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Thread: food allergy

  1. #1
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    food allergy

    Hi All,
    I am traveling with my 3 year old who has a severe peanut allergy and a less severe allergy to shrimp. I just wanted to know if anyone who has traveled to Aruba has had any experience dining out with either of these allergies and could shed some light on how responsive restaurants are to accommodating an allergy. We dine out with him frequently in the States and never have a problem. My main concern is cross contamination (like grilling meat on the same grill as fish, frying in peanut oil or oil that is also used to fry shrimp/crab). Anyone have any info on that? Anyone know of any restaurants that they deem "safe" with regard to allergies? I have contacted the 2 restaurants at the Divi where we are staying and haven't heard back yet . Clearly I will just cook for him all week if I have to but the child loves to go to restaurants and I know he can't be the first person to travel to Aruba with a food allergy. Any info would be SO greatly appreciated. I didn't know where to post this...cuisine seemed to make sense but I wonder if I might get more advice on the general thread??? Thanks!
    Andrea

  2. #2
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    My son has a nut allergy but not severe but he is 22 yrs old and I travelled a few years back with a friend of the family with a nut and fish allergy but he was 18 at the time.

    Here is my opinion on what you are asking. Aruba is not like the US or Canada in truly understanding about allergies. Most ice cream shops sell gelato and the dipper wells are cross contaminated. When we would ask for the scoops to be washed in the sink before using them due to a nut allergy, many had no clue what or why we were asking. We just stay away from ice cream places now. You need to be vigilant in checking food, especially with wait staff whose english is limited. We went to one place for dessert and asked if the brownie had nuts in it and we told no. Thankfully, my son's gf tasted the brownie first as it was loaded with nuts. Went back there two years later but had a waiter whose english was excellent and he was able to guide us to what was nut free. However, no guarantee the kitchen staff did not cross contaminate. For us, his allergy is not severe and only to two types of nuts so we don't have the same type of restrictions as others.

    Fish is another issue. Shrimp is served everywhere as is many types of fish. When we travelled with son's friend (not sure how severe your son's allergy is or his) we stuck to places that their english was excellent. The best place we went that really understood was L.G. Smith Steak house. I explained how serious a fish allergy was and that they needed to clean off the grill where his steak was to be cooked and all utensils needed to be cleaned and not used on anything but the steak. He always asked about french fries if they were cooked in the same oil as fish, and many were.

    My cousin came down with her 7 year old who has a fish and nut allergy and they were vigilant and also limited to where they ate and they were fine. Just remember that you are not in the US and allergies are not something that they readily understand. Make sure that someone whose english is really good who can explain the situation to both wait staff and kitchen staff.

    Good luck and having the kitchen at the Divi will make a lot of things easier.
    happiness is going to Aruba with your adult kids because they still want to come with their parents

  3. #3
    Senior Member arubabob's Avatar
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    Many places on Aruba serve dishes such as almond encrusted grouper or other types of nuts so be sure and check menus for items that could cause cross contamination.

  4. #4
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    thanks for the tips!! keep them coming if anyone else has experienced success with certain restaurants!

  5. #5
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    there was a member here a few months back that was planning on visiting aruba with her boyfriend. he had a severe (life threatening seafood allergy). the member, was asking if we could recommend some place where there was no chance of cross contamination. i think she said even the smell/fumes of seafood would send him into an allergic reaction.

    i cannot find the posting right now.

    i contacted a few restaurants and asked questions as did lisa.

    i think the general consensus was to avoid all of the restaurants due to the severity of his allergy.

    if in doubt on any restaurant, call ahead or go in prior to your reservation and speak with them. (i know, easier said than done)

    there are some terrific restaurant folks that will be very pleased to answer questions/good customer service folks.
    here are a few

    Ommi @ Cooks Restaurant
    Chris @ Madame Janettes
    Marc @ Passions/Mangos/Tulip Amsterdam Manor
    Matt @ the Westin Blossoms
    and i cannot think of the man's name at Amadeus, but he is very nice.


    ahhhha found the link Fish and/or Seafood Allergy
    Last edited by Andrea J.; 02-25-2012 at 11:10 AM. Reason: found the link

  6. #6
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    Wow.....i can't even imagine that kind of an allergy. Luckily my son's allergy isn't that severe. We go out to eat all the time here in NY and I think that if I was able to comfortably communicate my concerns and had a good conversation about the issues with a server or chef, I would feel comfortable enough to let him eat there. Thank you SO MUCH Andrea (my name, too!!) Those names are just what I was looking for. Terrific! Very helpful!! The last time we went with him he was only 10 months and still eating baby food so we didn't have to worry about it. Again...thanks!!

  7. #7
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    Still Concerned with Dairy/Egg

    We too are concerned about finding food on the island for a child with dairy/egg allergies and also some peanut. Our biggest concern is making sure that french fries are not fried in peanut oil, and finding bread that does not contain dairy/egg. I love the breads in the grocery stores but I can't read the Dutch ingredient list. Can anyone help me with this?

  8. #8
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    Welcome to the aruba.co forum.

    if you buy at the bakery counter one of the clerks should be helpful .

    also ask another shopper to translate?
    i find that people Are very helpful to the tourists.

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