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Nut Allergy - Food in Suitcase

England, Arkansas
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Nut Allergy - Food in Suitcase

Hi everyone,

Next July I will be travelling for 4 weeks to Chengdu, Chiang Mai, Bali, Sydney, Auckland, Fiji and New York. (I know such a short space of time and lots of countries but it is the only time we can get off and are happy to spend only 3 days in each place but am happy to hear advice on jet lag etc).

My main concern is that I suffer from a severe nut allergy - including sesame etc. I am worried that a number of the countries I will be visiting will use a lot of nuts and won't fully understand my requirements. A friend of mine had a terrible nut reaction in Brazil and is now in a coma so I am extra weary.

So my question is has anyone had any experience with this before or does anyone know what food I can take in my luggage to these countries? i.e tins of tuna, crisps, biscuits etc.

Any help appreciated :)

Thank you!! xxx

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1. Re: Nut Allergy - Food in Suitcase

In general you can take processed food, just not raw meat or dairy, but there may be exceptions, such as fruit in case of pests and diseases into Oz and NZ for sure, so you'll just have to do the hard work of checking each countries restrictions, and I cant think its practical to be taking 4 weeks worth of food with you.

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2. Re: Nut Allergy - Food in Suitcase

tinned and packaged [like crisps and biscuits] food should be fine, everywhere except Australia, New Zealand and USA. there, it is a bit more complicated. however, in those places, you will be able to find food you can eat easily, and should not need supplies.

so: take what you need and dump it before Australia. buy what you need for Fiji in New Zealand, and dump it before America.

in any of the places mentioned, the golden rule is: declare it. if it isn't allowed, they'll tell you. do not hide anything! prisons are nasty and you can't control the food in them.

Destination Expert
for Bangkok, Air Travel, Thailand
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3. Re: Nut Allergy - Food in Suitcase


That question actually has two parts..

What does the *airline* permit (and yes, some airline does explicitly forbid the carriage or some types of foods) and what does your destination country permit.

Airlines tend to only restrict foods that can spill, spoil or otherwise damage the property of others or property of the airline ...

I course, it's not commiy caught by the airlines but when is, it's usually via a damage type baggage claim where the food item in question has spilled or similar ... And that would usually trigger a claim denial by the carrier.

The destination county is far more likely to have more stringent rules and will check for compliance more rigidly.

Is check with the embassies of each country for what they permit and if there's any special restrictions or paperwork you might need.

As noted earlier, processed off-the shelf foods, without alcohol, tends to be unrestricted but each country is unique in that regard. So it's best to check with an official source.

Travel Safe,

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4. Re: Nut Allergy - Food in Suitcase

If you want to be self sufficient for a longer time you need something that packs a lot of calories and proteins for as less weight and space a spossible. I´d go for Tuna in this decision (normally chocolate would be an alternative but with a nut allergy that´s out as well as most camping food).

You will need around 400 gr tuna each day (plus drinks like milk etc in those countries) to get along. That means (including packaging) around 500 g per day so for 28 days you´d get along with 14 kilos of tinned tuna. So you have some kilosleft for clothing and can stock up on that later.

I think none of the countries have rules that forbid canned tuna to be brought into the country but I´d make sure to check (but then you can restock in any of those again). That check is needed, Brazil for example forbids the import of any food!

So yes you can do it and no airline I have ever flown with forbade tinned tuna in the checked luggage. But I would plan a lot of extra time at customs that suitcase will draw attention.

Oahu, Hawaii
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for Oahu
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5. Re: Nut Allergy - Food in Suitcase


You'll need to check the regulations for each country. Your travel agent should be able to assist you.

As an example, the US rules (under USDA) are at the links below:



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6. Re: Nut Allergy - Food in Suitcase

You can bring any packaged foods into the US.

Oahu, Hawaii
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7. Re: Nut Allergy - Food in Suitcase


>>>> "You can bring any packaged foods into the US." <<<<

It's not that simple.

Anyway, the OP lives in the US. I was just showing her the US example of what to look for on the other countries' sites.

Melbourne, Australia
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for Perth, Antarctic Adventures
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8. Re: Nut Allergy - Food in Suitcase

I have been travelling with severe nut and sea food allergies for 40 years and have never packed more than some potato chips or lollies (candy) in my carryon or checked luggage.

Chengdu, Chiang Mai, Bali - for these locations I have used translation cards (pre internet days) or a translator ap on my iphone. I just type in all the products I am allergic to and the word allergic - hit translate - then take a screen shot of the results to show the waiter. Have used this method in Asia and Sth America for past few years. In Asia I specified that it also meant fish oils and peanut oils and sauces.

Sydney, Auckland, Fiji and New York: Clearly english is spoken in all of these locations so you are not going to have any major issues. Labeling on food products is pretty standard and waiters and chefs understand the issue.

UK, Mauritius
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for Mauritius, Belle Mare, Pointe Aux Piments, Pereybere
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9. Re: Nut Allergy - Food in Suitcase

Like PerfectlyPerth I too carry laminated translation cards in the far east, most recently in Japan.

I didn't have any problems in Bali, Australia or Thailand. ( have a severe nut and kiwi allergy)

I do tend to take sandwiches and snacks on board aircraft when I can though just in case I can't eat the meal.

And make sure the epipens are within reach in the cabin.

Edited: 03 August 2014, 22:48
10. Re: Nut Allergy - Food in Suitcase

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Removed on: 14 October 2014, 01:05
Edited: 14 October 2014, 01:05