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Food and Cakes

Avoiding food allergies

It seems to be a general rule that the answer to any question that starts with "is it rude if I...?" is YES, but I'm going to ask anyway because I'm not sure.

Is it rude if I include food at the reception that I know a guest is allergic to, if it's just one of many options?

To use a specific example, my BIL is allergic to apples. He doesn't have any contact or airborne allergies to it, but gets itchy if he eats them.

If I include the Brulee apple bruschetta with fig, brie and balsamic reduction (because it's amazing) as one of the appetizers is that super rude? There will be 5 other apps as well.

We have several guests with "minor" allergies to things...apples, bananas, and almonds. Just wondering if I need to avoid them entirely.

One of FH's coworkers is allergic to peanuts (contact, airborne, anaphylactic) so we're avoiding peanuts entirely.
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Re: Avoiding food allergies

  • As someone with a severe anaphylactic shellfish allergy, I never expect people to cater to my needs. I can always find something to eat. My biggest issue is cross contamination, but caterers know how to prepare food without cross contamination (if they know about the allergies ahead of time).

    Especially in the case of something that is not severe, I think you have other options available and should be just fine.

    It is very nice for FI's coworker to have an allergen free environment. It is very thoughtful of you.

    Besides my allergy, we are working around a peanut allergy, all nut allergy, sesame allergy and then kosher meals. I have talked to each guest that might have an allergy/special meal (will confirm on RSVP card) and they have all said similar things to what I've said above. They do appreciate their needs being considered, but don't consider it rude if something has x in it and therefore they cannot eat it. They just want to know before they bite into it!

    ILoveBeachMusicMesmrEwedrglitterlevioosa
  • OurWildKingdomOurWildKingdom in the 216 member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    edited April 2016
    I'm glad you brought this up, @drglitter. We have at least one guest with celiac disease and will be providing gluten-free wraps and gluten-free cupcakes for her. MOH is violently allergic to strawberries, so we won't have any on our fruit platters. We also have several vegans and will have options for them.
  • ernursej said:

    As someone with a severe anaphylactic shellfish allergy, I never expect people to cater to my needs. I can always find something to eat. My biggest issue is cross contamination, but caterers know how to prepare food without cross contamination (if they know about the allergies ahead of time).

    Especially in the case of something that is not severe, I think you have other options available and should be just fine.

    It is very nice for FI's coworker to have an allergen free environment. It is very thoughtful of you.

    Besides my allergy, we are working around a peanut allergy, all nut allergy, sesame allergy and then kosher meals. I have talked to each guest that might have an allergy/special meal (will confirm on RSVP card) and they have all said similar things to what I've said above. They do appreciate their needs being considered, but don't consider it rude if something has x in it and therefore they cannot eat it. They just want to know before they bite into it!

    Thank you for this. Maybe I was just overthinking.

    How are you confirming allergies with your RSVP card? Did you put something that asks them to let you know they need a special meal? Maybe we should do that. I also thought about putting a note on the website, but I know not everyone reads them.

    @OurWildKingdom sounds like you're giving everyone great options. I never realized how many people I know with food issues until I tried to feed 120 of them at the same time.
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  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    It's certainly necessary to avoid peanuts, etc. if anyone has airborne allergies to those items.  

    If you really want to, you can avoid any other items with known allergies or intolerances, which would be a nice gesture, but I think your responsibility stops at letting your guests with those allergies or intolerances know that you are serving food items with those ingredients and letting them deal with them as they see fit, and protecting them against cross-contamination.
    SP29
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    Totally agree with PPs that if you are offering a variety of things you are fine. For DD's RSVP cards we just included my email to contact with food concerns. We didn't get any we didn't already know about.
    SP29
  • as long as those items are clearly marked so someone can avoid you are fine. My H is allergic to poultry but we still had chicken as one of our options. He knew to avoid it and we were fine.
    SP29OurWildKingdomKnottie1458764118
  • Thanks everybody!
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  • ernursejernursej member
    Knottie Warrior 1000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited April 2016

    We have a line on our RSVP cards that prompts guests to write in any allergies or special meals. We feel like we already know our guests, but wanted to make sure we weren't missing anything.

    Edited for clarity.

    OurWildKingdom
  • MesmrEweMesmrEwe member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited April 2016

    The clearly marked is the key!!!  And letting the catering staff know ahead of time so they're able to avoid cross contamination as much as possible.

    I have ginger as an allergy - I was at a fundraiser for DD's former school, saw the punch and without thinking took a swig only to IMMEDIATELY realize what I'd just done (they'd mixed in GingerAle).  My DH hasn't a CLUE when it comes to food allergies so was saying stupid crap like "just drink lots of water!" <face palm>  Then the people working for the caterer were unapologetic even though State Food Code here says they're required to label everything on a buffet and have a MOD who knows ingredients for this very purpose...  O.k. you know someone needs an epi-pen for an allergy - I honestly wouldn't risk the cross-contamination with that ingredient.  I don't care if it's TDF wonderful tasting, if you KNOW they're that level of allergic, why risk it?  Cross-contamination is the biggest issue for everyone including the guest with Celiac's.  Really think about it, but if you do decide to have those foods, label EVERYTHING!

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    OurWildKingdom
  • I have multiple food allergies, I never expect a menu to be catered for me. I have been lucky that there have been other options for me. Also, if I'm unsure of something, I ask or don't eat it. 

    Offer a small variety, and make ingredients clear for allergy sufferers. Most of them are used to steering clear of certain foods anyways.
  • My mom is lactose free and gluten free (its not pretty if she accidentally eats something she shouldn't). So our entire menu is gluten free with the exception of the dinner rolls, which she knows to avoid and the caterer knows to keep far from everything else. She's also getting her own gf, lactose free cake from our baker. As far as I know she has the worst allergies of any of our guests, but to be sure I put a line on the RSVP card for people to fill in any special dietary needs. Between her allergies and the fact that nothing we're serving has nuts in it, I feel we're pretty good with allergies.  

    When we go to events, she just wants things to be labeled so she knows what not to eat. So if its too hard to completely accommodate every allergy, just make sure that those who do have the allergies can identify which foods to stay away from. Most people will be happy with that and the fact that you're including other allergy friendly options. 
    MesmrEweOurWildKingdomernursej
  • SP29SP29 member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    We also put a line on our RSVP cards for guest to list any allergies. Then we told the venue beforehand. Worked out well with assigned tables, knowing Guest A is diabetic, Guest B is dairy free, Guest C is gluten free.

    My friend with the dairy allergy, I explained all the meal options to her before she chose her meal, as well as the options for apps/dessert.

    Fine to offer foods that someone may not be able to eat, as long as there are other options and food is labelled or explained.
    OurWildKingdom
  • Stuck in a box I didn't even make!

    Thank you for all of the feedback. Adding a line on the RSVP seems like a great plan.
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  • We put on our RVSP "Please let us know if you have any special dietary needs, we will do our best to accommodate" We had to do 3 special accomodations, one vegetarian, one had other restrictions & one allergic to chicken (made sure that chicken broth wasn't used for anything but chicken dinner). When it came to the apps & desserts, just make sure the staff is aware of the ingredients that are in what is being served so that if someone asks "does this have x in it" they can respond & that person will know if they can eat it or not. For your brother, give him a heads up on that one dish since you know it has something he can't eat.
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