Food Allergies

An Apple a Day...Is Not for Everyone

An Apple Day…Is Not for Everyone

How One Meeting Eliminated Apple to Create a Safe Space for a Food-Allergic Attendee Last month I met a woman with an apple allergy. Yes, an apple allergy. I’m sure some of you can’t believe it, but it’s a real thing, and it can be fatal. While I’ve known others with an apple allergy, Leticia’s is the most severe I’ve encountered. As she explained in her registration form, she is “highly, deathly allergic” to apples, “both ingested and inhaled from others eating nearby.” This was vital information to know about her, since I was analyzing and coding catering menus to…

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Legal Implications

Lessons for Human Resources Professionals: Legal Implications – Part Four

If you've been enjoying this series, make sure you are up to date on all previous installments: Lessons for Human Resources Professionals: The Care and Feeding of Employees – Part One » Lessons for Human Resources Professionals: Health and Wellness Programs – Part Two » Lessons for Human Resources Professionals: Supporting Employees Dietary Needs – Part Three » Legal Implications Any good human resources professional understands that fostering a safe and inclusive workplace is good business—but in some cases, it is also the law. The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prevents discrimination on the basis of a disability in programs and…

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Feeding Employees at Work

Feeding Employees at Work: A Lesson for Food Allergy & Celiac Disease Awareness

Feeding Employees at Work: An Opportunity to Enhance Well-being As a meeting planner, I have a duty of care to ensure that the food I order for an event is delicious and safe for all participants. Every good meeting planner, CEO, and human resources professional understands that fostering a safe and inclusive workplace is good business—but in some cases, it is also the law. And, if you didn’t know it before, the law includes food and beverage served in the workplace. Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) estimates that 15 million Americans (5 percent of the U.S.) have food allergies,…

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Jack O' Lantern on the Halloween party

Halloween: Keep Your Custom Eaters Safe from Forbidden Foods, Not Just Pesky Ghouls

Five Ideas for Frightfully Festive Cocktail Hour Fare Halloween parties are a fun opportunity to get creative while maintaining that special balance between making everything look creepy and delicious at the same time. It’s almost an art form and the catering craft has certainly seen its share of epic wins and brutal scares. One thing that shouldn’t be scary on Halloween is knowing whether the food is safe to eat. Anyone with food allergies can attest to the difficulties inherent in eating at parties. Add to that the additional vigilance needed when meals are disguised for a theme and it…

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Global Handwashing Day – It’s a Lifesaver

This month is packed with food related hashtag days, recognition days, and awareness days. What month isn’t, right? But this month, in particular, has a few I want to recognize. I have a few articles coming your way to help us celebrate, but this Saturday, October 15th, I am recognizing Global Handwashing Day. Now, Global Handwashing Day may not be the most glamorous sounding event, but when you stop to understand and think about it, we’re marking a day of awareness that helps to save lives! That’s right, washing hands with soap saves lives. The homepage for Global Handwashing Day…

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Cross-Contamination, Cross-Contact, & Food Safety at Your Event

Cross-contamination is a commonly understood concept. It occurs when bacteria or viruses contaminate food. It can occur during preparation and storage. Often, proper cooking will reduce or eliminate the contamination, so foodborne illness is less of a risk. Occasionally, people forget what they are doing and put their newly cooked hamburger patties on the same plate they used to hold the patties when they were raw. This just reintroduces the contamination. Luckily, professional kitchen staff are trained in the proper handling of food and risk is minimized. When discussing food allergies, we really need to be more aware of cross-contact.…

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Allergic Living Spring 2016 cover

Mixing Business & Allergies

This article originally appeared in the Spring 2016 issue of Allergic Living. Off to a convention and packing special food needs? There's much to know. Allergic Living Spring 2016 As I exited a luncheon in a hotel ballroom last fall, I saw a fellow attendee being tended to by a swarm of EMTs and convention staff. She was being treated for an anaphylactic reaction to the food she was served. She had informed the meeting planner and hotel of her serious food allergies, yet in this case, that wasn’t enough. Fortunately, after a trip to the hospital, the woman recovered…

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Reversing the Social Stigma of Dietary Restrictions

I recently read a thought-provoking article about how children with food allergies are excluded and bullied in school, as much by teachers as by other students.  The article was written by a mother of two children with life-threatening food allergies, and it reveals a number of ways in which others’ dismissal of their needs diminishes their self-worth. If a teacher brings in cupcakes for the class, not only is the child excluded, forced to watch while everyone else eats, but also, the child has to reject the offer of food, a stigmatizing act in itself. "Sometimes," article contributor, Dr. Alvarez…

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Peaches at the market

Peaches – Summer’s Sweet Bounty

June is National Fresh Fruit & Vegetables Month. Thrive! is promoting fresh fruits and vegetables alongside the USDA to help focus attention on eating more fruits and veggies because 90% of adults and children don't include enough in their diet. The first fruit we are going to highlight this month is the fruit of my home state Georgia - the peach. HISTORY The Peach became first known in China where it got its start with the name “tao.” From China they spread to the rest of the world through the ancient silk route. The peach fruit belongs to the genus, Prunus;…

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The Real Difference Between Dietary Choices & Dietary Needs

As the controversy and, let’s face it, confusion, rages on around the world here’s an easy primer on the why’s and woes of dietary choices and dietary needs. Let’s begin with an actual disease, Celiac Disease. Celiac Disease isn’t an allergy to gluten as many people often mistake. It is an actual autoimmune disorder where the ingestion of gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley) causes damage to the small intestine. An estimated 1 in every 100 people has celiac, worldwide and most are undiagnosed. Because this is an actual autoimmune disorder, a diagnosis will ensure opportunity for…

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