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Costa Rica Allergy Accommodations for Tree Nuts and Dairy

Costa Rica Allergy Accommodations for Tree Nuts and Dairy

Nov 27th, 2014, 08:40 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 1
Costa Rica Allergy Accommodations for Tree Nuts and Dairy

I have recently developed allergies to tree nuts and dairy. If either of them touches my lips, my throat and lips swell, and I violently throw up. I immediately have to use my epipen and go to the hospital for steroid injections and other medications. My family has planned a trip to Costa Rica this Christmas and with these new allergies I was wondering how understanding they are about food allergies there. Is the packaged food labeled with possible traces of allergens like it is in the US? And if I explain to the waiter/manager of a restaurant will they understand and follow through with keeping my food separate? I can speak semi-fluent Spanish, so that shouldn't be a problem.
iiellieii is offline  
Nov 28th, 2014, 10:06 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 18,317
The good news is that much of the food I had in Costa Rica did not seem to include any dairy at all, nor tree nuts. Palm or other vegetable oil is used more often than not, vs Butter. And many meals are prepared from scratch, not with packaged ingredients. You would want to be sure they do not add a dollop of sour cream (natilla) for sure.

If anything I would think you would do better in local restaurants (sodas) rather than hotels where they might try to fancy things up with cream and butter.

But whether you can communicate the issue of cross contamination I don't know.

I would post this on tripadvisor where there are more locals and expats that regularly comment.
mlgb is offline  
Dec 4th, 2014, 11:22 AM
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 16
I have a child (now 4 years old) who is severely allergic to tree nuts, peanuts and dairy. We've taken him to CR twice (heading back in Feb) with no problems at all. We eat out quite a bit, at both sodas and other types of restaurants. Packaged food in CR is very well labeled (similar to the US, with bolded allergens at the end of the ingredient list). As the previous poster mentioned, most CR food is cooked with oil instead of butter. Though if they are using margarine, note that most of it has a dairy base...You won't find Earth Balance in the grocery stores, sad to say! We've never run into peanut oil. Many of the non-soda restaurants are run by ex-pats so they are used to the allergy conversation. Health care is good in CR so make sure you know where your local hospital or emergency care center is...but I am betting you will be fine. Have fun!
acomeara is offline  
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