If you have dietary restrictions, eating at restaurants in another country when you can’t speak the language can be a difficult or sometimes even life-threatening ordeal. Pocket-size, translated cards to show the restaurant staff can make things a little less stressful. Just make sure they include a couple of important details.
Image by USDAgov.
You have two options: the DIY method, or purchasing professionally made and translated allergy cards from SelectWisely (linked below.) The latter is easier and has a huge variety of allergy and medical cards in different languages so you can’t mess up the translations. If you go the DIY route, pay extra due diligence to make sure your translations are accurate and clearly understandable.
You can make each card out of half an index card, and each one should include your food allergies with pictures, your medical insurance provider, and your doctor’s name and contact information (if you have one.) Depending on your allergies or medical condition, you may consider including very clarifying questions and statements. As a few examples, you could write:
- “I have a life-threatening allergy to peanuts. This includes sauces, soups, toppings, cooking oils, seasonings, baked goods.”
- “If I have foods that have been cooked with or contain these <list of food allergens>, I will need medical attention.”
- “Can you prepare this food without <list of food allergens>?”
- “I am having a fatal reaction to something I ate. Please call for medical help.”
The more cards you make for different situations, the better.