Food Allergy Checklist

Stay safe with some simple tips when you have a food allergy. Keep this checklist handy as a reminder:

1. Be ready for emergencies. Always carry antihistamines with you, and two epinephrine shots (such as AdreniclickAuvi-Q, EpiPen, a generic, or Symjepi) if your doctor recommends them.

2. Read ingredients lists. Check every food you buy.

3. Stick with prepackaged food. Don't be tempted by salad bars, bakeries, and deli counters. They may have hidden allergy triggers.

4. Be cautious. If you're not sure something is safe, don't eat it.

5. Speak up in restaurants. Tell the staff and the friends you're with about your allergies before you order or eat.

6. Order simple food. In restaurants, choose dishes with fewer ingredients. They're less likely to have allergy triggers.

7. Carry info. Take written notes with you about your allergies, like chef cards, that you can give to restaurant staff.

8. Wear ID. Have medical jewelry, like a bracelet or necklace that names your allergy.

9. Have an action plan. Make sure friends and family know what to do in an emergency.

10. Act fast. If you have symptoms of a serious reaction, get medical help right away.

11. Watch for hidden triggers. They may not just be in food. Sometimes they lurk in drugs, soaps, lotions, and other products.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar, MD on November 17, 2018

Sources

SOURCES:

ACAAI: "Children's Allergies."

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology: "Taking Your Food Allergies Out to Dinner" and "Food Allergy: Tips to Remember."

Consortium of Food Allergy Research: "Restaurants and Food Allergy."

Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network: "Medical ID."

Kids with Food Allergies: "Grocery Shopping for a Child with Food Allergies."

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