Because of spam, I personally moderate all comments left on my blog. However, because of health issues, I will not be able to do so in the future.

If you have a personal question about LI or any related topic you can send me an email at I will try to respond.

Otherwise, this blog is now a legacy site, meaning that I am not updating it any longer. The basic information about LI is still sound. However, product information and weblinks may be out of date.

In addition, my old website, Planet Lactose, has been taken down because of the age of the information. Unfortunately, that means links to the site on this blog will no longer work.

For quick offline reference, you can purchase Planet Lactose: The Best of the Blog as an ebook on or 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.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Divvies Holiday Allergy-Free Tips

Divvies is a dedicated nut- and dairy-free gourmet bakery. Owners Lori and Mark Sandler are masters of promotion and publicity as well, putting out press releases with amazing frequency. Fortunately, their releases have more meat to them than most. Like this long list of " simple ideas to help make the Holiday's [sic] more palatable for children with food allergies."

1. R.S.V.P. as soon as your family receives an invitation. You want to make sure you give your hosts (and yourself!) plenty of time to comfortably work out allergy-free solutions. This gives them the opportunity to purchase "safe" foods (like those offered by or prepare foods using allergen-free ingredients.

2. Bring an allergy-safe and delicious dessert that everyone will enjoy. Make sure the dessert you bring not only tastes great but looks intriguing and festive. And that means serving platter included. Don’t bring over something the hostess has to scrounge around for a platter to put it on. She’s busy, don’t add to her work.

3. When home baked foods show up at your home as gifts and you are not sure of the ingredients, have alternative "safe" foods available for your child, so she doesn't feel left out of the celebration. These should be special treats, not the usual fare.

4. Ingredients in packaged goods sometimes change due to the season or recipe changes by the manufacturer. Always check ingredient lists and manufacturing practices on packaging to make sure that foods are still safe.

5. If you are the host for a large gathering where there are a lot of children and close supervision of what is being eaten might be difficult, steer clear of offering any items known to be highly allergic (e.g. peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, etc.). Make the whole table largely allergy-safe so everyone can relax and enjoy.

6. If you are a host for a smaller gathering where close supervision is less of an issue, serve a variety of food, but make sure the items, that are free of common allergens, are well-marked.

7. When hosting parties, know your guests and don’t be afraid to ask if anyone planning to attend your party has any allergies. Find out ahead of time and avoid making guests feel self-conscious about their allergies during the party.

8. Say, "Thank you!". After the party make sure to express your appreciation for all that your host did to make the event a safe, fun and inclusive occasion.

My tip: hire PR firms that are literate or at least can hire someone to proofread their releases.

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