The Lactose Intolerance Clearinghouse Has Moved.

My old website can be found at I am no longer updating the site, so there will be dead links. The static information provided by me is still sound.

For quick offline reference, you can purchase Planet Lactose: The Best of the Blog as an ebook on or or or a whole lot of other places that Smashwords is suppose to distribute the book to. Almost 100,000 words on LI, allergies, milk products, milk-free products, and the genetics of intolerance, along with large helpings of the weirdness that is the Net.

I suffer the universal malady of spam and adbots, so I moderate comments here. That may mean you'll see a long lag before I remember to check the site and approve them. Despite the gap, you'll always get your say. I read every single one, and every legitimate one gets posted.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Coping with Allergies Guide for Restaurants

The prestigious Culinary Institute of America (CIA) (yeah, go ahead and make the jokes: they've heard them all) has a multi-page guide for dealing with allergies and intolerances on its web site. It's good reading for anyone connected with running a restaurant or other business that deals with serving food to the public. The guide is itself a summary of information but it's still much too long to summarize here. Please take the time to read it through.

A few statistics quoted were so interesting that I have to share them with you, though.

Three Dangerous Myths

In a 2006 survey of 100 dining establishments, researchers at the Elliot and Roslyn Jaffe Food Allergy Institute at Mount Sinai School of Medicine identified a list of commonly-held misconceptions among restaurant operators that could prove dangerous. Among them:

24% believed that consuming small amounts of an allergen is safe. It isn't. Even minute quantities can cause a reaction in sensitive individuals.

35% believed that fryer heat destroys allergens. It doesn't. Allergic-provoking substances can remain behind in fryer oil to contaminate foods, for example.

25% believed it was safe to remove an allergen such as shellfish or nuts from a finished meal. It's not. Trace amounts left behind when food or plates have made contact with allergens can cause trouble.

Ignorance about allergies is unfortunately rampant in this country. Heck, in all countries. Ignorance is dangerous. Bad enough when you apply it to yourself. Far worse if you spread it to a vulnerable public. Read and learn.

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