Eating out

eating out

  • ALWAYS carry your adrenaline (epinephrine) injector and ASCIA Action Plan with you.

  • ALWAYS disclose your food allergy to staff. Tell them clearly that you have an allergy and do not just ask if something has milk/egg/peanut in it.

  • If after all your checks, you still are not confident the food is safe, don’t eat it!

  • Think about alcohol consumption as it may affect your judgement about appropriate food choices and then emergency care if a reaction occurs.


  • Look for suitable restaurants. View the menus online and avoid high risk cuisines/situations (e.g. buffet restaurants as there is a high risk of cross contamination; Asian restaurants if you have peanut allergy, seafood restaurants if you are allergic to fish or shellfish).

  • Call ahead to inform the restaurant about your food allergy and ask about possible menu choices.

  • Consider an earlier sitting, when the restaurant may not be so busy.

  • Discuss specific ingredients and the risk of cross contamination during storage, preparation, cooking and service of your meal with the chef. It is recommended that you call ahead to discuss this with the chef.

  • Dishes with fewer ingredients are generally better options for people with food allergy.

  • Ask about food content again when your food arrives.

  • Consider having a chef card to hand over when you make your order. This can then be handed to the chef by wait staff. 

Functions (wedding, work function, conference)

  • RSVP in writing, informing them of your food allergy and what foods you are allergic to.

  • Do not presume that because you complete a form about dietary requirements, that food served to you will be appropriate.

  • Follow up with an email to the function organiser reminding them of your food allergy.  If possible, find out what food will be served at the function and how they plan to cater for your food allergy.

  • On arrival, let the event organiser know that you are the person with the food allergy.

  • On service, let the wait staff know about your food allergy and check they are providing you with the right meal each time a food is placed in front of you.

More tips on eating out:

eating out with allergies lge

Content updated July 2021

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The National Allergy Strategy is an initiative of the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) and Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia (A&AA), as the leading medical and patient organisations for allergy in Australia.

This project received funding from the Australian Government Department of Health.

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