Living out of a suitcase this week I've experienced varying treatment at the hands of caterers.
In fact, I've never come across a caterer who understands salicylate hypersensitivity. You are often asked about special dietary requirements - vegetarianism, which is entirely voluntary, they understand, and diabetes of course.
Nor have I ever come across a caterer who has sent a message back asking what to do. What I usually do is write some general advice when asked about "special dietary requirements" - it is usually ignored.
I will say something like "plain food, no sauces or herbs, fish is good as are bananas and chocolate." That will generally allow me to choose my own vegetables. On Monday night I sat down to eat at a conference centre and no provision had been made. As it happens the staff were good and made an effort.
I arrived home last night in a terrible state, even after taking Montelukast daily. The first thing I did was to make myself a zero-salicylate meal with fish, peas and carrots. I wasn't sure whether I could stomach any more fish - but it was okay.
On Wednesday night I had eaten my first commercial pizza for two years. I did so on the grounds that it was a fish pizza. It used just two herbs, organon and caper, along with copious quantities of tomato. I cannot remember all the species of sea-food it involved.
The previous night I had a Chinese. Everybody was eating a shared, set meal but I had a fish fillet with sweet corn separately. It looked disgusting on the plate. The problem with Chinese meals is you do not know what fats are being used to cook and what additives are being used.
So my original point: should we not start lobbying for catering colleges to teach about salicylate hypersensitivity? It does not seem to be that rare and is responsible, for far as I can tell, for a kind of asthma, for nasty skin diseases and a host of other conditions.