Allergy Chef Cards - My Wallet Staple
When I first started using an allergy chef card, I'll admit that it felt a bit strange. Why would I need to use a food allergy chef card to explain my life-threatening food allergies, when I was perfectly capable of communicating this verbally.
Then the mix-up happened.
I was dining out at an Indian restaurant and gave my regular spiel. I knew that they understood me, however I had a lingering red flag in my mind that they weren't taking my nut allergies seriously.
I let it go and tried to ease my worries thinking that they cater to guests with food allergies all of the time.
I was wrong. One bite into my meal and I started to panic as I felt my lips swelling up and my throat narrowing. I was incredibly scared and could barely "be present" in a conversation with my date in front of me.
I asked the waiter if the chef got the message about my nut allergy, and the waiter went and double checked. The dish did in fact have a cashew paste on it that was undetectable by the eye.
What went wrong?
My food allergies were simply not taken seriously from point A to Z at this restaurant. The waiter never put it in writing, and the verbal message to the chef somehow got lost in a busy kitchen.
Cue the Allergy Chef Card
I use an allergy card both domestically and abroad. Of course an allergy translation card is extremely valuable to communicate across foreign languages. However, allergy chef cards in English are extremely valuable in their own right.
Avoid broken telephone
If you're like me and you have multiple food allergies, this is either a lot for a server to remember, or to jot down accurately. I give out my food allergy chef card freely to ensure it goes through the foodservice chain so everyone can see it. This avoids a game of verbal foodservice broken telephone.
Be Taken Seriously
There is something about a tactile plastic card that screams professionalism. I've seen various DIY printable allergy cards, but none of (literally) stand up to a plastic card. When I use my allergy restaurant card, I love seeing the look on the server's face. They are typically impressed and grateful as you are actually making their job of noting your restrictions that much easier.
Most chef cards don't include this important information. With Equal Eats cards, it's a staple of every single card. There are so many fine details to avoid cross-contact, but just noting to be cognizant of it gives more peace of mind that they are taking allergy food prep seriously.
Allergy Chef Card Recommendation: Equal Eats
Equal Eats has such helpful cards across so many food allergies. They are nicely designed and contain very accurate translations. A lot of work went into them, and it shows every time I use one and have my food allergies taken seriously.