Jump to content

Menu

Poll: Does the host or people bringing food have an obligation to work around food allergies/intolerances?


Lisa R.
 Share

What food should people prepare?  

169 members have voted

  1. 1. Visiting family member has one food allergy/intolerance to a common ingredient.

    • Those bringing food should prepare a dish that does not contain this ingredient.
      36
    • Those bringing food should prepare a dish whether or not they contained this ingredient.
      26
    • I assume the person with the food allergy/intolerance will bring their own food or choose among food they can eat.
      136
    • All food served should be food this guest can eat.
      5
  2. 2. Visiting family member has two food allergies/intolerances to common ingredients.

    • Those bringing food are should prepare a dish that does not contain this ingredients.
      32
    • Those bringing food should prepare a dish whether or not they contained these ingredients.
      26
    • I assume the person with the food allergies/intolerances will bring their own food or choose among food they can eat.
      141
    • All food served should be food this guest can eat.
      4


Recommended Posts

I always bring food my son can eat but I think I messed up by checking the top boxes. I always bring a food item my son can eat.  Generally though for Thanksgiving we host so we make sure he can at least eat one dessert, the turkey, and the mashed potatoes.  He couldn't eat anything else people brought and that was okay.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cooking allergen free is really not hard, but it just takes getting used to. So, as an allergy mom, I have a pretty good idea of what questions to ask and what level of confidence I need to have in the answers. But, me asking those questions does not equate to me having expectations that the host should be doing something different -- I just need to know. So, if you make an attempt to omit an ingredient for the sake of someone's allergy, you'll probably do okay.

 

Someone who is worried about one crumb of cross contamination should not be putting that on the host/cook. But even for true allergies, a lot of times I just need to know what's in it, but it's not about expecting anything.

 

I would say just do what you're comfortable with, be ok with ingredient questions, and let the allergic person or parent negotiate the food. No guilt or bad feelings should be had on either side of the issue.

 

Right, but how do I know my equipment is clean enough?  And then I'll have to go out and buy all new ingredients if I have anything that isn't labeled as allergy free. 

If I cooked always with that allergy issue in mind it wouldn't be a problem.  But a one time thing?  Again, I can't be sure.  Nuts, for example.  We eat nuts all the time. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cook with simple ingredients(whole foods- or pre-packaged foods that are clearly marked and ok'd) that are safe, use non-porous surfaces for food prep and cooking(extra wash before use with fresh clean rags and dishtowels), be fastidious with hand-washing and not using any pre-opened containers of anything that might have cross-contamination.

 

Right and in plenty of people's homes that isn't going to happen.

 

So you are basically saying I'll need to go out and buy special cutting boards, all new ingredients properly labeled, and sterilize my kitchen.  All to invite someone over for dinner?

 

That's not really reasonable.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Right, but how do I know my equipment is clean enough?  And then I'll have to go out and buy all new ingredients if I have anything that isn't labeled as allergy free. 

If I cooked always with that allergy issue in mind it wouldn't be a problem.  But a one time thing?  Again, I can't be sure.  Nuts, for example.  We eat nuts all the time. 

For my family, accidental cross-contamination by using a cutting board would not cause illness.  We do not have anaphylactic issues.  Every time we eat out, I assume cross contamination.

 

Right and in plenty of people's homes that isn't going to happen.

 

So you are basically saying I'll need to go out and buy special cutting boards, all new ingredients properly labeled, and sterilize my kitchen.  All to invite someone over for dinner?

 

That's not really reasonable.

I would never expect for anyone to go to that trouble.

 

Food, to me, is secondary to visiting with people.  As a mom, it is my responsibility to check on what items will be at a party and to provide a substitute.  It is not a big deal to my kids to eat a substitute.  Little dd went to a party at Halloween and the only thing she could eat was what I brought.  She also could not participate in one of the games involving eating cookies.  It was not a big deal to her.  She was there for the fun and friends.  At Thanksgiving, my SIL was upset because there were two desserts that my kids could not eat.  There were FOUR desserts that they could eat so it was not a sad situation.  I appreciate that she cares about my kids and goes to efforts to accommodate their gf status, but no one should feel badly about not doing so.  I once made a soy cream cheese cheesecake to accommodate her family.  We have all made allowances for each other.

 

What is worse to me than my kids not being able to eat every single thing is people (well-meaning) making a big deal about it.  They offer sympathy, but my kids hardly remember eating gluten.  In fact, little dd does not.  We don't need people offering sympathy and drawing attention to it.  Kids do this all the time without meaning any harm, but really, the entire co-op class does not need for someone to announce that my kid cannot eat something.  That is really the only thing that bothers us.  When we receive invitations for a "pizza and cake party", I send gf  pizza and a gf cupcake with little dd.  

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The hardest thing is that a portion of the baby boomer generation doesn't understand and having been raised with the "eat what is provided or else" mentality get very offended when you can't eat grandma's famous whatever dish. It gets very old being goaded in front of other guests to take a bite of this or that and when you refuse, the disgusted look comes out.

 

Church potlucks are the worst in this regard.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Right, but how do I know my equipment is clean enough?  And then I'll have to go out and buy all new ingredients if I have anything that isn't labeled as allergy free. 

If I cooked always with that allergy issue in mind it wouldn't be a problem.  But a one time thing?  Again, I can't be sure.  Nuts, for example.  We eat nuts all the time. 

 

Not everybody does have to worry about cross-contamination, of course. You should ask your guest.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Right and in plenty of people's homes that isn't going to happen.

 

So you are basically saying I'll need to go out and buy special cutting boards, all new ingredients properly labeled, and sterilize my kitchen.  All to invite someone over for dinner?

 

That's not really reasonable.

 

From the phrasing of the OP, my answer assumed allergies/intolerances to the extent of tummy aches if an appreciable quantity was consumed.  She specifically excluded situations where minor cross-contamination was a life-threatening issue.

 

In that situation, I could handle most things with clean implements and fresh ingredients.

 

L

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The hardest thing is that a portion of the baby boomer generation doesn't understand and having been raised with the "eat what is provided or else" mentality get very offended when you can't eat grandma's famous whatever dish. It gets very old being goaded in front of other guests to take a bite of this or that and when you refuse, the disgusted look comes out.

 

Church potlucks are the worst in this regard.

My grandma had celiac disease.

 

I will say that I have never once had anyone goad my kids into trying something they were allergic to.  People have forgotten and offered things, but that is different.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My grandma had celiac disease.

 

I will say that I have never once had anyone goad my kids into trying something they were allergic to. People have forgotten and offered things, but that is different.

Not my kids. It is me. Several grandmas go after me at church potlucks, "Surely one bite of my stuffing will not hurt you." That type of thing and they do get offended when I politely hold my ground. So I just do not attend.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not my kids. It is me. Several grandmas go after me at church potlucks, "Surely one bite of my stuffing will not hurt you." That type of thing and they do get offended when I politely hold my ground. So I just do not attend.

Well, that is just rude.  No one should insist anyone eat or drink anything for any reason. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I haven't read the other responses.

My view about the OP is that the host is responsible to make sure, one way or another, that all guests can eat plentifully and healthfully.  She can accomplish that by making sure that those types of foods are present, and that foods that don't meet that criterion are identified very clearly.

 

It is gracious to work around food allergies and even preferences to some extent.

 

It is rude to invite people over and not be able to feed them.

 

Regarding a potluck, if I were bringing a dish I would accommodate the food allergies, and I would have fun doing it, but then, I like to cook, so figuring out what to make that would suit everyone and still be delicious would be entertaining for me.  When I had very bad gall bladder issues, I would bring a dish that was very low fat and very hearty, but that could be either a main dish or a side dish, to share.  That way I didn't upstage the host, I shared something good, and I knew that no matter what there would be something I could eat there.  But again, I like to cook, and others really, really dislike it, and I think it's important to cut that some slack also, as long as clear identification is done and as long as there are no cracks about preferences vs. genuine allergies or allergies being psychosomatic or how in their day everyone ate everything and things were just fine. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think a host, because they extended the invitation, has a duty to provide a reasonable amount of food for all their guests.  Doesn't have to be everything on the menu, but at least 1 of each kind of food (a veg, a meat, a dessert, etc).

