Dr Mark Rosenthal

MD MB ChB FRCP FRCPCH BSc

Consultant in Paediatric Respiratory Medicine

also specialist in Food Allergies & Disorders of Sleep

A | A | A

T: 0207 351 8832

E: s.harvey@rbht.nhs.uk

A:The Royal Brompton Hospital, London, SW3 6NP

The Best Travel Destinations for Food Allergies

If you’re worried about travelling with a child who has a food allergy, it can help to choose the right destination. Many countries are well prepared for visitors with food allergies and there are plenty of places where the local cuisine usually avoids common allergens.

The EU

The EU probably has the best food labelling standards in the world, so any country that is a member can be a good choice. Just as some products sold in the UK are labelled in several European languages, some products sold elsewhere include an English ingredients list. However, some items will only be labelled in the local language, so it can help to find out the name of the allergen you need to avoid. Knowing this name will also help if you are eating out. Although all cafes and restaurants in the EU are required to provide information about allergens, the staff won’t necessarily speak English. However, most people will be aware of food allergies in children and there will be plenty of safe options available for your child to eat.

English-Speaking Countries

The US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand can also be good choices. As well as having high standards for food labelling and preparation, there is widespread awareness of food allergies in children in these countries. You will also be able to converse easily with restaurant staff and to read all of the food labels.

Other Travel Options

With a little extra care and some phrases of the local language, you can eat well anywhere. However, it can be a good idea to pick a destination where you’ll be able to enjoy as much of the local cuisine as possible. For example, traditional Japanese food can be great if your child has a dairy allergy but very tricky with a fish allergy. Choosing a destination that has lots of options for your child can make your trip much easier.

  • Nuts and Peanuts: nuts are often used on dishes in the Middle East and South East Asia.
  • Fish and Shellfish: most islands and coastal areas will features lots of fish and seafood on their menus. Try travelling inland to avoid them.
  • Dairy: Asian foods are less likely to contain dairy, but watch out for Western style foods in these areas.