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Can a restaurant use a preservative that will be a trigger?


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#1 Guest_Oh the pain_*

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Posted 11 August 2000 - 12:30 PM

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I'm not sure if I worded the topic correctly, but I am wondering about preservatives. I eat a lot of salad, and I've had severe attacks sometimes after going to certain restaurants and eating a salad. My mom has a more mild IBS, and she had D immediately after eating a carrot salad from Chick-fil-a - 12 times (she does not have severe IBS which is why it happened 12 times before she realized what was causing it)! This does not happen with any of the separate ingredients or carrot salad from other places, just theirs. I told her maybe they are using a preservative that causes her D.I'm wondering if restaurants use some kind of preservative on their salad that is a trigger. Anyone know what it might be? I eat A LOT of salads that are fine and a few that really cause pain and D. What I'm trying to say is it is not the salad ingredients itself, unless it is something strange in the dressing. I eat ranch dressing mainly and am fine with it.


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#2 Guest_MuStang_*

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Posted 11 August 2000 - 12:49 PM

Well, they very well might use something to keep the lettuce looking fresher, my husband told me a lot of places will put something on the green beans to keep them looking greener. Or it could also be just the lettuce, I read a lot of people saying that lettuce is a trigger for them.

#3 LNAPE

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Posted 11 August 2000 - 12:52 PM

I do believe thisis true I think they call the sulfites. I know I do avoid salad bars in restratunt because the lettuce seems to upset me but I can make my own salad at home and do fine.Linda
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#4 Guest_Tonsil_*

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Posted 11 August 2000 - 12:54 PM

Another possibility is MSG. A lot of salad dressings have MSG in them, and the concentration would be much higher than for preservatives.I know MSG causes major stomach discomfort for me.

#5 Guest_xoxox_*

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Posted 11 August 2000 - 12:55 PM

I know some restaruants do this. My husbaqnd and I can't eat salads or sandwiches with a lot of lettuce at Mac Donalds. If we do, we have to drive right home and head for the bathroom. Also look out for coleslaw, and as someone said green beans.

#6 Auroraheart

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Posted 11 August 2000 - 01:03 PM

Has she tried eating the salad last? (like a dessert) That sounds odd, but my dietician told me that lettuce is fiberous and that if you "prepare" you system for it by eating other stuff first then it is "easier" to eat, if you have to eat it at all. Is your Mom using any dressing on the salad? That could do it too...higher fat salad dressings bother me. That fruit/veg wash stuff...can't remember the name right now...bothers me too.
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#7 Guest_Oh the pain_*

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Posted 11 August 2000 - 01:07 PM

I'm not sure if she eats if first or last and it has it's own dressing already, so she is not adding any. I just thought if I could pinpoint the specific additive that causes the D I could ask some restaurants if they use it and therefore avoid it but still enjoy eating out. Thanks for all of your info so far - these are all very good points to consider.

#8 Mike NoLomotil

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Posted 11 August 2000 - 01:59 PM

Hi OTP>Ahhhh Chik-Fil-A! One of my favorite places to get a tasty GI flush.There are over 3,500 approved food additives, preservatives, emulsifiers that can be found in any combination in processed foods. we consume about 20 pounds of these a year. Our bodies can safely neutralize many of these in low concentrations, but as the number and concentration keep going up it is getting harder to cope with.Add to that the native foods that may produce pseudoallergy due to lectin, histamine and various "peptide" content...without even considering hypersensivity (of any of the 4 GEL and COOMBS classes or the other several types of hypersesnitivity reactions) and one is up against the wall when one eats out. Esp. if you have IBS.I wondered for years what the heck it was in Chik-Fil-A that was bothering me after I ate there. Later found ou the main thing was the relatively innocuous tumeric in the mustard and the dipping sauces, plus the "sorb" family of chemicals in the sauces.I have no idea what is in teh chicken when it is processed, the breading, and the exact comp. of the bread...I would love to have the resources to analyze all that for specificity!Anyway...unless one is going to go the whole route to root out reactives, (2) basic rules will cover a large percentage of adverse reactions to foods and additives.Rule Of the 3P's: Packaged, processed, PoisonRule of the Foods That Bite: check out the post I made several times on how certain foods themselves may cause pseudoallergy and check yourself for specific sensitivity to these with oral challenge. Then play keep-away. Rather than post the whole thing again, and since I have limited time today, maybe someone remembers which thread(s) that is on or you can e-mail me and I will send it to you.My e-mail server is down right now so I apologize if there is a delay.[This message has been edited by Mike NoLomotil (edited 08-11-2000).]
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#9 Guest_Oh the pain_*

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Posted 14 August 2000 - 12:51 PM

Thanks everyone - this is very interesting information.

#10 K9Mom

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Posted 14 August 2000 - 01:05 PM

Restaurant lettuce kills me too!! Salads at home are okay, although I tend to avoid them. I am manical about washing the lettuce at home! I've noticed that Romaine lettuce is the only lettuce that has never given me an attack...go figure! [This message has been edited by K9Mom (edited 08-14-2000).]
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#11 Mike NoLomotil

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Posted 14 August 2000 - 01:46 PM

Yeah, lettuce is something that has to be really watched out for and washed very very well esp. if up from "south of the border". besides the usual and customary chemical contaminants in the irrigating water, it is frequently contaminated with, shall we say, fecally-related bacteria due to the lack of "facilities" for the field workers down there. And contamination in lettuce can run very deep into the vegetable due to its structure (lots of surface area but easily penetrated by water.
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#12 Guest_Stomach Troubles_*

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Posted 14 August 2000 - 01:52 PM

