Keep safe this Valentine’s Day
Spreading the love on Valentine’s Day can be difficult when living with an allergy. Many traditional ways of showing affection on this day could potentially expose you or a loved one to dangerous allergens, when eating out, exchanging gifts or even in the bedroom.
Here are some tips to help stay safe this Valentine’s Day.
Choosing or receiving gifts
- Eczema: Avoid gifts that might exacerbate symptoms of eczema, such as perfume, bath bubbles/oils or cosmetics - see our Allergy to Cosmetics Factsheet
- Food allergy: Be sure that homemade food gifts include a full list of ingredients. Avoid cross contamination by ensuring that cooking areas are kept clean and clear of allergens during preparation.
- Food allergy: Carefully read the labels of packaged food gifts - see our Food Allergy Factsheets
- Nickel allergy: Pure gold (18 carat or more), solid silver and platinum jewellery is usually safe - See our Nickel Allergy Factsheet
Planning a romantic meal at home?
Shopping for free-from foods can be daunting, here are a few tips to help keep your meal safe from allergens. Read our Shopping and Cooking for a Restricted Diet Factsheet for more information.
- Supermarkets and manufacturers offer a free of charge ‘free-from list’ for particular allergens. These usually include; milk, egg, wheat, gluten, soya, tree-nut and peanut, sesame, preservative, vegan, vegetarian, etc. Check their website for these lists.
- Many supermarkets have their own-label free-from range. Be careful to check the full list of ingredients when choosing these products. The allergens will usually be highlighted in bold.
- Adapt your favourite recipes to make them free-from. For example you can swap plain flour for gluten free flour – these alternative ingredients may react slightly different during the cooking process, so you might need to practise the adjusted version before the big night.
- Seek out special diet recipes. There are lots of cookbooks which cater for particular diets, and you will find an abundance of excellent recipes online. Try searching for special diet cookery, allergy recipes or similar.
- Avoid buying food from bakeries or delicatessens where items are not labelled, unless staff can provide accurate ingredient listings and guarantee there is no chance of cross contamination
In the bedroom
- Latex allergy: Latex can be found in some brands of condoms and Make sure to always read the label - see our Latex Allergy Factsheet
Out on a date? Remember it’s #easytoASK
Food is an important part of any celebration and Valentine’s Day is no exception.
Last year we partnered with the Food Standards Agency and Anaphylaxis Campaign to bring you these top dating tips for people living with food allergy: