How to interact with people who have food allergies-5 rules

Death looked over my shoulder but I stuck him with an EpiPen


1. Your right to eat a cupcake does not trump someone else’s right to NOT DIE. Think about this before you complain.

This goes for your kids, too. Do not bitch to your friends about how school is no longer fun for your child because all some parents care about is suing, and now they can’t have birthday parties in the classroom. Because suing a school is the first thing on a parent’s mind when they have a kid with an allergy. Of course it is. Not the image of their kid on the floor turning blue and dying because someone ate a peanut butter sandwich at the same table and cross-contaminated the surface.

PS: I thought school was where you went to learn stuff like science and math and how to not be stupid, but apparently it’s the place where you go to have fun. My bad.

2. No, you can’t tell if there’s some trace allergen in that food just by taste. Do not assume it’s safe for your buddy.

Seriously. My nephew is allergic to casein (milk protein). It’s in things you would never expect. Like hot dogs. Do NOT make fun of or take lightly those people who tell you that they or their child is allergic to something. I don’t care how idiotic and not fun you think it is. Trips to the emergency room with possible death at the end aren’t fun either. Sometimes you can’t even trust the labels on food products. When in doubt, people with allergies just don’t eat. We tend to pack our own backup food. So don’t take a bite of that cookie your bff baked and be all like “I can’t taste any almonds in this, I’m sure it’s safe.” and then press it upon the person you supposedly care about.

Also, please realize that some people react to a food allergen by inhaling it. Don’t wave your sandwich of death under your friend’s nose.

3. Do not assume that vacuuming a chair will de-allergen it.

It doesn’t. It really, really doesn’t. Cat dander, peanut dust, and other allergens look at your vacuum cleaner and LAUGH. Hives and swelling and a mad search for one’s emergency meds have taught me this.

4. Do not offer food to anyone without first checking for food allergies/sensitivities/medical issues.

I have food allergies. My mom has food allergies. I have two kids and a nephew with food allergies. I have a friend who is a vegetarian. The neighbor’s grandkid has diabetes. It’s only polite to offer food, sure, but not until you have asked about any issues someone might have. You can’t just give a kid with diabetes a cupcake whenever the mood strikes. Likewise, you can’t just assume that your famous chicken casserole will be a smash hit. Some people really don’t eat meat. Some people DIE when they eat a peanut. So please, just ask first.

5. Banning common allergens from public spaces is not stupid and please don’t insist that it is.

You know how you thought it was dumb when they made us all start wearing seat belts? And when they started putting air bags in cars? That is, until your Aunt Berry-Boo or whoever lived through that terrible accident because she was wearing her seat belt? Yeah, exactly. What about banning smoking in public places? Because second-hand smoke health issues are a myth, right? Yeah, no. Banning peanuts and other common allergens from school or airplanes or wherever is not the end of the world. You can still eat that peanut (smoke that cig) at home. Kids are not at school all the time and you probably don’t live on a plane, so please stop ranting about how your right to stuff your face (or your lungs) is being taken from you. Feel free to go home and eat until your stomach explodes.

PS-Yes, I know that number 5 is kind of a continuation of number 1, but the rude behavior regarding allergies is so pervasive I thought it bore mentioning twice.

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