Avoiding Food Allergies by Country | Allergy

Avoiding Food Allergies by Country

by Allergy Guy

Allergy TravelThis section contains a list of countries. Navigating to the country will give you a brief summary of the typical food in that country, which food allergies are easiest to avoid in that country, and which are hard to avoid.

If you find any errors, please notify us – the best way is by using the comment form at the bottom of each page.

Feel free to add information as well. You can also use the contact Allergy Details form to reach me.


What Country do You Want Information About?

Most of the content on this website is driven by visitor demand. If I see that people are looking for certain information, or if people leave a comment requesting information, I try to accommodate them!

For which countries do you need allergy-related food information? Leave a comment and let me know. I will keep that in mind as I develop this section.

 


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{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Krishelle June 13, 2011 at 19:48

Going to Bath, England on honeymoon. I’m allergic to eggs, nuts, and lecithin. Any advice or suggestions on where to shop or eat in bath or london? Thanks

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2 Lizz June 13, 2011 at 07:38

Lorna-

I believe Tanzania has a grocery store called Woolworths, the same as NSW, Australia. If so, then go there, they have a GF section including cereals, GF soy sauce, breads, cookies, pancake mixes, snack bars, etc. Hope this helps!

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3 Lisa March 15, 2011 at 18:41

Hey there, I am gluten free and dairy free (and SUPER sensitive) and travelling to Singapore and Bangkok. Any tips from anyone most appreciated as I’d really love to be able to enjoy my holiday!!! Thanks 🙂

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4 KASIE February 23, 2012 at 17:25

When do you plan to be in Bangkok? I am GF and super sensitive as well. Maybe we can meet up for coffee or lunch or something if we are both there at the same time. I will be living on the West side of BKK for the next 6 months or so!

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5 lizz February 24, 2012 at 21:33

lisa/kasie-

I was in thailand recently, be careful of the spicy foods and the soy sauce. Thais are very understanding and patient with food allergies. I at a lot of rice and veggies. The sauces often have flour in them so beware of those. When I was there I had a lot of magnum ice cream, veggie fried rice (im vegetarian and gluten free but the meat fried rices should be ok. ALWAYS specify no soy sauce just in case), fresh veggie and fruit salads, and peanut butter for protein. i would carry bananas and peanut butter in your bag for a snack if you’re stuck somewhere with only traditional food for any meals. any questions you can msg me. <3

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6 Lorna March 6, 2011 at 15:42

I’m celiac, so I can’t eat foods with gluten (wheat, rye or barley). I’ll be travelling in Tanzania this summer, and I’d like to know which food I need to avoid and which food I couldn’t easily eat in this area of the world.
Thanks.
Lorna

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7 Krishelle February 15, 2011 at 11:47

I am traveling to Bath, England and London.

I’m allergic to ” EGGS” “NUTS” and “LECITHIN” (Margarine b/c it contains lecithin)

{NOTE: REAL BUTTER IS OKAY}

Any suggestions?

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8 lizz February 24, 2012 at 21:37

Krishnelle-

England has a grocery store chain called Tesco. The big ones (not the express or metro ones) have lots of allergen free foods all in one section. Where are you from? If you are from the US, the foods are basically the same there as they are here but with different brand names. It should be easy to find good foods there.

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9 Lukas February 11, 2011 at 23:25

In response to some earlier comments, I have lived and traveled throughout Indonesia and Malaysia with my allergies.

I am allergic to dairy and gluten, and never ever consume even tiny amounts.

Being dairy free in both Indonesia and Malaysia is quite simple. Just use common sense: caution with any desserts, make sure eggs are cooked in oil instead of butter, etc.

Gluten free is a bit different. In Indonesia and Malaysia, it is easy to be 99% gluten free, but very tough to make it 100%.

*** This long and helpful comment was so informative, it has been posted as an article in its own right. See Gluten Free Diet in Indonesia and Malaysia for the complete article, and feel free to add comments and questions there.

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10 C. Wilt January 26, 2011 at 23:31

I need information about avoiding food allergens in Italy. Specifically avoiding the following:
soy protein and soy flour (not soy oil or soy lecithin),
peanut,
sesame,
shellfish,
pineapple,
legumes,

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11 Catherine December 4, 2010 at 11:29

I will be travelling to Ethiopia and Pakistan. I’m a coeliac (just found out 5 months ago) and travelling is my passion and have been going away for a number of months every year but I’m not sure how my newly-found intolerance to gluten is going to affect me now especially in these 2 countries. I know they use teff instead of wheat flour in Ethiopia which is great but I also heard that lots of places, especially the cheaper eating places mix it with wheat as it costs less. Is Pakistani food very similar to Indian?