 

I wouldn't ask those contributing to necessarily include allergy safe food (unless we were all contributing equally, then I would assign some people the allergy safe option), but I would ask for accurate labeling.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would assume that the person with the allergies would bring their own, but as a hostess I'd, personally, make sure there were foods that they could eat if at all possible. I like to be accommodating and feel that having food that everyone can eat is polite, but if I were the one with allergies, I wouldn't expect anyone to go out of their way for me. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Depends. If it's something like a dye sensitivity or gluten intolerance, I think the host should make sure there is something for that person to eat and I do. I usually have a folder with all the ingredients for everything in it so people can read it themselves and choose what to eat.

 

If it's something like a serious nut allergy, where the person can die if the kitchen was not properly sanitized, then I never have nuts on the table but I would ALSO like them to bring their own if it's potluck (I know so many people who just don't understand how sensitive these can be! Like if you cut almonds on your cutting board yesterday, it's going to take more than a normal wash...).

 

Edited by tm919
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think a host is obligated. We bring our own food. I can't imagine trusting someone else to know the ins and outs of our complicated needs, and ours are life threatening.

 

There is one caveat though: we cannot attend if certain allergens will be cooking. Lentils, peanuts and tree nuts have all caused airborne reactions. Everything else we can work around. It's not an obligation, I don't expect it of you, but a safe environment is our priority, and I don't particularly think any host wants the ambulance at the event.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Right, but how do I know my equipment is clean enough? And then I'll have to go out and buy all new ingredients if I have anything that isn't labeled as allergy free.

If I cooked always with that allergy issue in mind it wouldn't be a problem. But a one time thing? Again, I can't be sure. Nuts, for example. We eat nuts all the time.

That is what I was saying about cross contamination issues..it is not on the host to manage a full decontamination of their entire house and kitchen in order to serve. I'm simply taking about making a dish, using dishes which have been cleaned normally, that don't have dairy or or eggs or nuts or whatever. That is what I do at my house for my allergic kid. I read labels, cook for him without certain ingredients. Celiac is different, there are people with more severe allergies, but I don't know any one who expects what you're taking about here from a host -- that would be foolish on their part. If they need full decontamination in order to not get sick, then they are going to be bringing their own food in their own dishes. At least I would hope.

 

Eta: most of the stuff I cook with isn't labeled allergy free. I didn't know, aside from some specialty mixes, that would exist. But I don't use a lot of mixes for stuff anyway. Common allergens are usually highlighted on the ingredients list.

Edited by JodiSue
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As a host, if I know that a guest has an allergy, intolerance, or severe aversion to a food, I would generally have one or two things that would be "safe" dishes (one main and one side), but not all dishes would be accommodating, especially for a common ingredient.  If it is a potluck style gathering, I would assume said person would bring what is safe for them to eat and determine from what everyone else brought what would be acceptable.

 

I think it is very kind and generous for the host and other guests to accommodate an allergy, but I do not feel it is necessary.  When getting together in any gathering it is really hard to please everyone.  Making an accommodation for one could greatly inconvenience another.  It's always a good idea to bring something you know you will eat because you never know what others will bring.

Edited by cbreeding
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Right and in plenty of people's homes that isn't going to happen.

 

So you are basically saying I'll need to go out and buy special cutting boards, all new ingredients properly labeled, and sterilize my kitchen.  All to invite someone over for dinner?

 

That's not really reasonable.

 

No.  I know literally 0 people with allergies who expect this from anyone else.  I'm not saying they aren't out there, but no one I know with allergies expects this at all.  It would be a complete straw man to any reasonable discussion on hosting someone with food allergies.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The hardest thing is that a portion of the baby boomer generation doesn't understand and having been raised with the "eat what is provided or else" mentality get very offended when you can't eat grandma's famous whatever dish. It gets very old being goaded in front of other guests to take a bite of this or that and when you refuse, the disgusted look comes out.

 

Church potlucks are the worst in this regard.

 

This is just crazy to me.  We have a church potluck lunch every single week, and people just go through the line and get what they want and sit and eat.  I can't fathom why or how anyone would care to know what someone else is eating at a potluck which is usually a serve yourself buffet.  How do they have that kind of time to know what is or is not on anyone's plate??  So rude.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is just crazy to me.  We have a church potluck lunch every single week, and people just go through the line and get what they want and sit and eat.  I can't fathom why or how anyone would care to know what someone else is eating at a potluck which is usually a serve yourself buffet.  How do they have that kind of time to know what is or is not on anyone's plate??  So rude.

