There are millions of restaurants, but if you have a food allergy you know eating out can be a challenge. We created this site to help you the next time you wonder, "Can I Eat There?"

You'll find links to food allergen guides for restaurants good enough to provide them and info on how to check out those that don't. Our city specific posts are decicated to those local joints we all love.

We hope this site expands your dining horizons... and keeps you healthy!


Starbucks - Help for People with Food Allergies

I probably shouldn't publicly admit it, but I like Starbucks. And whenever on the road for work, I know I can count on menu consistency. The sausage, egg and cheddar sandwich has saved me from many a hunger pang.

So when I was diagnosed with a soy allergy last fall one of the first places I checked for ingredient information was my local Starbucks. The woman behind the counter said she'd look into it and send me an email. I gave her my email address and told my husband, "Yeah right, she's gonna email me!"

Much to my surprise I did get an email. [Yay for Seattle's Phinney Ridge Starbucks]. She didn't have answers but she directed me customer service and told me they could help me. With low expectations, I called.

So here's the reason for this post. They did actually help me!! They asked me what I was allergic to and what items I typically eat, promised to research it, and then called me back with the results of their investigation. Unfortunately, the news wasn't good. My beloved breakfast sandwich is chock full o' soy - it's in the egg, it's in the english muffin.... Just about everything else in that lovely display case is the same story.

Here's the catch though, there is no standard for food in all those Starbucks stores. Different regions, even cities, have different vendors. So when you call customer service you need to specify the area you'd like more information about.

Despite the bad news... it was worth it. Now I know what's off limits and I don't have worry about a Starbucks-induced reaction on the road just because I was craving that muffin sandwich. If it turns out it's my only option for a morning meal, I know I can always check the packaged food with ingredients listed on the label. The yogurt parfait is go!

If you've got a food allergy and you love Starbucks - whether you keep your love in the closet or display it for all to see - give them a call. They will help you. And if the person who answers isn't helpful, ask for a manager.

Here's the number: 1-800-23LATTE

P.S. If you are allergic to peanuts but are ok with other nuts, beware of the packaged almonds, they are roasted in peanut oil.

Update (1/31/2008): Heard on the news today that Starbucks is going to stop selling breakfast sandwiches. RIP my beloved sausage sandwich and all your breakfast buddies (even though you're made with soy).

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