Food allergies can be a pain, especially when you go out to eat. If there’s an ingredient you have to avoid – whether it’s because of an allergy, a food intolerance or a sensitivity, it can be worrying when the restaurant doesn’t list all of the ingredients on their menu. So, what can you do?
If you’re planning in advance, call the restaurant before you go – and be prepared to go somewhere else if you don’t like their answer. Call between 2pm and 4pm if possible. If you have a severe allergy and need your food prepared separately from allergens, you should definitely call ahead and ask if they can do it. Ask what safe food handling practices they use and whether their staff is trained on food allergies.
Tell Your Waiter
Before being seated, you should tell the host or hostess about any ingredients you have to avoid. Always tell the waiter as soon as you talk to them about any allergies you have. This allows them to check with the kitchen before taking your order and be aware that, for example, the apple pie comes with almonds. If your waiter doesn’t know the ingredients because the restaurant doesn’t have a nutrition fact label on hand, don’t order that item.
Carry Your Epipen
If you need an epipen, make sure it’s with you and functional. Make sure your dining companion knows where it is and how to use it if needed. If dining alone, tell restaurant staff you carry one and where it is.
Check the Menu
Many restaurants now mark their menus to note items which are vegetarian, gluten-free or contain nuts. If you have common nut allergies or are intolerant to gluten, this will help you identify dishes that are safe for you to order. You should also not be afraid to ask for substitutions – they’re not always possible, but it’s always worth asking.
Keep It Simple
Sometimes it’s best to order one of the simpler items on the menu, although be aware that just because you have ordered a dish somewhere else (or even at that restaurant) with no problems doesn’t mean you don’t need to check. Avoid fried or grilled foods, as cross contamination can happen in preparation. Also avoid buffets – other patrons might unknowingly cross contaminate foods by not being cautious with the serving utensils.
At Sardella’s Pizza, we do our best to cater to individuals with food allergies or intolerances who might walk into our restaurant or order our food delivered. We offer a variety of our pizzas on a gluten-free crust and all but two of our wing sauces are also gluten-free. We even offer gluten-free salads and sides! We practice the highest level of safe food handling practices. If in doubt, call ahead. Otherwise, enjoy our gluten-free pizza in Phoenix without worrying about a bad reaction that might ruin your day… or worse.