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 However, product information and weblinks may be out of date.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.

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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