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Food allergies and the holidays

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    Thursday, December 19, 2013, 1:20 PM -

    'Tis the season for cookies, casseroles, and homemade treats but people who suffer from food allergies may have a particularly tough time navigating the holidays and staying allergy free.

    There are some steps you can take to make sure the holiday season goes off without a hitch -- or a trip to the ER. 

    Here are some tips for hosts, courtesy of Mireille Schwartz, founder of the Bay Area Allergy Advisory Board.

    • Keep food labels around -- so people can double check ingredients in anything home made.
    • Look for a natural turkey versus pre-basted turkey which can contain soy, wheat and dairy.
    • Make sure you don't cross contaminate -- in other words, keep utensils and surfaces clean.
    • Colour coding bowls or utensils is always an option -- to let people know what they can't eat.  Just make sure to tell them what the colours mean!
    • Perhaps most important of all -- open the line of communication. Make sure you acknowledge the dietary restrictions of your guests and assure them you are able to accommodate them.

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