When someone in the household gets diagnosed with a food allergy, things become a bit more challenging. You have to lead a much more cautious life when it comes to shopping, cleaning and cooking. However, it is possible for everyone to fully enjoy meals at home, while ensuring that the individual with the food allergy is kept 100 percent safe. Here are a few tips to stay safe at home with food allergies, while also staying sane:
Tips for Stocking Food in the Kitchen
The most important thing that you need to learn to do is how to properly read food labels. In fact, it is important that all household members learn how to do this. You want to make sure that you are able to determine whether the allergen is an ingredient in the food that you are purchasing or not.
When storing food in the pantry, you need to separate safe food from unsafe food. There should be specific shelves for the unsafe foods, and foods should be stored in sealed containers. It is also a good idea to label the unsafe foods – possibly with color-coded stickers. This makes it easy for everyone to identify problem foods.
Tips for Cleaning and Cooking
When it comes to cleaning and cooking in the kitchen, it is very important that all everyone thoroughly washes their hands prior to and after eating to avoid unnecessarily transferring food allergens. Countertops, tables, etc. should be scrubbed down with warm water and soap after food preparation and eating meals.
During food preparation, it is important to avoid cross-contamination. Make sure that all cutting boards, utensils, mixing bowls, measuring cups, etc. are thoroughly cleaned in between foods. The best thing to do is to prepare the meal for the individual with the food allergy first, then prepare the meal for everyone else.
Keep in mind that during food preparation and cooking that allergens can become airborne. For example, this can happen during frying, boiling or using powdered ingredients. Therefore, it is a good idea to keep any individuals with food allergies out of the kitchen during this time and for roughly 30 minutes afterward to allow the air to thoroughly clear.
Food Allergy Medication Tips
Make sure that you always have your food allergy medications nearby, such as antihistamines and injectable epinephrine. If you suffer a severe allergic reaction, it can often be life-threatening. Therefore, it is important that you know exactly where your medication is and that it is easily accessible.
For more advice on safe eating practices, consult with a food allergy specialist.