It's really annoying.  I ran defense for my DD a lot when she was younger.  My view was that it was her job to say, "No, thank you," politely instead of overreacting or implying that the food was bad or that those who offered it were insensitive.  And my job was to take it from there if there were any further questions or comments directed at her.  This ranged from, "Hey, she said no thank you.  Can you please pass the bean dip?" to "What she is eating is just fine with me!" to "If she didn't like it, I'm sure she would be too polite to say so," to "We are going to go sit over there, want to join us?"  It's sometimes a bit exhausting.  OTOH, it did give me an opportunity to teach her that someone else being rude should not be pointed out to them, nor should it stop us from being polite ourselves. 

Edited by Carol in Cal.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The hardest thing is that a portion of the baby boomer generation doesn't understand and having been raised with the "eat what is provided or else" mentality get very offended when you can't eat grandma's famous whatever dish. It gets very old being goaded in front of other guests to take a bite of this or that and when you refuse, the disgusted look comes out.

 

Church potlucks are the worst in this regard.

 

I've found I can shut this attitude down very quickly with a comment about how I'd love to eat it, but only if she (the goader) plans on taking me to the hospital afterward.  They tend to get a horrified look on their face as if they finally get it and then stop that nonsense.

 

Except for one person with a clear personality disorder.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wouldn't expect every dish to accommodate dietary restrictions, but if you are inviting someone who you know has a food restriction for a meal, it's pretty rude to not actually serve them a meal. They don't have to be able to eat everything, but there should be enough foods that they can eat (and actually like) that it would be enough to be considered a meal.

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wouldn't expect every dish to accommodate dietary restrictions, but if you are inviting someone who you know has a food restriction for a meal, it's pretty rude to not actually serve them a meal. They don't have to be able to eat everything, but there should be enough foods that they can eat (and actually like) that it would be enough to be considered a meal.

But for us that means we pretty much don't get invited over. Although there are safe alternatives for dh's allergy--too many products are off limits. It stresses me out b/c everyone (including me) has made mistakes. Dh quizes every new dish I put before him. It is necessary. When someone once asked what was safest b/c she'd like to have us over, I said--roast chicken with salt and pepper, steamed veg and potatoes. She replied, "Oh, I never cook that plain," and never had us over. But even worse are the folks who really want us over, insist they can handle the allergy and mess up--then everyone feels badly. With multiple or complicated allergies, it is better, I think (outside of immediate family--I do think grandparents should try) to give the guest the option of bringing their own food, if they feel safer.

 

ETA: I realize I sound like I'm arguing--I'm not. I just wanted to let folks know about other options being fine.

 

Yes, if you invite a vegan over to a dinner that you are providing, you should feed them!

Edited by freesia
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My son and I are sensitive to wheat.  I am extremely uncomfortable when going to parties and would never bring up that someone should serve only things we can eat. I may ask about ingredients if I'm trying to figure things out once we get there.  I don't want anyone to worry about my dietary issues.  I always make something I know we will be okay eating and bring that dish along to share with everyone.  Most parties will serve meat, so that's not typically a problem and I know we won't starve.  Even when my son does sleep-overs with friends, I bring along a box of frozen gluten free waffles for him to eat in the morning.     

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is just crazy to me.  We have a church potluck lunch every single week, and people just go through the line and get what they want and sit and eat.  I can't fathom why or how anyone would care to know what someone else is eating at a potluck which is usually a serve yourself buffet.  How do they have that kind of time to know what is or is not on anyone's plate??  So rude.

 

Yeah, I've been to many a church lunch and no one says anything about what people eat or don't eat.

 

I don't have any food restrictions or allergies but I eat very little at potluck type lunches.  I can't stand seeing plates with food crammed together; it destroys my appetite.  No one ever says anything to me about my sparse plate.   Or to my daughter who is vegetarian. Or to anyone around me who passes by a lot of stuff.

 

I believe people when they say they run into crazy stuff like this but it's also hard for me to imagine that I hang out with an unusually polite crowd. Particularly speaking of church potlucks - 3 churches in 2 states in the last 20 years and never witnessed anything like that. 

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, I've been to many a church lunch and no one says anything about what people eat or don't eat.

