Tips for Moving Abroad with Food Allergies

A few months before moving abroad with food allergies to Italy, I brought my old Italian chef card to my Italian tutor. I wanted to make sure it was as accurate as possible.  I also needed to update any changes.  With help from a friend, I had created it a few years ago prior to my first Italian travel adventure.

We made some changes…

When I showed it to my tutor and explained all of my allergies, there were lots of changes that she wanted to make. We included what was on the Italian allergy website as well as her suggestions. We also re-worded the message, then added a back to it that listed foods that a restaurant could prepare for me if nothing safe was on the menu. I felt both confident and relieved when this process was complete!

I made copies of my chef card and laminated it. It is bigger than my English card that I use in the U.S., but it can still fit in my purse easily. I also have one in French. I need to work on one in Spanish, as well as in some of the other languages of places I may travel.

There are companies that can assist you with this process. I ordered one in Turkish from It is not detailed like the one I made, but if you really need one and have no idea of the language, it can be very helpful! They also put pictures on the card which I think is definitely useful!

Medic Alert Bracelet

My Italian Medic Alert bracelet was an important investment before my move abroad.  It has all of my anaphylactic allergies and asthma on the inside with the regular Medic Alert symbol on top.

Between my updated chef card and Medic Alert bracelet, I felt reassured that I was ready to set off on this new journey!

These are a few quick tips:

  • Prepare a chef card in the language of the country you are moving/traveling to
  • Learn key phrases, especially in case of an emergency (Ex. “help” and “hospital”)
  • Order a Medic Alert bracelet in the language of the country you are living in
  • Visit any allergy websites that are available for the country to read about foods with unsuspecting allergens (Ex. Lupin flour is used commonly in some European countries)
  • Always carry your epinephrine auto-injectors
  • Better prepared=less worry and more fun! : )


  1. Pingback: Social Support in Italy with Food Allergies - Miss Allergic Reactor

  2. Stephanie,
    Yes, of course! I will e-mail you mine! :) Thanks so much for your comments! Look for my e-mail shortly!

    -Miss Allergic Reactor

  3. Hi Allie! Thanks for your recent posts! I’m SO glad your experience in Italy has been mostly positive! I love the Italian translated chef card and medic alert bracelet! (remember we are traveling to Italy next summer), I believe you are allergic to more than my son, Peyton, but I would like to use your idea of making it “detailed” for the restaurant staff (instead of the brief translation). I’m trying to read the text from your pics, but it’s a bit hard to make out some of the words. Could you help?
    Stephanie (sdall1(at)aol(dot)com

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