The other night I went out to dinner with my grandmother, Nana. We went to an Italian restaurant I had been to before, but not in at least a year. I gave the server my chef card and she came back and said I should be all set. They only used pure olive oil, and no nuts. She said the fish was cooked separately from the meat. I was all set!
When the food came to the table, I put a small taste on my fork. I then touched the sauce from my chicken parmesan up to my lip and let a little sit there for a minute. I can tell right away if I am having a reaction, so when I felt nothing, I tested a small bite. It tasted great, and no allergic reaction.
Ever since I was little, I have always done the food allergy touch test. Basically this consists of touching the food lightly to my skin to see if I get a reaction. My dad taught me this. If I don’t get any tingling or a hive, it is on to step two: the taste test. When I taste test a food, I have a very small taste of the food. I wait a few minutes to make sure I don’t get a reaction. I usually take these precautions when I am trying something new. It is a safer way, instead of going right in and taking a big bite out of some dish I have never had before.
The first time I am out with someone and they see me do this, I often get asked, “Is your food okay?” Then I have to explain what I am doing. I don’t mind this explanation though. To me, it makes sense to take it slow and could save me from ingesting a large amount of something I could have a reaction to.
As a side note, I did read in a FAAN newsletter that this can give you a false sense of security because cross contamination can be in a small bite somewhere in your dish, and may not be part of the area you tested. This definitely makes sense, but I still think taking these precautions at least makes you more aware of what you are eating and that no main ingredients are amiss throughout the entire dish.