 

I don't have any food restrictions or allergies but I eat very little at potluck type lunches. I can't stand seeing plates with food crammed together; it destroys my appetite. No one ever says anything to me about my sparse plate. Or to my daughter who is vegetarian. Or to anyone around me who passes by a lot of stuff.

 

I believe people when they say they run into crazy stuff like this but it's also hard for me to imagine that I hang out with an unusually polite crowd. Particularly speaking of church potlucks - 3 churches in 2 states in the last 20 years and never witnessed anything like that.

I don't know about church potlucks but I can imagine the generational issue that was mentioned. If my grandmothers were still alive, it would have been difficult. And we had good relationships. One of them simply would not have understood the science of food allergies.

 

The other was highly educated but she had a quirk about food and was not happy if people didn't eat seconds at her table. Flat out skipping a dish was not an option. Some older relatives still definitely have that "clean your plate, there are starving kids out there" or "eat what your given and be respectful" attitude that doesn't make allowances for allergies or special diets.

 

When I was young, I had some extreme issues with food, not allergy related. I was forced to eat things (not by my parents, but an adult) and would throw up. I have been teased a lot about what I eat or had people comment on it at work or social events. That is why my wish is to be allowed to bring my own food with no commentary or attention.

 

I have also visited people from a culture that felt refusal of food was an insult. I actually had a severe reaction in front of them and it still was a puzzle to them. I don't blame them. They had some good reasons to wonder why their food was making me sick. It just didn't make sense to them.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, I've been to many a church lunch and no one says anything about what people eat or don't eat.

 

I don't have any food restrictions or allergies but I eat very little at potluck type lunches. I can't stand seeing plates with food crammed together; it destroys my appetite. No one ever says anything to me about my sparse plate. Or to my daughter who is vegetarian. Or to anyone around me who passes by a lot of stuff.

 

I believe people when they say they run into crazy stuff like this but it's also hard for me to imagine that I hang out with an unusually polite crowd. Particularly speaking of church potlucks - 3 churches in 2 states in the last 20 years and never witnessed anything like that.

Unfortunately, the church we just left had become a very, very judgmental place. People felt compelled to comment on an array of personal things. The churhes we have visited seem like.they will be better.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Obviously, if someone has a life threatening allergy, than the host should ensure that the allergen is not brought by others. As a host, I would make sure that some things would be available to the guest but if it's not life threatening, there may also be things there that they can't eat. I'd be sure they could eat the main dish.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Didn't read the thread yet, but wanted to comment while I have a chance (kids are taking a bath :)  )

 

I am a hypocrite.  I will try to accommodate my guests to the best of my ability- that includes everything, even likes/dislikes.

 

I do not expect anyone to accommodate me or my family.   We don't have any allergies but if we did, my answer would be the same.  My family's food intake is entirely my responsibility. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it depends. If people know the allergy and it's easy to avoid, then sure, bring a dish without it. Or at least some people bring a dish without it. Are people being assigned the dish? Or do they bring their specialty or favorite?

 

My kids have intolerances to food dyes, preservatives, annato and such. It's great when they can eat stuff, but not expected. I make sure the dish I bring to a potluck is one they can eat and advise them to take large helpings! It might be the only dish they can have. It is sweet when some friends make a special effort for them. But its a pain and I'm not offended if someone doesn't.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

No allergies, but I have 2 selective eaters in the fam---one grownup and one child. I think it would be easier if they had allergies--it would sound like a better reason.  The grownup can fend for himself, and has been known to stop at McDonalds on his way home. I make a safe food for the child if there will be nothing there that is on his safe food list, and just slip it on his plate quietly, although other kids will normally make a big deal about it.  

If we had Thanksgiving at a family members home, I would bring a ham to go with the turkey, since neither one will eat turkey or any of the sides, except for potatoes (as long as they aren't mashed).  So my selective eaters had ham and rolls for Thanksgiving this year, daughter and I ate corn casserole, spinach salad, cranberry sauce, pie, etc.  