Thanks a million

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12 myles August 16, 2010 at 11:52

iif its possible,could one travel to avoid or delimit pollen allergens?if so how would you do it?thanks

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13 Allergy Guy August 23, 2010 at 11:37

For a start, when it is spring in the Northern hemisphere, it is fall in the Southern hemisphere. That should be a start. Very dry areas probably have fewer flowering plants and trees, so that might help too, but I can’t give you a definitive answer on that.

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14 Elisa May 28, 2010 at 01:25

Interesting reading…How about Thailand and Indonesia.? would it be similar to Malaysia..If you know anything about staying glutenfree there ,let me know.. kind regards Elisa

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15 Allergy Guy May 28, 2010 at 11:21

I haven’t been to Indonesia. I know they have an incredibly diverse range of cultures, so I’m sure they have incredible diversity in food to match. Safe to assume it’s mostly rice-based. Watch out for soya sauce, yellow noodles etc.

Thailand as a unique style of food that varies across the country a bit, but is still rice-based. Again, the biggest problem is soya sauce.

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16 Guest March 27, 2010 at 04:36

Travelling to Portugal, Switzerland, France & UK

We’re planning a family trip to see friends and family in Europe. My 4 year-old son is allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, egg, dairy (cow, not goat) and shellfish (crustaceans). What should we be careful of (special ingredients/common dishes)? What foods are safe? Any information would be helpful.

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17 admin February 11, 2010 at 22:52

Allergic to nuts in Russian

Hi Jackie,

Accordording to Google Translate, this is how you write “I’m allergic to nuts” in Russian:

I’m not sure how you pronounce that though. Probably better to print this out and show it to people so they understand it, rather than attempting to say it, only to get it wrong.

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18 Jackie February 11, 2010 at 22:22

allergy to nuts-travelling to Russia

my 15 year old son visiting Russia-which foods to avoid?How do you say “i am allergic to nuts”in Russian

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19 Leanna December 21, 2008 at 23:45

India, nut and shellfish allergy, sulfites

I am travelling to India for the 1st time in February. I have an allergy to tree nuts, shellfish and sulfites.

How I can avoid these foods in India?

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20 Kiri May 15, 2008 at 17:10

Traveling to Malaysia / Kuala Lumpur

I’m in need of gluten-free information for this area as I’ll be there for a conference. Any help, tips, recommendations, “to avoids”, etc would be most welcome. =) Thanks.

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21 admin May 15, 2008 at 21:57

Malaysian food – you are in for a treat!

Malaysia (and Singapore) are a haven for gluten-avoiders.

I’ll put together an article on it. When are you going?

Mean while, some quick pointers:
The staple food is rice. White noodles are fine, yellow are egg noodles made with wheat. White noodles that look yellow because of the curry are fine.

You have choice of Indian, Malay and Chinese food. Malay is probably the safest (even some of the deserts). Indian is also safe, but watch out for the various types of bread.

Chinese is fine too, but there is more to knowing what to avoid and what you can eat.

Most people (almost everyone) speaks excellent English. They are less likely to understand “allergy” and what really is make of wheat. But you can certainly ask them what is in the food and make your own decisions from that.

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22 Rachel April 8, 2009 at 09:48

Malaysia Gluten free

Hi, I’d really like to see your article on travelling gluten free in Malaysia and KL as I am coeliac and planning a trip there. Thanks!

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23 Mnunez June 25, 2012 at 02:43

Hello,
My daughter has severe sesame seed and nut allergies. Can we still travel to Singapore and Malaysia and eat out without problems?
Thank you kindly,

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24 Lukas June 25, 2012 at 09:59

If her allergies are “severe”, you probably shouldn’t be eating out anywhere – if can be too easy to assume the chef, no matter what he says, is as flawless as a god.

I travelled extensively throughout Singapore and Malaysia in 2010. Sesame oil is commonly used, and curries, pastes and the other popular SE Asian ingredients are often vaguely classified as “spices”. They may or may not contain nuts, and the cooks will often tell you what you want to here, whether they know the answer or not (“It’s peanut free! I promise! Buy now?”). Like anywhere, grills can and will be used to cook both foods with nuts and sesame and foods without nuts and sesame – meaning some cross-contamination is inevitable.

That said, a trip for an allergen sufferer is by no means impossible. If you simply must eat out in restaurants, there are probably a few allergy-friendly eateries in KL and Singapore. Use the internet to find them.

Self-catering (buying food from the supermarket) will be much safer. When I was in Singapore 2 years ago, I never found a big supermarket, as demand is low because Singaporeans love eating out so much. In KL, however, there is a fully-loaded gluten-free vegan organic special-needs store, called Cold Storage, I think, in the mall at the base of the Petronas Towers.

Eating out is always, always, always a risk for us allergy sufferers. Factor in language barriers and a culture not as educated about allergens as the Western world (e.g. SE Asia), and that risk skyrockets. It is, however, without a doubt doable, and everyone, allergens or not, deserves a go at traveling the world.

