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    Are Your Allergies Spoiling the Romance?

    Food Allergy Advice

    A romantic dinner out can involve more than the usual case of jitters when one of you has a food allergy.

    So plan ahead and talk openly about it. That should help both of you feel more comfortable.

    Be clear about your allergy. While a food allergy may seem scary to your new love interest, don't play it down. "You need to be honest and up front about it and how it affects your life," Tuck says.

    Carry a "chef's card." Handing it to the waiter can save you from badgering him about ingredients in front of your date. The card, which you can create yourself, explains that you have a life-threatening allergy and lists the ingredients you're allergic to. Also, choose your restaurant carefully. "Call ahead and make sure the staff is going to accommodate you," Bassett says.

    Think before you kiss. Yes, it's possible to have a reaction from kissing someone who's eaten food you're allergic to. Bassett says a food allergen can remain in the saliva for hours -- theoretically, as many as 24. Tooth brushing isn't guaranteed to help. "If you have a love mate and you know they have a deathly allergic reaction to shrimp or peanuts, don't eat those foods, particularly if you're going to be seeing that person in the next day or two."

    Be prepared whether on a date or not. "If you have an EpiPen, please carry it with you," Bassett says. "It's not going to do you any good in the sock drawer."

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    Reviewed on March 17, 2014

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