Here's a video of my son receiving his special treat:
My family and I went to Disney and Universal Studios over Christmas break, and we had a great time. This is our second time visiting Disney and a first for Universal. Knowing this was probably our last time visiting, I really wanted my food allergic son and myself to experience the food allergy magic in Disney. The first time we went, they were great with his food allergies at all of the quick service restaurants. However, I wanted him to experience a complete sit-down meal and other treats this time around. I want to share how we made this happen along with some tips. Please only use this blog post as a reference tool and do your own research. We all have different food allergies, comfort levels, and ways that our families manage day to day.
First, I researched food allergy blog posts from other food allergy bloggers and jotted down all the suggestions. I then mapped out all of the quick service restaurants at the two Disney parks we were visiting and viewed their menus to see what my kids would eat. Once I had our quick service spots picked out, I reached out to friends in the food allergy community to get advice. One of those resources was Pixie Lizzie Magical Food Allergy Travel. Lizzie was so helpful and gave me some great advice. I would definitely recommend her for your next Disney vacation. She pointed me to dinner at Cape May Cafe, where a well-known food allergy chef is. I will share more details regarding this soon.
During my research I learned the churros, funnel cakes (Throughout Disney) and cinnamon rolls from Gaston's Tavern are safe for someone with a peanut and tree-nut allergies. A friend of mine also pointed me to Main Street Plaza Ice Cream Parlor located inside Magic Kingdom and they were wonderful with my son's food allergy. Prior to ordering, let the Disney employee know you have a food allergy and they will have you and your family wait to the side for the head chef or manager to assist you. This is the same procedure at all quick service restaurants within Disney. Once a chef comes out, they tell you what is safe and take your order. The order will be prepared separately and away from any of your allergens. My family and I safely enjoyed churros, funnel cakes and ice cream. Unfortunately, we didn't get around to enjoying the cinnamon rolls from Gaston's Tavern or the Dole Whip that I have heard so much about. The Dole Whip has the following flavors free of the Top 8 allergens: Pineapple, Mango, Raspberry, Lime and Lemon. Here's a blog link with some additional dessert options. I also found this blog link helpful as well.
The most magical and safe dining experience we had was at Cape May Cafe. You need reservations here and you also want to make a note in the reservations regarding what your allergens are. I simply made our reservations via the Disney Online App. They do require a credit card to hold the reservation. Cape May is a buffet and usually my son cannot safely eat at a buffet, so this was a great treat for us. Chef TJ came to our table and discussed my son's allergies and made sure he was ok with everything on the buffet. At the end of our dinner, Chef TJ made a very special dessert for my son. It was truly magical and something we will never forget. I also had my other two children with me (no food allergies) and they were completely surprised by the special cupcakes Chef TJ brought out for them as well. We didn't expect that at all because my other two could eat anything off of the dessert table. So, this was by far the best food allergy experience we have had. A special thank you to Pixie Lizzie Magical Food Allergy Travel and Chef TJ.
Here's a video of my son receiving his special treat:
Lastly, we went to Universal Studios for two days and it was so much fun for my kids. They are not as great with the food allergies, but they still do a good job. Just like Disney, I researched the quick service restaurants and looked over the menus. I also recommend notifying the cashier attendant of your food allergy prior to ordering and someone will come out to speak with you. If you are looking for a sit-down dining experience, I have heard great things about Mythos Restaurant in Universal Studios. The chef should come to your table here and go over what you can have and how they safely prepare it. You will need a reservation here and it can be made online via the website or the Universal App. We didn't have any desserts or treats while at Universal Studios, but If you have, please share and let us know what you have learned.
I would like to take this time and remember some of the recent and not so recent deaths that have occurred from food allergies. These are just some of the reported cases. It is very sad that there have been so many and yet we have not heard about most of them.
Thank you for reading and sharing. The more we talk about it, the more others around us will too. If you scroll down to the bottom of this page, you can view some of their pictures.
"Make yourself familiar with the angels, and behold them frequently in spirit; for without being seen, they are present with you.”
This list was updated on January 30, 2023.
Food Allergy Deaths in 2022:
Emerson Kate Cole, 10, suffered an allergic reaction while at school. Full Story
Jess Prinsloo, 24, Suffers Fatal Anaphylaxis After Using the Wrong Spoon to Stir Her Tea.
Omar Osman, 26, a college student described as a natural leader, brilliant, and much loved by his classmates and teachers has died after a severe allergic reaction to nuts. Full Story
Aika Doheny, 20's, dies from anaphylaxis to soy-based coffee during vacation in Japan. Full Story
Shiv Mistry, 18, died after having a severe reaction to a drink containing dairy. Full Story
Treasure Perry, 17, suffered an allergic reaction and asthma attack while at work. Full Story
Sarah-Émilie Hubert, 15, lost her life to a severe food-allergic reaction. Full Story
Tania Kaur Khasriya, 24, a student from Ealing, has died four years after suffering anaphylaxis at a restaurant in Southall. Full Story
Jagger Shaw, 14, reportedly ate a granola bar that contained peanut, which he was allergic to. He died in hospital after a devastating anaphylactic reaction. Full Story
Hanna Scigala, 31, died from a severe allergic reaction to peanuts. Full Story
Food Allergy Deaths in 2021:
Joe Dobson, 19, Teen died from anaphylaxis after taking a few bites of a burrito containing sesame.
Max McKenzie, 15, died in a Melbourne hospital last year after accidentally ingesting food containing nuts.
Brooklyn Secor, 9, dies of severe allergic reaction related to milk desensitization.
