Having an Allergy Translation Card will help you communicate at restaurants in a foreign country. However, there are many things to keep in mind when dining out in order to stay safe:
Do your research. Planning ahead can pay off by looking at a menu online and getting a feel for what type of food they serve, and whether it might be a risky environment.
Carry your epinephrine auto-injector. Never take the chance of eating without it.
Use your judgement. If you get a bad feeling about the restaurant, or don’t feel that they are taking your food allergies as seriously, don’t feel obliged to eat there.
Don’t make assumptions. Just because a food is safe at home, doesn’t mean it will be prepared the same way in another country. Always inquire about the food you are interested in ordering.
Some may not understand “severe allergies”. In some parts of the world, allergies are not very common. It’s important to keep this in mind as some may believe you would only experience minor symptoms if exposed to your allergen. Use our chef sheets for extra communication on severity and cross-contamination.
Find a tour. Tour operators and guides can act as a very helpful liaison to navigate safe food options in a place they are much more familiar with.
Print extra copies of your card. Hand your translation card to the wait staff, manager and chef to make sure your allergy information is understood by everyone in charge of your order.
Say thanks! If you have a great dining experience, be sure to thank your wait staff for their efforts in helping you find a safe meal.