Have a great trip!

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25 Mnunez June 26, 2012 at 00:45

Hello Lukas and Allergy Guy,
I am very thankful for your comments. I indeed don’t want my daughter to miss out on visiting certain parts of the world because of her allergies. She is already pretty upset at the fact that she can’t ride horses either because of allergies :(…But I do have to keep things in perspective for her safety is the most important thing…We’ve traveled through Europe, including Russia, and North and Central America, and haven’t had problems yet, but Asia is the land of sesame seeds and peanut oil so I am concerned!!! In Singapore we have an apartment, so I was hoping I could cook there, though it sounds like there are not many supermarkets there…Is there a safe option for Mom and girl to rent apartments in Malaysia?
I don’t mind cooking her food at home at all…it just would be nice to treat ourselves to local food…after all, that’s one of the biggest treats when traveling, is it not?
Many thanks again,
M.

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26 Allergy Guy June 26, 2012 at 02:39

I think Malaysia is the land of palm oil. I’d be surprised if peanut oil is used at all, but I certainly wouldn’t bet my life on it.

Sesame is used a lot, especially sesame oil. It isn’t an allergy I have, so I really have no idea how much of a problem this is or what to look out for.

27 Allergy Guy June 25, 2012 at 13:57

The good thing about Singapore and Malaysia is that they have multiple major cultural communities. Singapore is mostly Chinese and Indian , Malaysia also has Malay food.

I think that Indian is your best bet, but you should do additional research. Also it may well depend on the dish, and by no means is Indian nut-free. The other two cultures have plenty too offer as well, but Chinese may be the riskiest. In any case, there is a vast array of food available, from restaurants and street hawkers (both very clean and hygienic) so you have a pretty good chance.

They don’t much understand allergies over there, at least not when I was there 15 years ago, so you might have difficulty communicating the gravity of the situation.

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28 Anonymous April 17, 2008 at 22:12

Italy

Please give info. about traveling to Italy with food allergies (dairy/tree nuts). Thanks! sc

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29 admin April 18, 2008 at 11:22

Might be a challenge …

I personally have not been to Italy, so I can not advise you from personal experience. If other readers have been there, please feel free to leave a comment about it …

They are pretty heavy into pasta and bread of course. You may find that there are meat-based dishes for lunch and dinner. You might want to think about making your own breakfast though.

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30 Anonymous November 26, 2007 at 20:32

taiwan

Hi there, going to Taiwan this January and would appreciate any tips on food as I am coeliac (no gluten) and travelling can be a little tricky sometimes!
thank you!

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31 admin November 27, 2007 at 11:10

Chinese Food

I have not been to Taiwan, but I know that they have Chinese food (obviously) so I suggest that you look for rice dishes, and watch out for dumplings (may or may not be $wheat$-free) and yellow noodles (egg noodles, that are made with wheat). The white “anaemic-looking” noodles that are common in Chinese cooking are made of rice.

Probably your biggest challenge will be the sauces. Soy sauce in particular is made with wheat.

Hope that helps.

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32 Nuttapoom November 7, 2007 at 22:10

Allergen lists of each country

Could you provid me for allergen lists of each country (such as CODEX, Japan, EU and USA) ?
Thank you very much.

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33 admin November 7, 2007 at 22:32

Extending allergy list by country

Great suggestion, and actually it is something we’ve wanted to expand on for quite a while. Limited resources have kept us focused elsewhere, but this section will be expanded in time!

Anyone who can contribute helpful information about the foods and ingredients in various countries is most welcome to contribute. If so, please leave a comment or use the contact form. Thanks!

Check this section out every so often, we’ll see what we can do to expand upon it.

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34 Anonymous September 19, 2007 at 15:22

Going to Russia

I am allergic to dairy and corn – most meat contains a corn or milk product so I avoid all. I am going to Russia and need help – everything online I have read about Russia includes some form of dairy and meat.
Thanks!

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35 nuala slevin September 6, 2007 at 08:13

dust mites

Please, please help. What country is the best with regard to density of dust mites?

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36 admin September 19, 2007 at 21:16

It is a mater of climate, not politics

Dust mites do not carry passports! And even a country like Singapore, which has a fine for nearly everything (including chewing gum, and leaving the country with less than 3/4 tank of gas or something like that) can not outlaw dust mites and fine them out of existence.

What counts is the climate. The top of a mountain, which is cold and dry, is very low on dust mites. A humid, sub-tropical climate is perfect for dust mites. India, for example, has both climates.

The good news is that where ever you live, you can do quite a bit to reduce dust mites.

Check out this article on How to Control Dust Mites. If you have any further questions, feel free to leave a comment under that article.

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37 Nuala November 22, 2007 at 21:06

What countries are cold and

What countries are cold and dry (serious)? Thanks for your comments – witty!

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