I make sure everyone has something to fill up on, even if that means separating the pasta from the sauce. And I always ask guests if there is something they are allergic to, and allow people to bring a dish to share.  I feel like its a part of kind hospitality and also I follow the DOR method for the selective eaters.  Always something for everyone to eat and they get to chose what to put in their mouth.   I get very tired of people undermining my food routine and insisting my child try foods that makes him gag--when they know it makes him gag or attempt to discipline him for not eating in front of me. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I always ask about food allergies/intolerances.  As a host, I do my best to accomodate at least a significant portion, if not all, of the meal to their needs.  However, experience has shown me that no matter how conscientious I try to be, it is never really good enough.  Also, by experience, I have found that most people with moderate to severe allergies and intolerances will offer to bring their own food (which I accept graciously) or they will carefully choose what they can eat from among the food served.  The biggest issues and complaints I've ever had seem to be from people who do not have moderate to severe food needs.  The people with serious needs seems to be far more gracious when others try to accommodate them, and far more prepared and careful. 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Didn't read the thread yet, but wanted to comment while I have a chance (kids are taking a bath :)  )

 

I am a hypocrite.  I will try to accommodate my guests to the best of my ability- that includes everything, even likes/dislikes.

 

I do not expect anyone to accommodate me or my family.   We don't have any allergies but if we did, my answer would be the same.  My family's food intake is entirely my responsibility. 

That doesn't make you a hypocrite.  It makes you both a good host and a good guest.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wouldn't want the responsibility of preparing food for an allergic/ sensitive person. I may accidentally put something in the dish without realising at the time it contains- gluten. Like thickener or such.

 

Also, if they got unwell afterwards, even if I did everything right, then I'd feel guilty!

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

No.  I know literally 0 people with allergies who expect this from anyone else.  I'm not saying they aren't out there, but no one I know with allergies expects this at all.  It would be a complete straw man to any reasonable discussion on hosting someone with food allergies.

 

I of course would want to do my best to make someone feel welcome, but really my biggest concern is not injuring or killing someone.  Since I can't be sure I can pull that off, I just don't even want to try.  It's not good enough to just try.  KWIM?

 

I'm just surprised that so many people seem to think this is easy to deal with.  I don't think they realize just how sensitive some allergies are.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I of course would want to do my best to make someone feel welcome, but really my biggest concern is not injuring or killing someone.  Since I can't be sure I can pull that off, I just don't even want to try.  It's not good enough to just try.  KWIM?

 

I'm just surprised that so many people seem to think this is easy to deal with.  I don't think they realize just how sensitive some allergies are.

 

I do know that some people are allergic to very small amounts of an allergen.  The OP seemed to exclude such extreme life-and-death situations, however:

 

For the purposes of this poll, let's assume no one has a life-threatening allergy that even being in the presence of this food would be dangerous. For example, some can not be in the same house with a peanut butter sandwich on someone else's plate. This is not what we're talking about here.

Edited by Laura Corin
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do know that some people are allergic to very small amounts of an allergen.  The OP seemed to exclude such extreme life-and-death situations, however:

 

For the purposes of this poll, let's assume no one has a life-threatening allergy that even being in the presence of this food would be dangerous. For example, some can not be in the same house with a peanut butter sandwich on someone else's plate. This is not what we're talking about here.

 

Well I get that, but I thought we were talking about someone who would have some sort of negative reaction.  I'd feel terrible if I made someone sick. 

 

The choir has a lot of food parties (snacky stuff) after performances.  They list specific items they want people to bring and you sign up for the specific item.  They try to accommodate everyone including various allergies.  It seems most bring prepackaged stuff for the allergy items, but then there are some who don't.  If you had a food allergy, would you eat something without having any clue about what was in it?  I wouldn't.  Which is why I don't know why they bother with that.  And they don't state bring packaged stuff.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I of course would want to do my best to make someone feel welcome, but really my biggest concern is not injuring or killing someone. Since I can't be sure I can pull that off, I just don't even want to try. It's not good enough to just try. KWIM?

 

I'm just surprised that so many people seem to think this is easy to deal with. I don't think they realize just how sensitive some allergies are.

Um, I'm the parent of a kid with numerous food allergies, where even "a little bit" ingested causes big problems. However:

 

My point is that the people with the sensitivity you're taking about (where they would require sanitized utensils, dishes, and environment) are not eating at potlucks or others' homes. They just aren't.

 

I may ask about the menu if I'm coming over. I may ask about ingredients. So that I know if I need to bring his oreos or a sandwich for him. If there's a question in my mind, that's what I do. Some people ask about my DS's allergies when having us over, and I say, "oh, I will bring his food" and then when we get they offer plain fruit or veggies and meat or something. We think that is awesome and nice and don't turn it down after asking about butter or other things, but we don't expect it.

