Skip to main content

Table 2 How can the Health professional respond to frequently asked questions?

From: The strategies that peanut and nut-allergic consumers employ to remain safe when travelling abroad

I have informed the airline that I have peanut allergy, will my meal be safe? Many airlines will provide a special meal on request. Check that the information has been passed on at every possible interaction you have with the airline. Ask when checking in, when boarding and when given the meal. For complete reassurance some allergic individuals prefer to provide their own meal.
What if previous passengers have been eating peanuts whilst sitting in my seat? The most likely reaction will be due to skin contact. The risk can be reduced by carrying wipes to clean any hard surfaces as soon as you board.
Am I at risk of inhalation reactions through peanut in the atmosphere? The risk of inhalation reactions is controversial, but is probably low. If your doctor considers you at high risk (e.g. poorly controlled asthma or previous inhalation reactions), you may wish to contact the airline at the time of booking to establish whether the flight can be made ‘nut free’. However, allergens may persist from previous flights, and the request may limit your choice of airlines.
Where can I find information for allergic individuals about travelling abroad? Check your airline website for their policies. General advice can be found at the following websites:
Can I carry my allergy auto-injector on the flight? YES, you should carry it at all times. Also carry your emergency action plan provided by your medical team. Contact the airline in advance to ask their advice on carrying the auto-injector. Approach security to inform them that you are carrying the auto-injector for medical purposes. Advise the cabin crew that you have it, and let them know where to find it. You may also like to wear an emergency alert bracelet
How can I eat safely if I don’t understand the language? Obtain translations of key words and sentences before travel. Perhaps take cards with images of foods to be avoided. Familiarise yourself with the cultural diet in advance and work out what you need to avoid. If you are going to a country with complex, high-risk cuisine, self-catering may be the safest option. If you are considering taking foods with you, check in advance with the airline whether this is permissible, and whether your destination country will allow you to take food in.
Can I obtain translations to let people know about my allergies? Yes the following website has translations of key phrases in a number of languages: