Navigating Christmas with Food Allergies
As the aroma of Christmas cake, mince pies, stuffing and sausage meat wafts through the air, the joy of the season may be tempered by the realisation that many traditional delights harbour allergens.
In this guide, we explore how to savour the magic of Christmas while managing food allergies: ensuring a truly joyful and allergen-aware celebration.
Remaining conscious of your food choices during Christmas is crucial, especially in restaurants or cafes. Even if these are places you frequent, keep in mind that they may offer a distinct festive menu during the festive season.
Christmas pudding - A cherished end to the festive feast, it demands scrutiny for hidden ingredients that pose challenges for those with gluten sensitivities. Flour and a rich mix of fruits, nuts and dairy make it essential for allergy-conscious individuals to navigate dessert choices with caution.
Stuffing - A festive companion to turkey slices, stuffing can be a concern for those with gluten intolerance, often containing breadcrumbs, nuts, and festive fruits. Stuffing can be enjoyed when made with substitutes like cornmeal or quinoa for breadcrumbs and dried fruits instead of nuts, helping to ensuring a safe and enjoyable addition to your festive plate.
Sauces and Gravy - No Christmas meal is complete without sauce or gravy, but careful inspection of ingredients is crucial, as surprises like nuts or fruits may lurk within. Prioritise a triple-check of your sauces and gravies to make certain your festive feast remains safe and enjoyable for all.
If you're visiting a bar over the festive period, there are certain cocktails and alcoholic drinks to be aware of. Festive drinks can also cause problems for someone with an allergy.
Christmas is a time when places break out new & interesting drinks which may have been spiced or flavoured. If you deviate from your usual tipple over Christmas, it’s important to consider allergens:
Pine nuts in craft beer
Almonds in some gins such as Beefeater and Bombay Sapphire
Dairy in Cream, White Russians or Pina Coladas
Egg white – Whiskey Sour or other cocktails with white froth may contain raw egg white
Egg White – To salt or sugar rim cocktail glasses
Gluten in beers & spirits
Sulphites and histamines in wine and beers
Sodium benzoate in soft drinks, wine & beer
During the festive season, Christmas serves as a compelling reminder of the necessity for businesses to provide transparent allergen information on both their food and drink menus. Allergen Checker alleviates the burden on staff, instilling confidence in serving a new festive menu by placing comprehensive allergen information at customers' fingertips through a convenient QR code, eliminating the need for a cumbersome black book.