I was reading with interest the articles from Peter Hime about his restaurant reviews. I have had many occasions where I have struggled to find somewhere that will cater for my dietary needs especially being a coeliac.

I need to know that they are not going to use the same chopping board, utensils or even oven tray where there is going to be cross contamination.  Often I have to ask if they are going to use the same toaster where I could pick up contamination from other bread crumbs.

I have found a few fabulous places like The Antelope Café and Lah Koh where everything is labelled and the staff/owners have even changed their recipes so they are more inclusive for someone with an allergy. 

These cafes have even introduced gluten-free oat milk where disappointingly a lot of cafes I have had to stop going to because they have changed to non-gluten-free oat milk, usually because they didn’t realise there is such a difference. 

Also I notice that if a menu is labelled with allergies it has Vegan or Vegetarian but not dairy-free, which means someone who is dairy-free often has to opt for vegan and restrict their (often already limited) choices.

It really does not do my confidence much when it comes to eating out and can stop being a pleasure because of all the anxiety it brings because I can get so ill and this can cause many more problems further down the road to my health.

I much prefer to go to an independent café but find that the larger chains seem to be more up-to-date with an allergy matrix. After all, we want to support local independent establishments whenever possible, don't we? Unfortunately, though, the level of allergy support among independents is much more variable, with notable exceptions like the ones I mentioned.

Thank you, Peter, for pointing out these issues, maybe restaurants will take note and start to label their menus or take a person with allergies more seriously.

Come on Salisbury, with so many lovely restaurants here, let's lead the way.

Deb Sitton


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