Going to the cinema is always a treat, whether its spending time with your family, friends or for a party or date night, it’s always a nice thing to look forward to. However, for those with food allergies it’s not as easy as just showing up to the movie theatre to buy your ticket.
Having food allergies should not limit your fun nights out so here’s a few tips to keep in mind for your next movie night, whether it’s at the cinema or hosted at a friends house.
Everyone around you must know you have a severe allergy & you carry an EpiPen
- Contact the cinema in advance to make them aware you will be attending, and you have a severe food allergy- they may want to know what movie you’re going to watch and time so they can ensure the theatre is thoroughly cleaned.
- Ask about the food served- Ingredients list of the popcorn, how it is prepared, what oil is used, are there any allergen toppings. Some brands may contain additives or be dairy-free.
- Ask what other food is served and if they have any allergy free snacks such as ice-cream, slushie, crisps that you can have.
- Ask the manager if you are allowed to bring in your own food- this ill depend on the cinemas allergy policy, sometimes if you show your epi-pen or a doctor note then you may be allowed to.
- If you want, you could suggest an allergy free brand that the cinema could consider stocking to make the food snacks more allergy friendly.
- It is also advised to bring some hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes in case you may want to wipe the arm rests of your seat/table.
At the Cinema
- If ordering food, make the staff aware of your allergies and ask them to change their gloves and equipment.
- If the cinema popcorn is not suitable, bring some along with you. The risk of cross contamination is higher with popcorn that is freely handled. Purchase safe popcorn that you’ve tried before or make your own popcorn with a popcorn maker at home.
- Choose snacks you have tried before, that are pre-package by a brand-name company as there should be a detailed list of ingredients on the back with ‘’may contain’’ warnings.
- If you don’t feel like eating, you can always just purchase a drink- canned or bottled drinks are safest. Be careful if ordering a smoothie in case peanut butter has been added to smoothies previously or if an allergen is in the surrounding area. For some people it may be safest to buy drinks that are sealed.
- Politely ask friends if they wouldn’t mind avoiding nuts/your allergen as a snack.
These are a few simple tips you can follow, not only for your outing to the theatre but any food related event. It’s important not to let your allergies hold you back or ruin a night out at the cinema. You can enjoy yourself and get involved in anything as long as you are prepared and take the necessary precautions.
What to Pack:
- EpiPens & Antihistamines
- Hand Sanitizer and wipes
- Allergen Free Food
- Mobile in case of emergnecies