Since next week is Easter, our family has decided to go for a buffet style dinner at a local restaurant on that day. Which to normal people makes perfect sense. No problem. Good food and no clean up.
Not in our world of peanut allergy. In fact, of anyone with ANY food allergy knows to stay far FAR away from any buffet. Its a huge no-no. The chance of cross contamination is probably doubled with each person that walks near the buffet let alone gets food off it. It seems to me the common thought is "So there are only a few items on the buffet that contains nuts(or whatever allergy applies), so you just don't get those items, right?"
I wish it was that simple, believe me. People drop food off their plate onto the buffet all the time. A peanut can fall off their plate and bury itself in the green beans. Or someone uses the serving spoon from the sweet potatoes that has peanuts in it and puts it in the mashed potatoes. Not even a whole peanut needs to be there to cause a person to go into anaphylactic shock. Between 1/200-1/1000 of a piece of a peanut is enough to put a person with a peanut allergy in anaphylactic shock. I think the below article describes it quite well.
Making this long story even longer--the family just doesn't understand why we can't come to the Easter buffet. It's not like we are making it difficult on purpose. Its not like we are not coming to ruin it for everyone else. I am just so tired of hearing "I can't imagine there would be peanuts on the buffet" "I am pretty sure she would be just fine" and "Just don't get anything with peanuts"...its just NOT that simple. I am not willing to risk my child's life on "pretty sure". I have tried on several times to educate--and its just not getting through. I feel like everyone thinks I am over protective and taking things too far with her allergy. My daughter almost died from 1 peanut...I expect strangers not to understand. But family? I feel frustrated and alone in this.