Langer Reese, 13, suffered a severe anaphylactic reaction after eating a dessert that “she thought was safe,” Full Story
Osher Deri, 23, died after enjoying dinner with a friend. Full Story
Cason Hallwood, 12, dies from Suspected Anaphylaxis on Christmas Day. Full Story
Food Allergy Deaths in 2020:
Alexandra Erokhova, 25, passed away after suffering a reaction to a dessert at her wedding. Full Story
Nick Kelly, 16, passed away after suffering a suspected allergic reaction to takeaway. Full Story
Alexander Hall, 37, dies from an undiagnosed fish allergy after dining with his wife. Full Story & Full Story
Tom Morton (age unknown), suffered from an anaphylactic reaction to food and passed away. Full Story
Food Allergy Deaths in 2019:
Ellen Raffell, 16, died from anaphylactic reaction to a food she had eaten. Full Story
Sam Collins, 19, passed away on the 4th of August 2019 as a result of the anaphylaxis. Full Story
Logan E. Lewis, 20, died from an anaphylactic reaction to milk. Full Story
Wyatt Michael Polachek, 12, had an allergic reaction to something he had eaten at a party. Full Story
Ava-Grace Stevens, passed away after suffering a severe anaphylactic reaction while on vacation. Full Story
Christopher Trimper, 42, passed away due to complications from a shellfish allergy. Full Story
Rachel Hunger, 21, On April 19, Hunger suffered anaphylactic shock after eating an egg roll she didn’t know contained peanuts. Full Story
Tessa Perez, 11, was pronounced dead after suffering an allergic reaction to peanuts and going into anaphylaxis. Full Story
Raffi Pownal, 11, died of anaphylaxis. The boy was known to have an allergy to milk. Full Story
Denise Saldate, 11, suffered a fast-moving anaphylactic reaction to milk protein from an unexpected source: a new prescription toothpaste. Full Story
Fathimath Hana, 24, died after suffering a severe allergic reaction. She had a Seafood allergy. Full Story
Brandon Cheatham, 17, died after eating some brownies that had walnuts in them. Full Story
Habiba Chishti, 9, passed away after eating an ice cream while on holiday in Spain. Full Story & Full Story
Cameron Jean-Pierre, 11, died from a suspected asthma attack induced by an airborne allergen. (Fish)
Full Story & Full Story
Food Allergy Deaths in 2018:
Jadhen, 6, suffered an anaphylactic reaction after eating pancakes containing dairy. Full Story
Ruben Bousquet, 14, dies after eating popcorn at a movie theater with his parents. Full Story
Kyah Rayne Cohen, 21, died from an reaction to one taste of peanut sauce. Full Story
Shante Turay-Thomas, 18, suffered an anaphylactic reaction after eating food thought to contain hazelnuts. Full Story
Sadie Bristow, 9, died after suffering anaphylaxis. She had a known dairy allergy. Full Story & Full Story
Kelly Ann Moyer, 39, died from anaphylaxis - fatal anaphylactic allergic/asthma reaction. Full Story & Full Story
Joanna Frances Salmingo-Fontaine, 30, died after suffering a severe reaction to nuts. Full Story & Full Story
Isabel Marrero, 9, died from an anaphylactic reaction in March this year, after her mother gave her what looked like her favorite biscuit. Full Story
NAME UNKNOWN, 6, Perth girl dies from a severe allergic reaction to dairy. Full Story
Alexi Stafford, 15, died from a severe reaction to a cookie containing peanut. Full Story & Full Story
Maximillian McGlinchey, 19, died as a result of anaphylaxis to peanut exposure after eating a meal at a Chinese restaurant. Full Story
Amanda Huynh, 12, died of an allergic reaction after eating a granola bar. Full Story
James Turnball, 15, passed away due to anaphylaxis after consuming a take-out meal. Full Story
George Hodgkiss, 31, died after having an allergic reaction to cashews. Full Story
Food Allergy Deaths in 2017:
Nathan Anderson, suffered an allergic reaction and passed away after eating food containing sesame.
Allison Suhy, 18, died after eating a donut that contained peanut. Full Story
Celia Marsh, 42, died after eating a super-veg rainbow flatbread containing a yoghurt that was supposed to be dairy-free. Full Story
Elijah Silvera, 3, died after being a served a grilled cheese sandwich at his preschool. He had a severe milk allergy. Full Story
Justin Mathews, 33, died after being exposed to walnuts during sandblasting. Full Story
Nainika Tikoo, 9, died after eating pancakes topped with blackberries. Full Story & Full Story
Jacob MacDonald, 15, suffered an allergic reaction after eating a cookie containing peanuts. Full Story
Chloe Gilbert, 15, died after eating a food containing yogurt. She had a dairy allergy. Full Story
Khoo Siew Hong, 60, died after eating prawns. She was allergic to shellfish. Full Story
Alastair Watson, 3, suffered an anaphylactic reaction during a baked milk challenge. Full Story
Anthony Lyson, 18, died of an anaphylactic reaction after accidentally consuming nuts. Full Story
Michael Julian, 27, suffered an allergic reaction that caused his brain to swell. Full Story
Georgina Hickman, 24, died after eating a single peanut flavored crisp. Full Story
Karanbir Cheema, 13, died after suffering an allergic reaction to cheese. Full Story & Full Story
Nissan Hayuni, 32, died on board a flight after consuming a specially ordered kosher meal. Full Story &
Owen Carey, 18, suffered an allergic reaction and passed away after eating a piece of chicken. Full Story
Anthony Maruca, 23, suffered an allergic reaction and passed away suddenly from anaphylactic shock.
Megan Lee, 15, dies after suffering an allergic reaction to takeaway food from a restaurant. Full Story
Food Allergy Deaths in 2016:
Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, 15, died of an anaphylactic reaction suffered during a flight. Full Story
Maleek Lawal, 10, died from a severe allergic reaction to an item containing dairy. Full Story
Nasar Ahmed, 14, died after suffering an allergic reaction from a school lunch containing milk. Full Story
Domonic Prince, 32, suffered an allergic reaction after eating a salad purchased from a deli.
Tanner Sorensen, 14, had an allergic reaction to a cookie containing nuts. Full Story
Oakley Debbs, 11, died from an allergic reaction after eating a cake containing nut resin. Full Story
Ben Scott, 37, died from an allergic reaction to nuts. Full Story
Mariyah Pina, 14, had an allergic reaction to an unknown allergy. Full Story & Full Story
Breyton Horomona, 15, suffered a severe allergic reaction and died after eating calamari. Full Story
Paul Wilson, 38, died after eating a dish that contained peanuts. Full Story
Javier Avina, 10, died from asthma possibly caused by his peanut allergy. Full Story
Victor Lee, 10, tragically died after suffering an allergic reaction. Full Story
Abigail Raye Reiswitz, 13, died from asthma complications triggered by a reaction to milk. Full Story & Full Story
Bruce Kelly, 22, died after eating chocolates containing peanuts. Full Story
Food Allergy Deaths in 2015:
Georgia Murphy, 13, died from an allergic reaction after eating pizza. Full Story
Jermain Bourbon, 11, died from an anaphylactic reaction. Allergic to dairy, eggs and nuts. Full Story &
Miles Bengco, 11, died from an allergic reaction to Mycoprotein. Full Story
Katherine Schaefer, 18, died from an allergic reaction that led to a severe asthma attack. Full Story
Shalev Hazan, age unknown, died after eating a granola bar containing nuts. Full Story
Annie Legere, 13, died from anaphylactic shock after an unknown allergic reaction, likely to something she ate, according to her doctors. Full Story
Lois Tate, 13, died at the hospital while being treated for asthma. Parents suspect it was the food they served their food allergic child. Full Story, Full Story & Full Story
Cody Steven Kimball-Godfrey, 17, died from an allergic reaction. Full Story
Rachel Cole, 18, suffered an anaphylaxis reaction to peanut oil and died 6 days later. Full Story & Full Story
Cameron Wahid, 7, died after eating a dish that may have contained dairy. Full Story
Morgan Elizabeth Crutchfield, 17, died from an allergic reaction. Full Story & Full Story
Simon Katz, 16, died from an allergic reaction to peanut butter. Full Story
Andrea Mariano, 18, died from an anaphylactic allergic reaction. Full Story
Amanda Thompson, 50, died after having an allergic reaction to a Sorbet. Full Story
Dylan Hill, 18, died after eating at an Indian restaurant. Full Story
Maisie Durant, 21, died after eating a cereal bar containing nuts. Full Story
Shahida Shahid, 18, died from an allergic reaction after eating at a local restaurant. Full Story
Food Allergy Deaths in 2014:
Alice Brooks, 19, died after suffering an allergic reaction. Full Story
Caroline Lorette, 14, died from an allergic reaction to dairy. Full Story
Brandon Dixon, 13, died after eating a candy bar given to him at school. Full Story
Deborah Mary Molloy, 52, died from an allergic reaction to lentils. Full Story
Richard Hugh Goins, 23, died after exposure to a food containing peanut. Full Story & Obituary
Aaron O'Farrell, 11, died from anaphylactic reaction. Full Story & Full Story
Derek Landon Wood, 11, died after eating a cookie from a local grocery store. Full Story
Sergio Lopez, 24, died after eating a mole sauce containing peanuts. Full Story & Obituary
Scott Johnson, 16, died from a milk allergy after eating pancakes at a restaurant. Full Story
Nutan Ajay, 16, died from an allergic reaction to egg. Full Story
Casey Ryan, 29, died from an allergic reaction to peanut oil. Full Story
Edward Alfred Horan II, 24, died after exposure to a food he is allergic to. Full Story
Jaime E. Mendoza, 16, dies after allergic reaction to peanut butter cookie. Full Story
Chandler Swink, 19, dies from an allergic reaction to peanut. Full Story
Joseph DeNicola, 7, dies after suffering an allergic reaction on Halloween. Full Story
Jack Burden, 18, died from a severe allergic reaction. Partial Story
Paul Wilson, 38, died from anaphylaxis. He had a peanut allergy. Full Story
Lydia Lavoshan, age unknown, died after having an allergic reaction to tahini, which contained sesame. Full Story
Edward Debbage, 8, died from an anaphylaxis reaction. Allergies to various foods. Full Story
Connor Donaldson, 12, dies after eating food containing peanut. Full Story
Food Allergy Deaths in 2013:
Elin Wahlgren, 16, died from an allergic reaction after eating tacos. Full Story
Ronak Warty, 10, died after drinking a wrongly labelled drink containing dairy. Full Story
Cody Hardy, 17, died from an allergic reaction to milk. See comments section for full story.
Marcus Terranova, 8, died from an anaphylactic reaction caused by an unknown food allergy. Full Story
Dora Mae Coburn, 68, died from an allergic reaction to bananas. Full Story
Abbie Benford, 15, died from an anaphylaxis reaction. Full Story
Emma Slone, 14, died from a reaction to a nut based sauce. She had a peanut allergy. Full Story
Andrew Turner, 35, died from eating bread containing nuts. Full Story
Shimmer James, 6, died after an allergic reaction to peanut. Full Story
Taylor Brown, 11, died from an allergic reaction. Partial Story and Partial Story.
