Food allergies and prison

Since we’re having a bunch of threads about food in prison I thought I’d ask about this one: what about inmates who have a food allergy? Do they just have to skip meals with stuff they can’t eat, are there any accommodations, what?

I did a whole powerpoint presentation to the whole Corrections medical staff in my state awhile back about food allergies.

Basically, food allergies are widely over-reported, and the vast majority of self-reported allergies are really just intolerances or dislikes, not true life- or health-threatening allergies.

Having said that, there are a number of allergies that are significant enough to need special diets, and these can be ordered if needed.

Also, a few intolerances, such as gluten intolerance, have a significant impact on health and need a special diet too.

The devil is in figuring out who is really allergic to fish and who just doesn’t like it.

If you like, I can email you my powerpoint presentation. It’ll give all the gory details about how to manage the problem. :wink:

That actually sounds really cool. So does it start with just talking about what allergies are and then move into what causes them and how to tell the difference between an allergy and a dislike?

Sort of. It’s aimed at medical professionals, so it assumes a basic understanding of IgE mediated reactions (true allergies, not what most folks call an allergy) and other basic physiology.

But it details the most common types of genuine food allergy reactions, the most common types of foods that cause allergies, uses a helpful screening tool to sort out allergies from other reactions, stratifies risk, and so forth.

And this really really really annoys me, because when I tell people about my genuine allergies they don’t take me seriously. Until I start swelling up, projectile vomiting, and turning blue.

So if someone is slammed into jail and says “Hey! I’m allergic to fish!” do they believe him, or check it out, or just laugh in his face until he keels over?

That would be interesting - if it’s not too much trouble I’d be interested.

Somebody died at a Ruby Tuesday’s this week because they gave him the Chicken Oscar instead of the Chicken Fresca and he ate some crabmeat. I imagine the prisons with their burden of care are probably pretty scared of something like that happening and opening them up to huge lawsuits.

ETA - I’d be interested in the presentation as well.