When it comes to food allergies at work, you can’t play favorites. An allergic reaction to peanuts is just as dangerous as a soy allergy, so can you really prioritize one over the other? All dietary restrictions come with their own laundry list of necessary precautions and flat-out no-no ingredients, but accommodating a soy allergy is particularly tough. Although most common in children, Food Allergy Research & Education says 0.4 percent of people have a soy allergy. This means your days of feeding a crowd with stir-fries and tofu meat substitutes are over.
To build a catering menu around soy allergies, you must first understand what soy is, then come to grips with just how many foods contain it. That’s the easy part. Soy is, well, a product of soybeans. And the list of foods containing this ingredient is a long one (more on this below). An allergy to soy is a head-scratcher for two reasons: First, soy is found in popular processed foods such as edamame, tofu, energy bars, soy milk, and Asian cuisine. This puts you in quite the conundrum considering many of these items are commonly viewed as your go-to vegetarian and gluten-free saviors. Secondly, even if you order a soy-free item, there is a high risk of cross-contact.
You’ll want to keep this in mind as you begin tackling the office catering order that’s void of the three-letter mind-boggler. Frankly, the more proactive you are in overcoming dangerous food allergies, the less your coworkers will feel inclined to ask, “Can I eat this?” Processed foods are almost always a bad idea, as they usually contain soy products. Fresh fruits and vegetables are a much safer bet. Ahead we’ll dive deeper into the do’s and don’ts of a soy allergy as well as catering ideas that’ll keep everyone safe and satisfied, tofu not included.
No soy, no problem. Planning your next allergen-friendly catering meal?