Marcus Sweet, 46, died after an allergic reaction to coconut. Full Story
Connor Donaldson, 12, died from a suspected allergic reaction from nut allergy. Full Story
Giovanni Cipriano, 14, died from an allergic reaction to peanuts. Full Story
Derek Stephenson, 31, died from an allergic reaction after eating a curry dish containing peanut. He had a peanut allergy. Full Story
Ethan Williams, 14, died from a suspected tree nut allergy. Full Story
Natalie Giorgi, 13, died from an allergic reaction to peanut butter. Full Story
Mason Wight, 11, died from an allergic reaction. Partial Story
Jackie Scott, 35, died from an allergic reaction caused by peanut allergy. Full Story
Tanner Henstra, 11, died from an allergic reaction to peanut butter. Full Story
Adrian Gutierrez, 8, died from a possible reaction to milk. Full Story
Maia Santarelli-Gallo, 12, died of an allergic reaction after eating ice cream at the mall. Full Story
Cameron Fitzpatrick, 19, died after eating a cookie that contained peanut oil. He had a peanut and tree nut allergy. Full Story
Faith Tolbert, 2, died after from an allergic reaction to peanut. Partial story
Food Allergy Deaths in 2012:
Danika Rae, 17, died from complications related to an airborne allergic reaction and asthma attack. Full Story
Myriam Ducre-Lemay, 20, died after kissing her boyfriend that had eaten peanut butter. Full Story
Michael Saffioti, 22, died from dairy allergy after eating oatmeal containing dairy. Full Story
Jack Levee, 17, died from a severe allergic reaction and a asthma attack. Full Story
Jack Irvine, 15, died after eating a cookie containing nuts at camp. Full Story
William Luckett, 15, died after eating Chinese takeaway. He had a peanut allergy. Full Story
Ethan Thomas, 11, died from an allergic reaction to curry. He had a nut allergy. Full Story
Natalia Green, 17, died from an allergic reaction to chicken satay containing peanut. Full Story
Diallo Robbins Brinson,15, died from of an allergic reaction after eating a cookie. Full Story
Amaya Seraton, 8, died from an allergic reaction. Details are unknown. Full Story
Ammaria Johnson, 7, died at school after being exposed to something containing peanut. Full Story
Food Allergy Deaths in 2011:
Raymond Cho, 16, died after eating a cookie in class that contained walnuts. Full Story
Chen Efrat, 26 died after eating a dessert at a Tel Aviv restaurant. Full Story
Hayden Wileman, 9, died after eating a cereal. He had an unknown peanut allergy. Full Story
Jharell Dillard, 15, lost his life after eating a chocolate chip cookie, which unknowingly contained nuts. Full Story
Tyler Cody Davis, 20, died from an allergic reaction after eating at the KSU Campus Dining Hall. Full Story
Christopher Smith, 17, died after eating takeout food from a Wirral, England restaurant. Full Story
Veronica Cirella, 8, died from allergic reaction. (undisclosed food allergy and cerebral palsy) food fed at home by mother (under investigation) Full Story
Mathew Lee, 26, died after eating a salad that contained nuts. Full Story
Food Allergy Deaths in 2010:
Ashley Frangella, 20, died from an allergic reaction to milk. Full Story
Megann Ayotte Lafort, 6, of Montreal died from asthma attack that is believed to be caused by a food allergic reaction. Full Story
Katelyn Carlson, 13, died after eating Chinese food with her class. Full Story
Yla Aquino, 17, died on prom night after accidentally digesting peanut butter. Full Story
Poppy Harvey, 19, died after unknowingly eating a cake that contained peanut. Full Story
Kevin Edouard, 21, died from suspected peanut allergy after eating on a cruise ship. Full Story
Emma Egerton, 18, died from takeaway curry. She had a peanut allergy. Full Story
Darren Taylor, 44, died from unknown fin-fish allergy. Full Story
Charlie Fidler, 8, died after an allergic reaction at a football barbecue. He was allergic to eggs, milk, wheat and certain nuts. Full Story
Molly Giles, 10, died from one spoonful of curry. She had a nut allergy. Full Story
Molly Dyer, 13, died from curry takeout. She had a nut allergy. Full Story
Food Allergy Deaths in 2009:
Danny Macpherson, 21, died from an allergic reaction after eating Indian takeout. Full Story
Robert Anderson, 15, peanut, tree nut, egg allergy and asthma. Treated as asthma but later identified as anaphylaxis. (unconfirmed report) Full Story
Food Allergy Deaths in 2008:
Mercedes Mears, 10, died after suffering an asthma attack. Food allergies are suspected to have played a part in her death. Full Story & Video
B.J. Hom, 18, died from an allergic reaction while on a family vacation. Full Story
Andrew Michael Smith, 8, died from an allergic reaction while celebrating super bowl Sunday with family. Full Story
Daniel Sargent, 30, collapsed after taking a bite of a chocolate chip cookie. Full Story
Rodney Hawkins, 35, died from shellfish allergy after being served wrong. Full Story
Dexter Skinner, 16, died after eating a chocolate bar. He had a peanut allergy. Full Story
Christopher Gould, 14, died after eating a cashew. Full Story
Mark Nicholson, 28, died from peanut allergy after eating chili burgers. Full Story
Angus Myers, 32, nut allergy, died after eating take away curry. Full Story
Elizabeth Hoborough, 39, died days later after eating prawn soup. Full Story
Carol Lynn Winston Kiener, 66, died from a peanut allergy. Partial Story
Deja Vacey Hay, 7, died from milk allergy after drinking juice. Full Story
Paul Anthony Thurston, 30, died in jail when served a sandwich containing peanut butter. Full Story
Food Allergy Deaths in 2007:
Nathan Francis, 13, died after given a lunch of beef satay at camp. Full Story
Karim Oughton, 13, died after eating a Brazil nut. He had never had a reaction before. Full Story
Carley Janelle Kohnen, 13, died from a burrito. She had a peanut, egg and milk allergy. Full Story
Grant Freeman, 38, Collasped and died after eating a tomato entree. He was allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, seafood and chicken. Full Story
Mohsen Hussain, 9, died after having a sweet from the pick and mix candy section. He had a nut allergy and asthma. Full Story
Jessica Cordoroy, 10, died after eating a pie at a restaurant. She had a peanut allergy and asthma. (unconfirmed story)
Stephanie Faulkner, 14, died from a dish at a restaurant that unknowingly contained nuts. Full Story
Kylie Lynch, 20, died after eating a dessert at a cafe that contained nuts. Full Story
Francesca Sanna, 19, Collasped and died minutes after brushing her teeth. She had several food allergies. Full Story & Full Story
Michelle Bray, 21, died from seafood allergy. She had a severe anaphylactic reaction to a dim sim and collapsed. Full Story
Food Allergy Deaths in 2006:
Emily Vonder Meulen, 13, died at the mall after eating a sandwich she had eaten many times before. Full Story
Amber Norman, 12, died after eating a sweet treat in school. Full Story
Paul Derrick Howard, 16, died from a sesame allergy most likely contained in a cereal bar he had eaten. Full Story
Brent Schivley, 16, died from a peanut reaction after eating a chocolate chip cookie. Full Story
Jane McVeigh, 17, died from nut allergy after unknowingly eating chicken satay at a birthday party. Full Story
Food Allergy Deaths in 2005:
Gina Marie Hunt, 14, died after having an allergic reaction after eating Chinese food at the mall with her friends. Full Story
Christina Desforges, 15, died after kissing her boyfriend, who had just eaten a peanut butter snack. Full Story
Thomas Schatten, 43, died an hour later after receiving treatment for his peanut allergy from an alternative medicine practitioner. Full Story
David Joseph Boutot, 17, died from drinking a protein shake that contained whey. Full Story
Kailey Brianna Bowles, 7, died from a taste of hot cocoa in her room. She had a milk allergy. Full Story
Alison Armstrong, 11, died after eating a candy apple at the Grants Pass, OR Boatnik Festival. According to friends and family, Alison tasted peanut right away. The apple had been cooked in peanut oil. She was highly allergic to peanuts. (Can't locate full story)
Matthew Joseph Deluce, 24, died from peanut allergy after eating at a restaurant in Texas. Partial Story
Karen Lynn MacDonald, 27, died from accidential ingestion of peanut oil. Full Story
Chantelle Yambao, 13, died from peanut and nut allergy after eating a store-bought Nanaimo square. Full Story
Beverley Taylor, 37, died after eating a cashew that tasted like a peanut. She was allergic to peanuts, eggs, dairy, wheat and latex. Full Story
Food Allergy Deaths in 2004:
Jonathan Begley, 9, died from an allergic reaction to food while at school. Full Story
Amanda Mills, 19, died days after having an allergic reaction to a sandwich containing traces of nuts. Full Story.
