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  • Writer's pictureAnderson

Unmasking Hidden Allergens in Restaurants: Nuts

This is the second post uncovering hidden allergens in restaurant fare. This post focuses on nut allergens.

Here are examples of dishes that may contain "hidden" nuts.

  • Baked goods/ice cream

    • Cookies and cakes may contain hidden nuts; cross-contamination is also a concern

    • Goods with marzipan contain almonds

  • Chili, mole, pesto and pasta sauces

    • Peanuts are often included the the sauces of Vietnamese, Thai, and Indian cuisines

    • Some chilis include nuts

    • Mole used in Mexican food may contain peanuts/peanut butter in addition to chocolate

    • Pesto sauces are usually made with pine nuts or other nuts

  • Granola

    • This topping on yogurts and baked goods may contain nuts

  • Salads

    • Check the ingredient list of the salad to confirm they do not contain nuts (usually candied)

  • French Fries

    • Some U.S. restaurants, like Chik-Fil-A and Five Guys, cook their French fries in refined peanut oil. Studies have found that refined peanut oil does not contain peanut protein that may trigger a peanut allergy. Also, U.S. law does not require refined peanut oil to be labeled as an allergen. However, some caution eating French fries cooked in peanut oil outside of the United States because the peanut oil may not be as refined.

To ensure a safe dining experience, consider asking the server or chef about removing the nut allergen or alternative options. Also, stay away from food buffets or ice cream shops if you feel concerns about cross contamination. Staying proactive will help you enjoy restaurant meals without compromising your health.


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