Dear OH THE PAIN,Can I relate.... I can not go to restraunts, unless they are safe restraunts... sound goofy? In my area I know which restraunts I can eat at and which foods I can eat. If I should eat the wrong food item, I get SEVERE CRAMPING, DISTENTION, HARDENING OF THE ABDOMIN, AND DIAHREA that all occur within 5 to 15 minutes after completing the meal. I then am entirely washed out after this episode. My mother cannot eat in restraunts either, but she almost goes into a coma from whatever it is that does not happen with home cooking.I went to an allergist and had the complete allergy testing. I was not allergic to any food products. They can not test additives. And, you may not beable to tolerate certain additives, spices, oils, etc., (I really think it may also have something to do with what they fry in?!) but not really be allergic - just can not digest or tolerate... IN OTHER WORDS - IT WAS NO HELP (EXCEPT TO KNOW I DID NOT HAVE A FOOD ALLERGY). From working in an ER, and as an EMT, I do know that food allergies are different than my symptoms, anyway... (swollen throat, comprimised airway, rash, etc...) I felt like I was dying from cramping and diahrea from Burger King's onion rings, and cannot tolerate most coated frys. I eat at a local restraunt, their breakfasts - great hashbowns - and I'm done for the day... !!! Needless to say when I leave town, I have been ordering oatmeal at breakfast, lunch and dinner, at the restraunt - or I do not eat nothing but toast.... feel cheated sometimes - but that is the way it goes if I want to avoid those HORRIFYING EPISODES !!!Now, salads bother me in restraunts, also... but here is another thing... don't buy Dole salad in the bag.. they will get you at home - they put something on those too!!I was told never to drink coffee with your breakfast (or meal) when you are out to eat.. you may want to watch out for that, too. It is supposed to trigger IBS.Good Luck finding your triggers - and sorry to hear you have to suffer, as I..... Stomach Troubles[This message has been edited by Stomach Troubles (edited 08-14-2000).]

#13 JennT

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Posted 14 August 2000 - 03:54 PM

Oh, yeah... restaurants!I went to a wedding for a Vietnamese couple I know this weekend. The reception had all sorts of food, both familiar and not, so I popped a couple preventive Immodium and then ate sparingly. Thanks to the Immodium (and probably all the ginger in the food), I managed scallops, shrimp, crab, lobster, squid, jellyfish, fried rice with all sorts of stuff, mushroms, and squab. I did *not* get D. I *did* get a headache, bloating, and mild cramping... and for me, these are all symptoms of too many sulfites!
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#14 me3

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Posted 14 August 2000 - 04:36 PM

I agree with K9Mom about the Romaine lettuce. I recently figured out that ICEBERG (the "head" type)lettuce, the kind almost all restaurants use, triggers bloating almost right away - and an IBS attack the next morning. However, ROMAINE (the leaf type) is perfectly fine - no reaction. It is easy to make a salad without any lettuce at all which I also do a lot.

#15 eric

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Posted 14 August 2000 - 05:32 PM

For the most part restaurants do not use sulfites anymore or Msg, however I am sure some do either knowing it or not. MSG is a tenderizer and flavor inhancer and is found in some spices.FYI: http://pharminfo.com/pubs/msb/sulfite237.html ------------------ http://www.ibshealth.com/
I am not a doctor. All information I present is for educational purposes only and should not be subsituted for the advise of a qualified health care provider.

Please make sure you have your symptoms diagnosed by a medical practitioner or a doctor.

#16 JennT

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Posted 14 August 2000 - 08:09 PM

Yeah, but the key word is "knowingly". I found out the other day that most of the Asian restaurants in my area use the same supplier, and that supplier's tempura batter has sulfites in it. That's probably what it was at the Vietnamese restaurant last weekend... that lovely crab puff in all that tempura batter...
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#17 HateMyIBS

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Posted 15 August 2000 - 12:58 AM

It is so great to see that restaurant food make other IBSers sick. I thought it was just me and I cannot come up with a pattern though. Only certain restaurants, without any particular foods, just the restaurant. I have a problem with one time something will make me sick and the next time it wount. Like popcorn, I love popcorn ,but i know if I eat it I will die. But, sometimes I eat it and I'm fine? But, usually if I eat a good meal in a restaurant within 15-20 minutes afterwards, I'm dying? Why?

#18 lindsay*

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Posted 15 August 2000 - 03:11 AM

my GI doc informed me that the preservatives(especially), waxes, and pesticides put on non-organic produce will cause flare-ups. wash your veggies and only buy organic.

#19 sos

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Posted 15 August 2000 - 10:47 AM

Yes restaurants use preservatives and yes they can make you sick with D. My husband who very rarely gets D, he is so "normal" it drives me crazy gets D from salads from certain restaurants, like Olive Garden, Golden Coral and McDonald's. Beware of buffets. My cousin who was a waitress for many yes confess to me a waitress secret. If a customer is rude to her or on there last visit didn't leave a tip she and her co-workers would put a drop of eye drops in their food which gave them instant D. They would set back and laugh watching the customer run to the bathroom. I having IBS D and need no help getting D did not find this very amusing.

#20 Mike NoLomotil

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Posted 15 August 2000 - 12:21 PM

QUICK FOOTNOTE TO ERICS POSTE;yeah, it was my undertsnding that sulfites are not allowed to be used anymore for maintaining the presentation-quality of the food in the salad...veggie...etc. All that stuff comes prepacked in nitrogen flushed and vacuum sealed plastic no? But I do not know if the reg. and/or enforcement has any teeth, nor whether it may extend into the foods that are prepared offsite and pre-treated for onsite final prep. like all the chain-restaurants do (only exception I know to that is the COOKER chain where everything is made on-site). Do you know? I am drawing a blank on this one. Wish I had time to look it up because it affects so many people.Any info out there? Anybody "in the biz"?Gotta goMNL
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