Alex Baptist, 4, died after being exposed to peanuts at school. Full Story.
Chris Clements, 17, died after eating chocolate that unknowingly contained hazelnut. He had a tree nut allergy. Full Story
Habib Khan, 10, died at school after eating a meal from home. He had asthma and a dairy allergy. He died from an asthma attack, but it is believed to be triggered from the dairy allergy. Full Story
Amy Bauer Topic, 34, died from peanut allergy after accidental ingestion. Full Story
Phillip Heywood, 19, died from a peanut allergy after eating half a portion of curry. Full Story
Emily Givner, 38, died shortly after eating a sandwich wrap. She was allergic to chocolate, nuts, seeds and animals. Full Story
Prasad Gajare, 9, died from milk allergy. Partial Story
Sam Pettett, 22, died from eating a curry dish. Allergy unknow, but died from allergic reaction. Full Story
Raya French, 37, died from tomato allergy after eating spaghetti bolognese for dinner. Full Story
Laura Benson, 19, died after eating a Rice Krispy Treat that unknowingly contained peanut butter. Full Story
Food Allergy Deaths 2003:
Matt Schmauch, 29, died after eating at a Chinese buffet. Full Story
Kate Obertelli, 21, died after eating takeout food containing curry paste. Full Story
Singh Bhamra, 49, died from egg allergy after unknowingly eating cake containing eggs. Full Story
Sabrina Shannon, 13, died from dairy protein that was still present on some school lunch tongs. The same tongs were used to pick up Sabrina's french fries. Sabrina's Law took effect on January 1, 2006. Full Story
Food Allergy Deaths in 2002:
Trent A. Hankins, 31, died after touching food containing peanut oil at a dinner party. Full Story
Thomas Egna, 5 months, died from milk allergy after being fed milk in a daycare. Full Story
Richard Sobrino, 38, had an allergic reaction to a candy bar and later died at the hospital. He had a peanut allergy. Full Story
Hamidur Rahman, 14, died from peanut allergy while on a school excursion. Full Story
Food Allergy Deaths in 2001:
Nathan Walters, 9, died on a class field trip after eating a sacked lunch offered to him which contained a peanut butter sandwich and cookies. Full Story
William Gallagher, 16, died after eating walnuts from his home economics class. Partial Story
Food Allergy Deaths in 2000:
Sarah Hubert, 13, died from Milk Allergy. Partial Story.
Nicola Ratcliffe, 18, died from a nut allergy after eating Indian food. Full Story
Luisa Dennis, 28, died from walnut allergy after eating bread that unknowingly contained walnuts. Partial Story
Patrick Maxeiner, 24, death is suspected to have been caused from a peanut allergy. (unconfirmed) Partial Story
Food Allergy Death in 1999:
Joseph Murphy, 18, died after eating pistachio nuts. He knew he was allergic to peanuts, but not aware of his nut allergy. Full Story
Food Allergy Death 1998:
Mark Villa, died after eating a sugar cookie containing peanut butter. Full Story
Food Allergy Deaths in 1996:
Kristen Wyak Norris, 13, died from anaphylactic shock due to complications from asthma and
allergies. She was allergic to nuts.Full Story in the 2002 Reno Gazette.
Joshua Ramirez, 21, died from peanut allergy after eating a cookie in a vending machine in his dormitory.Full Story
Food Allergy Deaths in 1991:
Johnny Robbins, 16, died after eating an egg roll containing peanut butter. See comments section for full story.
Food Allergy Death in 1989:
Cheryl Winegardner, 10, died from a peanut allergy while on a school field trip. Full Story
Food Allergy Death in 1986:
Katherine Brodsky, 18, died after eating chili from a restaurant that was flavored with peanut butter. Full Story
"Perhaps they are not stars in the sky, but rather openings where our loved ones
shine down to let us know they are happy."
Some of the faces of those we have lost
Natalie Giorgi Documentary
Guest Blog by Deana Glenn, Founder of the Calmergé app
Sending your child with food allergies off to school is terrifying for most parents. What if the teacher forgets and gives them something with dairy? What happens when their friend tries to share their peanut butter sandwich? Will they have to sit alone at the allergy table for lunch? Did they remember to take their EpiPen on the field trip? The worry is constant, but now, there is a new resource to help!
My name is Deana Glenn, and I am the founder of the Calmergé app. It is a free app to connect parents with teachers and help keep children safe with the anonymous sharing of health and allergy information, a patent pending feature.
