Thursday, December 03, 2009

Chef card?

Here's an interesting project from Britain's Food Standards Agency launched this week. It's a guide to buying food when you have a food allergy and some advice on how to handle restaurants.

The on-line version here is probably more accessible than the pdf of the booklet accessible from here.  Most of the advice is basic common sense and what you would do any way. I'm interested in the idea of using a chef card. It would certainly be a discreet way of passing a message to a waiter and a chef to check ingredients or, at the very least, to pay attention to what I say.

As I've reported over the years, service varies. If you're ordering on the spot, you need waiters and chefs to pay attention to what you say, for instance: "I'll have the pasta but no sauce, herbs or pepper." If they're a budget establishment using cook-chill or frozen dishes, they are not going to be able to oblige - so the best answer is usually fish and chips and peas, or maybe steak and chips.

So far so good. But then I followed through some links to the FSA's directory of food allergies, studied the list and what did I find? Nothing at all on salicylate allergy! No wonder it's impossible to explain to caterers.

I wonder how this can be redressed. Perhaps an e-petition somewhere?


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