The tree nut family includes almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, chestnuts, hazelnuts, hickory nuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, walnuts and others. Tree nuts are different to peanuts because tree nuts come from a different plant family. People who are allergic to peanuts are not necessarily allergic to tree nuts and vice versa, however people who are allergic to one tree nut have a tendency to be allergic to other tree nuts. For example people who have a cashew nut allergy are often also allergic to pistachio nut.
See information on peanut allergy for more on tree nut allergy management.
A downloadable allergen card (Tree Nut - Allergen Card689.58 KB) for those with tree nut allergy has been developed to help make shopping a little easier.
The following foods can cause problems when eating out and should be avoided unless the chef can confirm that there is no peanut or tree nut present:
Chinese and Thai dishes (even soup!)
Baked goods (pastries, cakes, biscuits etc.), and desserts.
Sauces (eg chilli sauces), toppings and gravy (Peanut sauce has also been used as a secret ingredient for marinating chicken)
Many butchers and fresh food outlets now have ready-to-cook products such as satay skewers or seasoned foods that contain nuts or nut products. These allergen-containing foods may very well be sitting next to the plain foods or prepared on the same surfaces. When purchasing these foods, consider asking about the risk of contamination. Gloves may sometimes need to be changed if the shop assistant has served a food containing the allergen prior to serving your food.
Content updated January 2017