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Food allergies while traveling? Some cautions for safe travel

Every self-respecting vacation must contemplate a culinary aspect that enhances memories and makes the experience unforgettable. But those with allergies to certain foods must beware of ingredients hidden behind exotic names


Not all of us have the same sensitivity with respect to many topics, more or less divisive. But one sensitivity about which we really cannot discuss or object is that relating to certain foods or ingredients. Which for an uncomfortable proportion of people represent a real food taboo.

And if this condition can be limiting and annoying in everyday choices and life, it gets worse during trips and vacations, when one would like to enjoy the right to break the rules and face every experience without too many worries.

To accommodate the intolerant, chains and companies that derive their reason for existing from their relationship with tourists and travelers have put in place specific measures, such as menus designed especially for those who do not tolerate milk, peanuts, shellfish, eggs or gluten.

This is no small undertaking, given that in these cases the attention must be real and not window dressing, if one does not want to run the risk of having to land the plane in a hurry or having to call an air ambulance to rescue in the middle of the ocean a tourist who has been served a prohibited ingredient.

Precisely to cope with incidental food contamination, medical devices will be implemented in the U.S. to be installed on ships and planes in cases where the chef's attention to preparation and separation of ingredients proves insufficient.

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Un post condiviso da LO GNOCCO SENZA GLUTINE (@celianchio)

As for Italy, Ita Airways offers the possibility of booking a "special meal" on intercontinental flights (in all classes), on international flights in Business class, and on international flights longer than 3 hours even in Economy.

Bad news, however, for those with peanut allergies or intolerances, as "Ita Airways cannot guarantee that meals are completely free of traces of allergens and does not guarantee the total absence of peanuts or substances derived from them in meals/snacks offered to other passengers on board its flights. It is therefore recommended that passengers suffering from food intolerance to peanuts should always carry medication to be used in case the allergy develops during travel."

Dutch Kim also has problems with peanuts: "We cannot guarantee that flights are 100 percent free of peanut contamination. Unfortunately, if we serve a peanut snack, we do not have an alternative to offer it."

And the lack is also on gluten and lactose: "we cannot guarantee that her meal is 100% gluten-free or lactose-free. Do you have a severe food allergy? If so, we recommend that you bring your allergy medicine with you in your carry-on luggage. If you wish, you can also bring your own meal from home, but for safety reasons we will not be able to warm it up for you." So allergy medication on hand and cold pasta prepared at home in carry-on luggage.

Once disembarked, landed, got off the train or car, it will of course be up to the shrewd traveler to make the staff of the chosen accommodation facility aware of his or her difficulties, allergies and intolerances, if for no other reason than to avoid having to send back to the kitchen delicacies and treats for the mere presence of some trace of nuts.

And to better plan the trip, there are also special apps, such as Spokin, which offer guides and tourist itineraries designed for those who do not want to come into contact with allergens and substances undesirable to their bodies.

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Un post condiviso da Spokin Food Allergy App (@spokininc)

"The easiest way to manage food allergies, offering resources to food allergic families so they can live the fullest life possible. An app that allows parents and teens to find high-quality, food allergy-friendly resources such as restaurants, hotels, and products around the world."

To be really safe when sitting down to eat, in the case of serious intolerances, the best choice is to use one of the reservation sites that allow you to book accommodations with a kitchen and kitchenette. Perhaps with a microwave and dishwasher. So that you can select your favorite foods, those that are tolerated, and to do the preparation yourself after cleaning and de-allergenizing pots and dishes.

Extra slamming during the vacation. But still better than an unbooked and unbudgeted visit to discover Kuala Lumpur's ER, for example.



Illustration by Gloria Dozio - Acrimònia Studios