As an event planner there is so much to consider when planning a party or event no matter what the size. When making your spreadsheet or lists of things to cover do you consider putting ‘Food Allergy Awareness’ on your list?
I quite accidentally found out recently that I am allergic to hazelnuts. I have never been one to gravitate to a bowl of mixed nuts at any party and don’t have a particular yearning for nuts in any dish or baking, so it wasn’t a surprise that it took this long to discover this ‘new’ allergy of mine. It would appear that the new nut of choice in dishes these days is hazelnuts and so I have become very conscious of food ingredients when attending any party or event.
Let’s face it though, there are so many types of allergies out there that as an event planner you would never be able to cover all your bases with every guest. The reality is, that depending on what type of event is being planned, attendees could be affected not only by food allergies, but also seasonal, pet, insects etc.
1.The number of people in the U.S. who have either allergic or asthmatic symptoms is estimated at one in five.
2. It is estimated that 55% of the U.S. population tests positive to one or more allergens.
3. There are approximately 30,000 emergency room visits in the U.S. every year caused by allergic reactions.
4. Approximately 7% of Canadians self-report a food allergy.
Food Allergy Facts
Food allergies and intolerances can affect nearly everyone at some point in their life. Food allergies are sensitivities people experience as a reaction of the body’s immune system to certain proteins or irritants. The most common food allergies experienced would be milk, egg, wheat, nut, fish, shellfish, sulfite and soy. When someone is exposed to a food protein that their immune system determines as harmful, the body will produce antibodies and chemicals such as histamines. These histamines can cause a reaction in the respiratory system, gastrointestinal tract, skin or cardiovascular system. At times, these reactions are quite severe and require immediate action.
How To Prepare As An Event Planner
Most times, people attending events are aware if they have allergies, what questions they need to ask, and what to avoid. As an event planner though there are a few things you can do to be ‘Allergy Conscious’ at your event.
1. If aware of any specific guest food allergies prior to the event, try to avoid use of those ingredients.
2. Provide guests 2 or more dish options to allow them choices in case of allergies.
3. Ensure servers are aware of appetizer and dish ingredients in case they are questioned by guests about possible common allergens in the food. Instruct servers to ask chefs directly in cases of other specific allergen inquiries.
4. Have wait staff communicate with guests when serving appetizers if they contain known common allergens or have ingredient info cards at food stations.
5. Avoid possibilities of cross contamination between food items.
6. Consider having antihistamine medications available behind the scenes as options for guest use for relief of symptoms if requested or required.
Most guests who are aware they have food allergies will be prepared by carrying antihistamine medications or an epi-pen for emergencies, but on the occasion of a reaction where a guest has been caught off guard, it is good knowing they can be provided relief if required.
How We Can Help You
Eventastic is an innovative online platform that enables event organizers to create and promote their event or party online for free! Organizers can easily create and share customizable tickets for their event through social media channels and even add the event ticketing tool directly to their own website if they choose!
Eventastic gives the event planner the option when creating their event tickets to add any question(s) for the attendee to the customizable ticket! This is a great opportunity for the planner to ask guests about any pertinent allergies prior to the event and in turn be allergy conscious for all guests. As guests purchase their event tickets they are prompted to answer the organizers’ question(s) prior to ticket purchase checkout.
Eventastic’s registration and ticketing platform gives party and event planners the opportunity to effectively promote their events with many free feature options and also utilize the opportunity to know more about the prospective guests attending in order to better prepare for the event. Our goal is to provide you the tools to drive event success regardless of your event size or type.