March Break is Finally Here!

March Break is Finally Here!

It’s finally that time of the year when a lot of us Canadians can finally get the chance to escape to some warmer climate places and away from our cold winters!  Food allergies tend to get overlooked when planning a family vacation.  If you are travelling and have food allergies, here are some tips to make sure you have a safe and relaxing vacation.

Inspect your gear
Get out your auto-injector and asthma medications and check to see that they are up to date. (EpiPen for example, offers a free service notifies the user when they are due for a replacement). If you have asthma, check your medications to see how much is left and whether you have refills ready.

When travelling with auto-injector and asthma medications, it is recommended that you keep this with you in your carry-on luggage and NOT in your checked luggage for two reasons:  The cold air in checked luggage can ruin an auto-injector and the second reason is you never know when you may experience an allergy or asthma emergency.

Depending on your allergies, you may be packing a meal or snacks as well. Assume that there could be delays in your travel and pack enough food or drink to get you through.

Know your surroundings
Make sure you understand the language, culture and health care system of the place you are visiting. Contact the hotel/resort or place you’re staying at to find out about the location, as well as services you may need (grocery stores, allergy-friendly restaurants, etc).

It is beneficial to always purchase travel insurance whenever possible, and be prepared for an emergency.  You can usually purchase travel insurance through your local bank (RBC, CIBC, BMO, etc.).  Some credit cards (travel credit cards) will also have built in travel insurance coverage as well, so it’s recommended you read up on these details as well.  Find out whether your destination an emergency contact number and identify the closest hospital or health care center to your location.

Eating out
Find out which restaurants are in the area and learn about their allergy policies. Many restaurants also include allergy info on their websites, or you can phone ahead. Facebook also has travel groups for people with allergies, where travelers can share recommendations.  Yelp is also a very good app to provide lots of restaurants based on your location and can provide reviews and pictures of the restaurant.

Eating in
If you’re staying in a place that is equipped with a kitchen, you may want to consider bringing your own cutlery and cookware as this may reduce any food allergy emergencies.

If you’re staying in a standard hotel room without kitchen, bring a hot plate to cook your own meals. Many rooms include a microwave and fridge (ask ahead).  You can also try ordering room service (if they provide it) and inform them of any food allergies so they can prepare the food to your preferences.

A note on air travel
There can be a big difference between airlines in terms of their food allergy policies. Some companies offer buffer rows or make announcements asking passengers not to eat peanuts: others don’t. Phone ahead, preferably before you reserve a flight, to find out their policies.  Luckily most major airlines are very aware of food allergies and will take the necessary precautions to ensure passenger safety.

© Copyright 2018 Quantum Allergy Canada. All rights reserved.

(Created with resources from

Food Allergies During the Holidays

Food Allergy During the Holidays

Most would agree that one of the best things about celebrating any holiday or life event, such as Christmas, birthday and anniversary parties, aside from the socializing, is the food. There is often a large amount of food and drink choices at family or corporate parties and dinners, and unfortunately for those with a food allergy, the choices may also be dangerous if one is not vigilant about food safety.

Today, over 3% of Canadians are allergic to foods that can cause anaphylaxis, such as peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish and other fish. In some cases, exposure or consumption can be fatal. Peanut or tree nut allergies are most common in infants and young children, but adults are not immune and may experience a severe first-time reaction. Although specific allergens in foods vary, the symptoms are often similar to environmental allergies, although a food allergy is more likely to cause digestive disturbance.

Festive dining, especially food-tasting and sharing are expected activities in most families, with some foods aligned with religious holidays or traditions. Some do not understand food allergies and will pressure others to try “Aunt Ellen’s Pumpkin Nut Surprise” or another decadent delicacy while being unaware that some have food sensitivities. Parents may need to carefully review all home-prepared and store-bought foods to learn of any potentially harmful ingredients before kids help themselves at the dessert table.

What Can Be Done?

Although there may be increased anxiety for those with food allergies at holiday celebrations, one can still enjoy school, work and family gatherings by being consistent in your food allergy management program.

Involve all adults and children that may have a food allergy in food preparation so they understand where there may be “hidden” forms of allergens. People with allergy may need to be reminded during the holidays to not be shy about mentioning specific allergies to others, and to maintain extra diligence when snacking at parties.

Plan your food shopping with allergy needs in mind. You may spend less by avoiding “impulse purchases” and prepared foods that may not always accurately list all ingredients. Make your own meals and home baking to bring to a “pot-luck” dinner party or family event as you will have more control over what goes into the food.

Remember the advice of your physician or allergist. If s/he tells you that you are allergic to “traces” of your allergen then that means you have to be extra strict in avoiding even these minute amounts. E.g. If your allergen is peanuts, be sure any packaging or label clearly states if the product is manufactured in a totally peanut-free facility. In North America new labeling legislations requires allergy information to be on the packaging.

If any allergy is suspected see your physician for referral to be tested by an allergist or immunologist to identify all allergens. If an allergy is found, follow your doctor’s recommendations to avoid reactions. Lastly, even while out celebrating, remember to always carry prescribed medications with you to maintain your treatment program.


© Copyright 2017 Quantum Allergy Canada. All rights reserved.


(Created with resources from American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.)

OAND 2017!

Quantum Allergy Canada was in attendance at this year’s OAND event at Blue Mountain Resort!  This marks the first time we have attended the OAND.  We had a fantastic time as we were able to meet some of our current ND clients here in Ontario and was able to establish some new connections with future clients.

Thank you again OAND for allowing us to attend at this year’s show. We’ll be attending other OAND events in the near future!