Food News

Peanut allergies: How fears can impact globetrotting

Many people around the world suffer from a peanut allergy, so there will be millions of people who know that ‘enjoying’ a surprise of a peanut with a meal can be a truly awful experience. Indeed, the feeling of developing hives all over your body, having chronic sickness, and the shakes all form part of the joy of the allergic reaction to peanuts (and that’s all before the threat of anaphylactic shock).

Maybe the worst part of it all is that peanuts seem to pop up in all kinds of unexpected places. Brownies, even when not marked as having nuts in, can be a serial offender when it comes to hidden peanuts, and we have heard friends mention that even Twinkies might be off the menu. Did you know, though, that airlines like Cathay Pacific go so far as to suggest that you should bring your own food on board if you are flying with them and have a peanut allergy?

This aspect of flying is perhaps an easy to avoid situation, but in countries as far afield as Japan (where in Okinawa peanuts are included in many dishes) and Madagascar (where we were presented with a form of peanut as a welcome gift from a family we were helping), and in large swathes of Asian countries where groundnut oil is used in cooking, you can end up with nuts in your dishes unless you’ve mastered the local lingo well enough or have a fair amount of luck on your side!

Of course none of these fears should stop you travelling and they certainly don’t stop us going away but it is a constant concern, with even an ice cream from McDonald’s in the centre of Paris causing great problems for us once! We’d love to hear your tips for how you deal with your peanut allergy when you’re away on holiday by commenting below.

Our only tip is that we do our best to learn how to say “I’m allergic to peanuts – they kill me!” in the local lingo before we travel!

Categories: Food News

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