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Tips for staying safe this holiday season

The holiday season is a festive time of year for many Canadians, highlighted by family dinners, work parties and get-togethers with friends. However these events can present specific challenges for those with food allergies.

To help you safely manage during this special time of the year, we have some simple strategies designed to keep individuals with food allergies safe this holiday season, as well as some useful suggestions for families and friends hosting holiday parties.

Tips for individuals and parents of children with food allergies:
• Inform party hosts of food allergies ahead of time
• Offer to bring your own food
• Ask to see ingredient labels for food available to eat at the party
• Do not share utensils and plates, etc.
• Wash hands before and after eating
• Consider eating before attending a party; when in doubt – do not eat
• Always carry an auto injector (e.g. Epipen® or Allerject™) and wear MedicAlert identification
• Know what to do in the event of a reaction

Tips for family and friends hosting holiday parties:
• Ask about allergies before the event
• Read and keep all food labels
• Avoid products that contain or may contain relevant allergens
• Have alternative, safe food options available or encourage guests with food allergies to bring their own foods
• Wash your hands, bowls and utensils thoroughly
• Keep each dish separate and have one serving utensil per dish
• Know how to recognize a reaction and how you can help

For more in-depth strategies on avoiding allergens and staying safe please visit Anaphylaxis Canada’s website:

In addition, the federal government’s recently enacted food allergen labelling rules will make it easier for consumers this holiday season to indentify ingredients when shopping for dinner menu items or party treats. For more information on these new food labelling rules we invite you to view a webinar hosted by Anaphylaxis Canada at: http://www.anaphylaxis.ca/en/resources/webinars.html

Additional information on Canada’s priority food allergens is also available on Health Canada’s website at:
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/securit/allerg/fa-aa/index-eng.php

Wishing you and your family a happy and safe holiday season!


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