Teachers first create an account and share their unique access code with the parents. Then, parents are able to create a secure profile for their child and share their allergies, symptoms with exposure, and if they carry an EpiPen with the teacher. All parents will be anonymously notified of the classroom allergies, so they know which foods to avoid sending to school. With food allergies on the rise, it can often be too much for a teacher to keep track of, especially if they have multiple students with food allergies. Now, teachers can view a list of their students and their allergies in one convenient place.
In addition to sharing allergy information, parents may also notify the teacher and anonymously notify all other parents of a new communicable disease in real time. Earlier notifications allow other parents to monitor their own children for symptoms, helping to slow the spread of contagious illnesses.
Calmergé also promotes communication between parents and teachers with the ability to send and receive messages, pictures, videos, and documents. Teachers can communicate individually with parents or send out classroom announcements. Teachers can update the classroom calendar with holidays or special events the parents can view. Teachers may even call or email parents right from the app!
Teachers are able to create snack sign ups on the calendar, and parents can choose from allergy safe foods pre-selected by the teacher. Parents can view what snacks are being brought everyday and can set reminders for their day to bring snacks. Teachers can also easily update parents daily on the amount of snack eaten and the length of nap taken.
The idea for Calmergé came to me when I was asked to bring snacks for my son’s Pre-K classroom. He was assigned a day once a month on a paper calendar. The only rules were no foods with nuts and nothing that had to be refrigerated. I never knew what he was eating and found myself needing reminders with my busy schedule. I also worried about classroom allergies besides peanuts.
Fast forward 3 years, and my 5 year old daughter had a severe allergic reaction to shrimp, just weeks before my app launched. Her blood test showed allergies to scallops, tuna, and hazelnuts as well. I now carry an EpiPen everywhere we go. As a new food allergy mom, I’m excited an app like Calmergé exists. My goal is to help spread food allergy awareness and keep our children safer at school.
If you have any questions or would like help getting Calmerge' set up at your child's school, you can contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more at: https://calmergeapp.com/
Watch a video walkthrough of Calmerge' on our Facebook Page:
Guest blog by Nova Kaufman & Ana Diaz, Co-Founders of Basquet
We are Nova and Ana, best friends first and co-founders of Basquet as a close second. Basquet is an allergen-friendly online grocer which was created with the core mission to deliver individuals and families struggling with food allergies a stress-free grocery shopping experience. We double and triple check labels and their respective ingredients, worrying about the fine print so others don’t have to.
Basquet was born from a mission and a vision based on experience. Ana has dealt with a severe nut allergy her entire life, struggling to find safe products which were free from cross-contamination. This was the spark that eventually became a flame. Realizing that there was a disconnect in the market for guaranteed worry-free shopping, we decided to build a platform dedicated to helping those facing the same challenge, yet on a larger scale; we wanted to build a safe space for those facing aversions to the Top 9 allergens: tree-nuts, peanuts, sesame, dairy, wheat, soy, fish, shellfish, and egg. Working closely with FARE (The Food Allergy Research & Education Organization), Basquet curates the best allergen-friendly products from over 140 brands so customers can simply filter by their allergies, intolerances, and preferred lifestyles, enabling them to shop worry-free knowing everything is safe (and delicious).
All NNMG members and followers will receive $15 off their first box of $50 or more by using the code NNMG22 at checkout.
Every food-allergy family is creative in its own way. My husband and I became amazingly innovative when we realized that our son had seven life-threatening food allergies. We agreed as a family that we would avoid the foods at all costs, but we weren’t going to let this diagnosis get in our way of a full, happy family life. Of course, it did get in the way. Our family had to make major adjustments and shift a few expectations, but we were committed to living life at its fullest and to pass on the experiences that my husband and I had enjoyed in our lives.
Creating a happy place
Summer camp (overnight, of course) was, and is, one of my fondest childhood memories. Having been a camper and camp counselor myself, I knew that a camp environment was a place to be your true self, have some independence, take a few risks, and learn how to live in a community -- essential qualities to becoming a competent and confident adult. This is an experience I wanted my son to have. I wanted him to be able to spread his wings. But, as a child living with food allergies and restrictions, finding places to experience this kind of growth is difficult, if not impossible. And not just for him – for me, as a parent and a Food Allergy Mom.
So, I did what a lot of us do. I googled “food allergy summer camp” in 2009 – and came up a big nothing! No overnight camp could give my son a camp experience where he (and his parents) would feel safe. Fortunately, I’m an eternal optimist, so I decided to start a summer camp – how hard could it be?! When my son started first grade, I was fortunate enough to be able to leave my job as a Project Manager for the City of Portland so that I could be the food allergy mom who organized every party and chaperoned every school field trip and activity (Turns out the Food Allergy Moms can also be Super Mom School Volunteers)
When the recession whittled down my small consulting practice to near zero, I decided to dig into this idea of a summer camp for kids with food allergies. I spent the next year talking with camp directors and food allergy organizations, physicians, other parents and anyone else I could think of. All of this discovery eventually led to the launch of Camp Blue Spruce in 2012. Since I spoke with everyone I could find and conducted countless google searches, I can confidently say that Camp Blue Spruce is the only week-long overnight camp in the country dedicated to kids with food allergies and other related conditions.
Build it and they will come
Our first year, we had 27 kids, many of whom had never had a meal outside of their home, let along slept away from home. We rented out a camp and spent the 24 hours before the campers arrived cleaning and preparing the cooking facilities to accommodate the needs of our campers. We created menus that every child (and counselor) in the camp could eat. And we set up a private Facebook page with communications back to parents so they could see that their kids were happy, healthy and safe.
How’d I make this happen? I’m a professional project manager, community organizer, and the executive director of a start-up non-profit —all which requires skills to do this crazy thing. But what made this work is that my super power is finding people who know things I do not and who approach problems from a completely different perspective. The heroes of the story of Camp Blue Spruce are the amazing team of wonderful colleagues, many as nearly full-time volunteers, who have brought their expertise and skills to create an enduring organization that focuses on meeting the social and emotional impacts of children living with food allergies. Together, we’ve have had a profound impact on hundreds of kids by creating a safe camp experience where kids explore new things and really feel like they belong.
Childhood experiences: more important than ever
The pandemic has been particularly hard on kids with food allergies, adding yet another reason to be sheltered at home. Kids need camp now more than ever. After two years of screens and isolation, camp brings kids together to make new friends, play, be silly, and try new things. The perfect antidote to the pandemic!
A decade and counting……
We’re celebrating ten years! In August, we are holding two weeks of camp for the first time and this fall are expanding programs that connect campers year-round. We’re using virtual tools to build and maintain relationships between campers, so when they come back to camp, they’re among friends.
I received an allergy friendly snack box from The Big 8 Crate. I was pleasantly surprised by the contents, which included lots of snacks and goodies. There were many snacks enclosed that I know and love, such as Enjoy Life, 88 Acres, Partake Foods, Yum Earth, and Free Yum. There were also many items inside that I had just learned about, e.g., Favalicious Roasted Fava Beans, Safely Delicious, Nature's Turn Freeze Dried Fruit Crisps, Bear Fruit Roll, and Zee Zee's Applesauce. I can honestly say I enjoyed everything in this box.
The Big 8 Crate offers free shipping on every box in the US and they ship to Canada for a small fee. They have multiple sizes and subscription plans available, as well as a one time gift box. The snack box is always free from the top 8 allergens and gluten free, The Big 8 Crate also has a top 8 + sesame free option and a seasonal Easter box available.
Something that makes their snack box really special is the snacks are all made in dedicated "free from" facilities, this makes it ideal for people managing severe allergies and people sensitive to cross-contamination. The snack boxes are an easy way to discover new snacks and have a unique selection conveniently delivered each month, spending less time reading labels in the grocery store.
The Big 8 Crate features many snacks made from vegan, organic, non-GMO and sustainably sourced ingredients. It is a woman owned business supporting companies that are dedicated to improving the food allergy community.
If you are interested in trying some new allergy friendly foods or you just like to have a variety of some of your favorites on hand, give The Big 8 Crate a try. Be sure to enter NNMG20 at checkout to receive 20% off of your order.
AUVI-Q® (epinephrine injection, USP) launched a new interactive resource hub with digital tools to help families with life threatening allergies stay prepared this school year. New resources are released regularly and include:
In addition to access to the interactive resource hub, those who sign up at www.auvi-q.com/signup receive a free downloadable life-threatening allergy tool kit
Alternatively, patients who prefer to pick up their AUVI-Q at any Walgreens location nationwide can show this postcard with information on the AUVI-Q Savings Offer that may be helpful for the pharmacy staff member processing the AUVI-Q prescription.
*This content was provided by a representative from Kaléo.
AUVI-Q® (epinephrine injection, USP) is a prescription medicine used to treat life-threatening allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, in people who are at risk for or have a history of serious allergic reactions.
Important Safety Information
AUVI-Q is for immediate self (or caregiver) administration and does not take the place of emergency medical care. Seek immediate medical treatment after using AUVI-Q. Each AUVI-Q contains a single dose of epinephrine. AUVI-Q should ONLY be injected into your outer thigh, through clothing if necessary. If you inject a young child or infant with AUVI-Q, hold their leg firmly in place before and during the injection to prevent injuries. Do not inject AUVI-Q into any other part of your body, such as into veins, buttocks, fingers, toes, hands, or feet. If this occurs, seek immediate medical treatment and make sure to inform the healthcare provider of the location of the accidental injection. Only a healthcare provider should give additional doses of epinephrine if more than two doses are necessary for a single allergic emergency.
Rarely, patients who use AUVI-Q may develop infections at the injection site within a few days of an injection. Some of these infections can be serious. Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of the following symptoms at an injection site: redness that does not go away, swelling, tenderness, or the area feels warm to the touch.
If you have certain medical conditions, or take certain medicines, your condition may get worse or you may have more or longer lasting side effects when you use AUVI-Q. Be sure to tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, especially medicines for asthma. Also tell your healthcare provider about all of your medical conditions, especially if you have asthma, a history of depression, thyroid problems, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, heart problems or high blood pressure, have any other medical conditions, are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Epinephrine should be used with caution if you have heart disease or are taking certain medicines that can cause heart-related (cardiac) symptoms.
Common side effects include fast, irregular or ‘pounding’ heartbeat, sweating, shakiness, headache, paleness, feelings of over excitement, nervousness, or anxiety, weakness, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, or breathing problems. These side effects usually go away quickly, especially if you rest. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.
Please see the full Prescribing Information and the Patient Information at www.auvi-q.com.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
When I first really started traveling with a gluten allergy, I felt lost and overwhelmed with the idea that I had to research each leg of my trip or risk being sick for days post-cross-contamination. Such a night and day difference from when I had traveled before being gluten-free. However, as I traveled, I challenged myself with new countries, new locations, and worked to educate myself to have amazing trips and those lifelong memories!
Now many years later I live with a gluten allergy, dairy intolerance, and a few other intolerances. No matter how your allergies affect you, it affects how you travel and that can bring unwanted stress to what should be a fun and relaxing getaway. I have been and have helped clients travel domestic, international, cruises, tours, etc. Every family that I have worked with all want the same thing: to have a genuine family vacation. For their kids to be kids, and for the family to make memories together.
I will apply real-life experience with food allergies to plan and execute your family trip. Whether you are wanting a full kitchen to prepare meals or are looking for a getaway with accommodating restaurants in the area, I plan the trip that makes you feel the most comfortable and customized to your allergies and/or dietary restrictions.
What I can do as a specialized food allergy travel agent for you:
Food Allergies shouldn’t hold you back from making memories as a family. It often comes as a shock to people, but more international places are accommodating than sometimes the restaurants in your backyard. It is all about the food laws in various places and how they respond to food allergies from their own citizens. As someone with a gluten allergy, I thrive in Italy due to the awareness around gluten and their food laws – had the best pizza I’ve ever tasted there and never went hungry.
I’d love to work with you and your family on your next vacation!
Lauren Scheffer, Food Allergy Travel Agent
Guest blog by Nicole Ondatje
Nicole Ondatje has been an advocate for children with food allergies for nearly a decade. She founded S.A.F.E (Supporting Allergic Families through Education) of Boulder County, a community-based organization dedicated to improving the health, safety, and well-being of families with food allergies through increased awareness and education (www.foodallergysafe.org). She has served as a collaborator on an Emergency Medical Services Anaphylaxis Task Force, and as an Allergy & Asthma Network ‘Anaphylaxis Community Expert' and trainer. She lives in Colorado with her husband and her daughter who is severely allergic to peanuts and pine nuts.
I have been reading to my daughter since she was born, and we often find that books help us tackle difficult topics together. When she was a year old, she was diagnosed with severe anaphylactic food allergies. I remember being overwhelmed and having extreme anxiety about how to keep her safe, so I poured through the available literature to learn as much as possible and feel empowered.
As my daughter grew, we read age-appropriate children’s books about food allergies that could help her understand her allergy better. At age four, she started experiencing anxiety about her annual allergy skin prick tests, attending birthday parties, visiting family, and eating at restaurants. Searching online, I could find children’s books regarding food allergies and a handful of children’s books regarding anxiety, but there weren’t books that specifically and directly addressed food allergy anxiety in children. I started researching techniques to help children manage their anxiety, testing which approaches helped my daughter the most.
When she turned five, my daughter enrolled in a clinical trial for the peanut patch, adding blood draws and food challenges to her long list of anxiety-provoking situations. My approach was to help her write and illustrate a story in which she overcame her fears of going to her peanut patch appointment by being brave (and getting a sweet treat afterwards). She felt that the story, called “Rosy Goes to the Doctor,” helped her prepare for future appointments. That is how I was inspired to write a children’s book to help my daughter and other children like her who struggle with the daily challenges of living with a food allergy.
The result of this journey is Not Today, Butterflies! A Book About Food Allergy Anxiety. In the story, nine-year-old Quinn experiences several anxiety-provoking food allergy scenarios: her annual visit to the allergist, navigating a play date and a birthday party, being different from her friends, and having to speak up about her food allergies. These experiences generate uncomfortable feelings of butterflies in Quinn’s stomach. Quinn learns different tools to help manage her anxiety and tame the butterflies. Intended for children ages 4-8 as well as parents and caregivers, Not Today, Butterflies! A Book About Food Allergy Anxiety offers some guidance on how to identify signs of food allergy anxiety and helpful ways to teach kids how to manage it. The book provides an engaging and relatable experience for children who are coping with fears and anxiety about their own food allergies.
As a family, we have learned many useful techniques for managing anxiety, all of which are included in the book. Continuing to practice these techniques has helped my daughter feel less anxious about her frequent skin prick tests and blood draws, and more confident in speaking up to friends and even strangers about her food allergies. I truly hope that this book helps children and families with food allergies. It’s based on my own personal experience, research that I’ve done through books, conferences, webinars, and meeting with a child psychotherapist whose own child has food allergies. Before publication, it was vetted by that same psychotherapist as well as my child’s board certified asthma and allergy doctor.
Not Today, Butterflies! A Book About Food Allergy Anxiety is currently available for purchase on Amazon, on the website of Olympia Publishers, and through Barnes and Noble.
Allergen Free & Clean
Hi! I am Lisa, and I am one of the co-founders of Starling Skincare. We specialize in products that are allergen-free AND clean, for the whole family. Also plant-based, it’s a big departure from the run of the mill drug store favorites often recommended by dermatologists for problem skin. We did that on purpose.
My struggles with skincare began when I was diagnosed with nut allergies and couldn’t find any natural products that wouldn’t turn my face into a burning, itchy, red mess. This all started for me back in the mid 2010s and clean skincare was at the precipice of its boom. Also diagnosed with several other environmental allergens and celiac disease, I was unwell at the time. I knew it was time to clean up my act –literally. My body needed a reset, and I started to switch out our home cleaning products and my personal care products, to clean plan-based products.
The search was a long and unfruitful one. I was really shocked when I couldn’t find one clean brand that thought about how allergies affect the skin, and eliminated nuts. Not one brand had thought about someone like me. After a few years of trying to find appropriate products for me – I decided I had to create them. No one was hearing my voice on this topic or seeing my metaphorical smoke signals.
I expressed this frustration while talking with Nathalie (my Starling co-founder), with whom I had worked for several years at a retail company in New York. During the conversation, she mentioned her own struggles trying to find clean skincare that would help her rosacea. Before hanging up, we vowed to create the type of skincare products that we ourselves could never find to help troubled and allergenic skin.
Along with being allergen-free and clean, we create everything in small batches to ensure maximum freshness of products and efficacy. We use organic ingredients, wherever possible. We stringently vet our vendors and ensure that with every shipment we receive a confirmation of no cross contamination of allergens. We also oversee every aspect of production ourselves, to further ensure the safety of the products.
Starling Skincare started shipping products two years ago, and the customer reaction has surpassed our expectations. Judging by the responses, it’s clear there are many people with nut allergies who were having trouble finding skin products and deodorant that worked for them. We’ve gotten some of the most heartfelt thank you notes from people like us, saying they finally feel heard. That’s why we know what we’re doing is helpful.
We know allergies continue to be on the rise–particularly for children. There are several hypothesis on why. Pollution, excessive hygiene, stress or suppression of the immune system, are a few examples of what may cause the allergy to arise. Eliminating allergens completely is necessary in order to improve overall health and wellness. That’s why we thought it was important to create a brand that addressed the skincare needs of kids with allergies too. Our kid’s deodorants and cleanser are our most popular products. They work, and kids love them. Moms do too.
You can follow Starling Skincare on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter
Shop here: BuyStarling.com or on Facebook
We send weekly emails with special offers, blogs and tips for skincare. You can sign up here.
For first time NNMG customers – we are offering a 30% discount code: NONUTS30. Plus, free shipping on all orders $20+, and a gift with all purchases $30+!
Enjoy and we hope to see you soon!