Check guest list be­fore cook­ing for Thanks­giv­ing

The Standard Journal - - LIFESTYLE -

Al­most 50 mil­lion Amer­i­cans live with a food al­lergy, so there’s a good chance that a large Thanks­giv­ing guest list might mean that you’re cook­ing for some­one with di­etary re­stric­tions.

While it seems odd to ask about some one’s med­i­cal con­di­tion when you’re invit­ing them to a cel­e­bra­tion, com­mu­ni­ca­tion is the key to this mod­ern dilemma for hosts and guests.

“Peo­ple with food al­ler­gies must avoid what­ever food or in­gre­di­ent they are al­ler­gic to in or­der to be safe, so they will ap­pre­ci­ate a host or host­ess who is con­cerned,” said Judy Har­ri­son, a food safety Ex­ten­sion spe­cial­ist with the Univer­sity of Ge­or­gia Co­op­er­a­tive Ex­ten­sion.

The most com­mon food al­ler­gens are peanuts, tree nuts (such as al­monds, pecans and wal­nuts), milk, eggs, soy, wheat, fish and shell­fish. Peo­ple who live with al­ler­gies on a daily ba­sis will tell you that th­ese al­ler­gens can be in many foods and some­times in foods where one might not ex­pect them.

Two-way com­mu­ni­ca­tion is the key to keep- ing guests safe and hosts re­laxed dur­ing hol­i­day meals. Here are few tips that will al­low guests to cel­e­brate with­out hav­ing to worry.

It’s good pol­icy to check with fam­ily and friends to see if they or their chil­dren have food al­ler­gies when you in­vite when them to din­ner. No one expects you to re

write your whole menu in light of their al­lergy, but making a few dishes with­out the of­fend­ing in­gre­di­ents will make your guests feel wel­come.

If the party is go­ing to in­clude guests that you don’t know very well or un­ex­pected guests, con­sider serv­ing a va­ri­ety of foods so that even those with food al­ler­gies will have some items they can eat.

The store- bought soups, sauces and stuff­ing and dip mixes that go into many hol­i­day recipes may con­tain in­gre­di­ents that some peo­ple are al­ler­gic to. Be sure to check the in­gre­di­ent la­bels for al­ler­gens. Just a small amount of an al­ler­gen can cause life-threat­en­ing health prob­lems for some.

If you make a dish that con­tains in­gredi- ents that are com­mon al­ler­gens, make fes­tive la­bels for each dish that lets peo­ple know it con­tains the in­gre­di­ent. For in­stance, if a dish con­tains wheat and eggs, have a la­bel that says, “This dish con­tains wheat and eggs!”

If it con­tains al­monds, have a la­bel that says, “This dish con­tains al­monds!” One easy way to do this is to print the mes­sages on fes­tive pa­per la­bels and tape them to tooth­picks or wooden pop­si­cle sticks that can be in­serted into the dish.

Take ex­tra pre­cau­tions in the kitchen to sep­a­rate foods con­tain­ing al­ler­gens from other foods to pre­vent cross-con­tam­i­na­tion. Thor­oughly clean equip­ment, uten­sils and work sur­faces be­tween uses to pre­vent al­ler­gens from be­ing trans­ferred from one dish into an­other.

If you know that one of your guests has a se­vere al­lergy to a par­tic­u­lar food like nuts or peanuts, choose snacks that do not con­tain nuts.

Fol­low­ing th­ese tips will make sure that ev­ery­one feels wel­come and safe dur­ing this hol­i­day en­ter­tain­ing sea­son.

Photo: Agnes Ha­gin

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.