredient they are allergic to.


Eat Your Own Food

Of course, when in doubt, you can always bring your own food to a party if you have an allergy. Bring it as a contribution to the food at the gathering so that others can enjoy it as well. Another option is to eat before you go to the party. Hosts and hostesses are always understanding of the need to protect yourself – it is not considered rude in any way to do either of these things in order to stay safe.


We hope you find these suggestions helpful as you plan your next party. So that whether it’s you or a friend or family member who has a food allergy, your next get-together is delicious and safe for everyone! Bon appetit!


If you’d like to learn even more tips on handling food allergies at your next barbecue, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

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