“Allergy Awards” is how Can I Eat There? helps you find the very best restaurants for people with allergies, coeliac disease or free-from diets. More and more restaurants are able to offer something for allergic customers – but there are those restaurants that really go out of their way to welcome us. Our Allergy Awards restaurants have been accredited by industry-leading national organisations to show that they have a delicious choice of interesting dishes; great allergy training for kitchen and front-of-house staff; or even awards for their outstanding allergy food and service. Meet our Allergy Awards accreditations…
FreeFrom Eating Out Awards
The Free From Eating Out Awards are annual awards recognising catering establishments across nine different categories, from restaurants to teashops and fish-and-chippers, who offer great food, sound knowledge and safe service to allergic, coeliac and free-from customers.
The Intolerant Gourmand
Nathalie is well known within the allergic community for creating free-from recipes for clients nationwide. With a son with multiple severe food allergies, she knows how essential it is to get it right! Nathalie works with restaurants to recreate their favourite dishes, free from the 14 allergens – without losing any of the flavour.
Allergy UK’s Top Tips for Eating Out Safely
At Allergy UK we always advise that customers check a restaurant’s allergy policy and menu before booking to make sure that their allergies can be catered for. With the introduction of the Food Information Regulations, allergen information for all dishes should be available to all customers that request it. Ideally front of house staff should have the correct knowledge of dishes and what they contain, and also be able to advise whether the chef can create specific free from dishes. So don’t be frightened to ask.
Top tips for eating out safely:
- Where possible, before booking make sure the restaurant can cater for you and find out what they can offer.
- It is possible to use alternative ingredients for many dishes nowadays, and chefs may have already sourced ways of converting a recipe so that it is suitable for someone with a food allergy or intolerance. Give them some notice and they may be happy to do this for you
- Explain to the waiter what you need to avoid, or even better ask if you can speak to the chef. It might be a dish can become ‘free from’ an allergen simply by leaving off a sauce or a dressing.
- If the restaurant can provide a dish for you, check that they have a separate workstation in the kitchen for preparing foods for allergic customers.
- Take some wipes with you to wipe down hard surfaces or high chairs to make sure there are no traces of allergen still clinging to surfaces.
- When eating out abroad, Translation Cards are available from Allergy UK in 36 languages from Balinese to Vietnamese. A potential lifesaver!
- Staff should know what to do in the case of an emergency, but always make sure you carry your medications with you at all times, including auto-injectors of adrenaline if prescribed.
A meal in a restaurant should be an enjoyable treat. By doing your research and asking the right questions, you should be able to eat out and stay safe.