 

But really, if someone said they can't have milk, but are so allergic that even having milk on the serving spoon from the day before after a run through the dishwasher would hospitalized them, they aren't going to eat your cooking and you are not responsible for them. If they elect to eat something like a roast or potatoes because the host says there's no dairy in the cooking, then they are probably not at the level of sensitivity you're being concerned about and you are still not responsible for their health. And if you don't know if something has dairy in it, saying what you put in and letting the allergic person make a decision isn't a bad idea. Anyone who needs complete sanitizing is not going to even ask. They have their own food.

 

I've been cooking allergen free for 7 years. It does take getting used to, but in *most cases*, I think it's much easier than you are imagining. After my husband has eggs, I wash the skillet like I've always done and I can cook egg-allergic DS's food in it.

Edited by JodiSue
  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the host needs to make it easy for guests to bring their own if they have special food considerations.

 

I think we've discussed before that even the best-intentioned hosts can make a mistake and cannot be trusted with serious food allergies.  Besides, the host has enough things to worry about even if nobody has food issues.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Um, I'm the parent of a kid with numerous food allergies, where even "a little bit" ingested causes big problems. However:

 

My point is that the people with the sensitivity you're taking about (where they would require sanitized utensils, dishes, and environment) are not eating at potlucks or others' homes. They just aren't.

 

I may ask about the menu if I'm coming over. I may ask about ingredients. So that I know if I need to bring his oreos or a sandwich for him. If there's a question in my mind, that's what I do. Some people ask about my DS's allergies when having us over, and I say, "oh, I will bring his food" and then when we get they offer plain fruit or veggies and meat or something. We think that is awesome and nice and don't turn it down after asking about butter or other things, but we don't expect it.

 

But really, if someone said they can't have milk, but are so allergic that even having milk on the serving spoon from the day before after a run through the dishwasher would hospitalized them, they aren't going to eat your cooking and you are not responsible for them. If they elect to eat something like a roast or potatoes because the host says there's no dairy in the cooking, then they are probably not at the level of sensitivity you're being concerned about and you are still not responsible for their health. And if you don't know if something has dairy in it, saying what you put in and letting the allergic person make a decision isn't a bad idea. Anyone who needs complete sanitizing is not going to even ask. They have their own food.

 

I've been cooking allergen free for 7 years. It does take getting used to, but in *most cases*, I think it's much easier than you are imagining. After my husband has eggs, I wash the skillet like I've always done and I can cook egg-allergic DS's food in it.

 

Yeah I guess I don't quite understand the question then.  If it is good enough to just not cook with the ingredient, I can manage that.  If it is about anything else, nope.  You have been doing this for 7 years so you know what you need to pay attention to.  I haven't so I could easily screw it up. 

 

And like you said, you don't trust just any situation because it's too much of a risk.  I wouldn't trust it either if it were my kid. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do tend to be very literal.  If you tell me an ingredient can't touch my kitchen then I figure that is what you mean.  If you tell me it causes problems, then I assume it would be a problem if you came in contact with it. 

 

If it's only "sort of" a problem, then I really do not know what that means.  I don't really want to cause a "sort of" problem either.

 

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I mean, most people are not highly-skilled cooks.  They know how to cook a limited number of dishes with confidence.  They don't know whether changing ingredient x in their signature dish will destroy the meal for everyone.  If a host has to be such a great cook that they can easily prepare a meal that satisfies every food issue on the guest list, then a lot of people just won't host, period.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is tricky...I am allergic to dairy. I do not expect anyone to accommodate me; however, it is nice to be thought of. When you know your house guest who has just traveled hours to come to your house has a dairy allergy, lasagna feels like a slap in the face. Lasagna, garlic bread made with butter instead of olive oil, and grated cheese in the salad means there is nothing to eat. It feels rude for me to go into my bag of 'goodies' and make myself something after I know my hostess just spent the day cooking an elaborate meal, but that is what has to be done. 

