New Years Allergy Scare and Lessons Learned

My friends and I always try to do something to celebrate the New Year. I feel like it’s just such a fun night to enjoy out with your friends/family. Two years ago, my friends and I planned to go to Niagara Falls for New Year’s. We were so prepared; we booked everything way in advance, purchased our tickets for our New Year’s party, and figured out who was driving. The group I was going with was a very responsible group and they had all known me since elementary school, so they were very familiar with my food allergies. We were all so psyched to go to Niagara!

I’m a pretty frugal person when it comes to money, especially since I was still a student in University, so I assumed that my friends and I were going to eat at fast food restaurants for the majority of the time in Niagara. I actually love fast food restaurants as they are literally EVERYWHERE and I’m very familiar with what I can and can’t eat. On New Year’s eve though, my friends stopped by this lavish Italian restaurant just outside of our hotel. They made reservations for that evening, without even bothering to call me and ask me to come over and check the menu. When they arrived back at our room and told me our plans, I didn’t think much of it. I was more angry at the fact that I would be spending 30+ dollars on a dinner that I really didn’t care to eat. I would’ve much preferred something quick. I didn’t bother to go downstairs and check the place out because I just thought I’d investigate it when we went down there for dinner.

At dinner, the place was very accommodating of my food allergies. I spoke to the manager and he assured me that they were going to do everything they could to prevent any sort of cross-contamination from occurring. To avoid any miscommunication between myself and the staff, I ordered a very simple dish. However, around 3 hours later, I broke out in MASSIVE hives all over my body in the middle of our New Years party. My best friend and I went back to the room while everyone else stayed at the party.


Thankfully, nothing further happened, but the hives were definitely a downer on the evening. I’m not sure if they were from something I ate from the restaurant, but I had a feeling it was. Everything else I ate/drank that evening, I was very familiar with. That was the last time I will ever let my friends choose a restaurant before discussing it with me. I knew I shouldn’t have eaten there if I didn’t feel comfortable. Two years later, I’m no longer friends with any of the people I went to New Years with (besides the one girl I went back to the room with). I learned that you shouldn’t be afraid of speaking your mind and telling your friends what makes you comfortable/uncomfortable because IT’S YOUR HEALTH. 


Happy New Year,


– Giulia

2 thoughts on “New Years Allergy Scare and Lessons Learned”

  1. I know everyone is different, but I have to question if it was something ingested at all. To have only a skin reaction to something you ate seems unusual to me. However, you did not mention your allergens of concern or past experience of reactions. It sounds as if you were initially comfortable with the restaurant’s attention to detail-if not the budget. I am not sure I see how your friends are at fault here. You failed to mention your needs or participate in the plan, showed up, and were decently accommodated by all concerned. You mention staying in a hotel. Is it possible you were allergic to the laundry soap on the hotel linens? That will cause a full-body breakout in hives and can take a couple of days to kick in. When I stay in hotels, I bring my own pillowcase and wear full length pajamas and socks to minimize exposure. By the way, I think $30 is a good price for a home-cooked Italian meal. Especially in Niagara Falls!

    1. Thank you Alison for the comment. You’re right, everyone is different and it’s hard to know exactly what caused the reaction, especially looking only at what was mentioned in this article. We do commend the writer for trying to take positive steps in preventing instances like this in the future and hopefully in sharing this story, we may all learn to better manage our food allergies. Thanks again for sharing!

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