An author who is one of the 12 million people across the country with food allergies shares with NY1 how to play it safe but still enjoy dining out. NY1's Health reporter Kafi Drexel filed the following report.
Food allergies can often be a challenge, especially when you're dining out, but "Allergic Girl" author Sloane Miller says those with allergies can enjoy good menus, too.
"I am allergic to all tree nuts, and salmon, I avoid fish and shellfish," says Miller.
But the self-proclaimed foodie doesn't let that stop her from enjoying a good meal out on the town. When prepping to go out, she has a checklist.
"I look online at a menu and I see is there something on there that even looks delicious to me within my allergic boundaries," says Miller. "The next thing I do is I communicate with the restaurant. I call and say 'Hi I'm Sloane, I have food allergies, this is what I'm allergic to, does your kitchen feel comfortable handling this?'"
Nick Anderer, executive chef at Roman-style restaurant Maialino, says that's the right approach.
"I think that hospitality plays a large role," says Anderer. "It starts with the communication the guest has with their server and I think opening up a conversation, and the server being inquisitive, and sort of what we say is like turning over rocks, finding out what's underneath them."
Knowing Miller's needs, Anderer whipped up a corn-based, gluten-free pasta, a menu adjustment he is willing to make for any diner.
If she ever runs into trouble, Miller makes sure she is always prepared.
"My first and best advice to anyone is to take their food allergy seriously," says Miller. "And part of taking it seriously is having your medication on your person at all times."
For Miller, that means never leaving home without everything from her MedicAlert bracelet, epinephrine and Benedryl.
So there are some tips to get through a meal without having to bust out the Epipen.