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A Must Have Resource When Traveling with Food Allergies

Heather here! In honor of Food Allergy Awareness week I wanted to share one of my favorite resources that I discovered on the Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) website. It’s called a Chef Card Template and in my opinion it’s life changing. 

Communicating your food allergies when you are out to eat can be hard enough when you speak the same language, add a language barrier and it can be really scary and overwhelming. I love to travel, but I always worry about conveying the severity of my dairy allergy when there’s a language barrier. That was until these FARE Chef Card templates. 

First step is to pick which language you need. Right now they offer English, Chinese (simplified), Chinese (traditional), Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish. Once you select the template you need you can either print it out and write the allergens in by hand, or using the interactive feature on the PDF you can type in your allergens and then print it out. There is a list of common allergens listed at the bottom in that particular language that you can use. 

The language used on the card states the severity of the allergy so that everyone is on the same page, including the chef and wait staff. 

English version of template

On my last trip I looked up some more specific allergens in the languages I needed and added them to the card for full clarity, then I cut them, folded them and taped them. I printed 4 copies in each language in case the chef ended up keeping one by accident. In Italy we went to a restaurant where only one waitress spoke a little bit of English so it made me feel so confident using these cards and having them understand my needs. Traveling has become so much more enjoyable because of the peace of mind that these cards bring. I am grateful for FARE and all the resources they offer the food allergy community.

Wishing you safe summer travels ahead! 

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