Whether it’s a dinner party, birthday party, graduation party, summer pool party, wedding reception, etc., it is extremely important to consider your food allergies and plan ahead. Here are a few steps to follow to stay safe in social situations.
1) Find out from the host/hostess what kind of food will be served and notify them of your food allergies. Ask if it is a catered event, and if it is, ask for the name of the catering company and call them to discuss your food allergies prior to the event. If it is a potluck, then plan to bring a dish that you know you can eat, and try to keep it separate from foods people have brought that contain your allergen.
2) No matter what kind of food will be served, eat a little food before the event so that if you cannot eat anything there you will not be hungry. Also pack some snacks of your own, or even a whole meal to eat during the party.
3) This one goes without saying, but you always need to bring your epinephrine. I usually put mine in my purse (which has a button on the outside that says “Epinephrine inside!”). Once you arrive at the party, you have two options. You can carry your purse/bag with you epinephrine the whole time. This is easy if you have a small cross body purse. You could also find a safe spot that is out of reach from a dog or small child and away from water if you are at the pool, but also easy for other people to find in case of an emergency.
4) Make sure that there are people at the event who know about your food allergies. Tell them where your epinephrine is and how to use it, and instruct them to call 911 immediately if you have a reaction.
The more you try to hide your allergy, the more awkward it will be. Be honest and don’t let anyone make you feel unsafe or left out because of your allergies. Explain why you aren’t eating the same food as everyone else- they will probably find it interesting more than anything else!