Recently, I’ve been asked to directly handle baking cookies for guests every evening shift I’m at work–cookies laden with wheat and soy. Luckily at the moment, someone else has been working with me each time and has offered to do the duty for me. I’m anxiously awaiting the day when I’ll be personally held responsible to handle life threatening allergens just to keep guests happier in the lobby. I’ve made a decision not to handle the allergens, and am hoping my employer will understand that it’s not worth risking my life.
While most people aren’t asked to bake cookies at work, the problem of cross contamination in the workplace still lingers. Sharing areas in the company break room or lunch area can be hazardous as well as sharing common office equipment. I personally went through this at one of my jobs where I shared a desk and keyboard with a girl on the Vegan diet who often ate many soy heavy products. I am in no way holding her responsible for my reactions that led me to the ER from work, but merely not thinking about proper sanitation of shared equipment played a role on my part.
Here are some of my tips for staying safe from anaphylaxis or any other allergic reaction at work:
And this goes without saying: Always carry your epi-pen. You may want to alert others at work about where you keep your epi-pen so they may grab it for you in case of an emergency. I also always carry a box of Claritin and some Benadryl with me at all times.
What are your thoughts? Have you run into any tricky situations dealing with food allergies at work? Leave a comment below.