The other night I went out to dinner with my grandmother, Nana. We went to an Italian restaurant I had been to before, but not in at least a year. I gave the server my chef card and she came back and said I should be all set. They only used pure olive oil, and no nuts. She said the fish was cooked separately from the meat. I was all set!
When the food came to the table, I put a small taste on my fork. I then touched the sauce from my chicken parmesan up to my lip and let a little sit there for a minute. I can tell right away if I am having a reaction, so when I felt nothing, I tested a small bite. It tasted great, and no allergic reaction.
Ever since I was little, I have always done the food allergy touch test. Basically this consists of touching the food lightly to my skin to see if I get a reaction. My dad taught me this. If I don’t get any tingling or a hive, it is on to step two: the taste test. When I taste test a food, I have a very small taste of the food. I wait a few minutes to make sure I don’t get a reaction. I usually take these precautions when I am trying something new. It is a safer way, instead of going right in and taking a big bite out of some dish I have never had before.
The first time I am out with someone and they see me do this, I often get asked, “Is your food okay?” Then I have to explain what I am doing. I don’t mind this explanation though. To me, it makes sense to take it slow and could save me from ingesting a large amount of something I could have a reaction to.
As a side note, I did read in a FAAN newsletter that this can give you a false sense of security because cross contamination can be in a small bite somewhere in your dish, and may not be part of the area you tested. This definitely makes sense, but I still think taking these precautions at least makes you more aware of what you are eating and that no main ingredients are amiss throughout the entire dish.
I just wanted to let you know how happy I am that I have found your blog! My son who is only 21 months has multiple food allergies, and it worries me daily about his future. But reading about your experiences and how you deal with them has taught me a lot. This particular entry is a great idea, and I can’t wait (yeah it sounds weird to me) to be able to teach him this great little test. Thank you!