Eating "Out" with a Corn Allergy

Here are some tips on eating “out” for people with a corn allergy. It is a collection of tips from a couple of forum posts I have written recently.


I have had a number of run-ins with paper plates and my default answer is to say that it is better to buy regular plates and throw them out than to risk a reaction from a paper plate, because if you try a few you will inevitably have a reaction.

I have tried numerous plates/bowls and absolutely none of them have been safe for warm or hot food. I have only found one, the Chinet brand plates with the OU-P kosher symbol on the package (CostCo), that appears to be safe for dry, cold foods.
When I have needed to have something for hot food, I have used a piece of foil over the Chinet plates (ooh shiny!). This doesn’t do much for you if you need to cut something, but it works well for finger food and pre-cut stuff.
When I need to eat out of the house I have been preparing a single portion in small, disposable foil containers, wrapping them up and taking them with me. Usually I just scoop something out of the crock pot that is already cooked, but some things I just bake right in the foil container. It works pretty well, and I end up eating directly out of the foil containers. If I take anything with me it is wrapped in foil, which when unwrapped makes a nice foil cover for the paper plate that I take with me. And I just keep my cutlery in the inside pockets of my suit jacket.
Be very, very careful of paper napkins. I can’t tell you how many fat lips I have gotten from accidentally grabbing one to wipe something off of my mouth. In my experience the only disposable paper napkin/towel that is safe is the Kirkland brand paper towels from CostCo. It might be wise to grab a pack of hankys and use them for napkins. They work great and dry fast when washed.

The same goes for plastic forks/knives/spoons/cups. I have had anaphylactic reactions which helped me gain a very healthy fear of them. I can provide no guidance as to which are safe, as I have reacted to so many different kinds and know of none that are truly safe. If you are in a pinch just wash them very, very well (with soap and water!) before using. Note that this is not fail-safe, as I have reacted even after being a little slack about washing them. Be particularly careful of the lips of cups, sometimes the washing doesn’t get all the way in the crevices and I have had more than a few fat lips from this.
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