Going out to restaurants can be stressful. You have to be cautious of potential cross-contamination, allergy-friendly meals, and a confused waiter. Every time I go to a restaurant, I ask the waiter if I can speak with the chef so I can identify the ingredients in the meal I order. Sometimes, the chef may cook me something special that is not on the menu. 

Here are some tips to make dining out easier: 

- Before visiting a restaurant, call before you go out and ask the chef if he or she can prepare a special meal for you. 

- Communicate clearly with staff members about your food allergies. Nonetheless, they may still be confused or not clear about how to manage your food allergies - the best way may be to speak directly with the manager or chef. 

- Create an allergy card. An allergy card outlines your allergens and is a great way to communicate your food allergies to the chef or manager.  You can find allergy cards on our mobile application. They are translated into nine different languages. 

Cross-contamination may accidentally occur when you go to restaurants. The manager or chef may unintentionally cook your meal with an ingredient they didn't know contained your allergen. Make sure you make your allergies clear -  an allergy to dairy also means being allergic to casein and whey. 

Our food allergy app also will have a complete list of restaurants and their food allergy menu.