 

If you mean for a potluck party - bring what you like and share with others with it labeled. I have gone to many parties where the only thing I trust to eat is my dish. No big deal.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

FTR my daughter doesn't do milk or most milk products.  (There are exceptions; she is somewhat intolerant but not allergic.)  Aside from telling my sisters not to force her to drink milk with her meal, it has never even occurred to me that my family should accommodate my kids' food issues.  (My other kid pretty much hates 99% of everything, but I consider that her issue.)  If they serve stuff my kids don't eat, my kids work it out some way or other.  Maybe I'm a terrible mom.  (My sisters, for their part, are old school and think that letting a child refuse food is spoiling them.  So that is another thing to navigate.)

Edited by SKL
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I mean, most people are not highly-skilled cooks.  They know how to cook a limited number of dishes with confidence.  They don't know whether changing ingredient x in their signature dish will destroy the meal for everyone.  If a host has to be such a great cook that they can easily prepare a meal that satisfies every food issue on the guest list, then a lot of people just won't host, period.

 

I am a highly skilled cook.  However, I am not a highly skilled cleaner and an even worse host.

 

:laugh:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do tend to be very literal. If you tell me an ingredient can't touch my kitchen then I figure that is what you mean. If you tell me it causes problems, then I assume it would be a problem if you came in contact with it.

 

If it's only "sort of" a problem, then I really do not know what that means. I don't really want to cause a "sort of" problem either.

My son can't ingest dairy, eggs, or nuts. But if you wash a pot that's been used to cook any of those things, and cook, say, green beans in it, he can eat them. The foods are a problem (no "sort of"), but avoiding the food is just...not cooking with it.

 

I don't know who is saying "this food can't touch your kitchen or I will have issues" and then is expecting to eat from your kitchen. That seems like a recipe (haha) for disaster. I do know tons of allergic people who can eat relatively normally, as long as they don't ingest that food. As in, it is a food without that ingredient.

 

It's not that the allergen isn't a big deal, it's that avoiding it in a simple meat and veggies dishes is not difficult in general.

 

But, if you (general) are going to serve lasagne because that is your go to dish for company, then I just bring stuff for him. I don't ask anyone to change the menu or go out of their comfort zone. Don't cook anything and claim it's allergen free if you feel uncomfortable with that designation, but depending on what it is, he may still be able to eat it.

 

Also keep in mind that getting commercial, processed foods certified as free of certain ingredients is a lot different than what goes on in a home kitchen. But a commercial kitchen is always going to have stricter and different rules than a home kitchen.

Edited by JodiSue
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am a highly skilled cook.  However, I am not a highly skilled cleaner and an even worse host.

 

:laugh:

 

I very rarely host.  I don't have a signature dish.  If I am hosting a dinner, that generally means I've gone to Sam's Club and bought a couple of those throw-it-in-the-oven-as-is meals.  And the good cooks in my family will be invited to bring their best dishes.

 

I am great at cleaning and preparing the house to host a party.  So if you have a dust allergy, no problem.  :P

 

In my family history, allergies have just never been a thing.  There has never been a time when someone called my mom and said "could you accommodate my kid's ___ allergy."  The only person who ever brought their own food was my SIL, when she was on a diet.  She would bring lettuce salad, and fake sweeteners to put in her tea.  So my folks always cook the same things, year after year.  I do think they would balk if someone asked them to change it up for anything less than a deathly airborne allergy.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would say there should be a balance here, as with most things.   

 

If it's pretty simple to leave out, such as serving veggies without butter or with butter, then I'd say it's considerate to season them some other way.   Or refrain from putting the flour in the turkey bag that the bag box recipe suggests.    It's not a huge deal to leave it out, so why make it inedible for someone?

 

If it's hard to figure out, such as gravy,  or there is a big taste/texture difference, such as rolls, it's ok to have a couple kinds, or to say, "we want to have regular rolls for people, so if rolls are important to you, please bring some gluten free ones."    Many people with allergies will be glad to bring the gravy or to make it from clean turkey drippings at your house, so they can eat it freely.

 

Also, BE SURE TO AVOID CROSS CONTAMINATION, whether you are a guest or a host/hostess!   There are few things more frustrating than to have carefully made a food others can eat, and then someone swipes the gravy ladle across the mashed potatoes, and suddenly, someone can't eat the gravy any more.    :(     

 

For most things, people with food allergies know that it's hard for others to understand.  They usually just want understanding and if possible, very simple changes.    They don't usually want people to go to a huge amount of work.

 

My dd has multiple food allergies, and we just expect to bring our own food.   

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...