AGS Allergy Card

Allergy cards have become common place for those who suffer from standard food allergies and can be ordered from a variety of places.  Sometimes these cards are created in bulk like business cards and other times one reusable card can be ordered.  Handing the card to the waiter, chef or host at a restaurant can help them tremendously, and save you a long winded conversation, or at least shorten it.

Alpha gal syndrome, sometimes called red meat allergy, is a complex allergy, and having its details in writing can be very helpful for restaurant chefs.  While some cases of AGS may be too severe for an allergy card to cover, for those that want to try to eat out, having a card is a god send. 

Unfortunately, a comprehensive card for alpha-gal syndrome was not something I was able to find, so I have made one.  You can access the files at the following link in either PDF or JPG format.  I suggest printing them like business cards on white stock, so you can write notes to servers in noisy environments.  Any foods that you do tolerate can be blocked out with a marker or you can modify the file.

Follow this link for the AGS Allergy Card

I put this card to the test on a business trip recently with excellent results, only experiencing one extraordinarily minor reaction from the most chaotic venue. 

A word of caution:  While I designed this card to be as comprehensive as possible, it does NOT list every possible item a person with AGS could react to.  That is a list a mile long, and just not possible.  Instead, I tried to convey the root of the allergy, listing items that together help paint a picture of the categories of foods that could affect someone.  I also focused on ingredients that are known to frequently cause full blown reactions rather than trace sources.  The card can not guarantee the food will be safe, nor can it do anything about fume reactions that could occur from other guests meals, but it can help reduce confusion and make dining out a little more feasible.

You'll see the most detail in English, and less in Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Japanese.  In part, this is because many people can read English, even if they have a hard time speaking it, but it is also because English does a terrible job of having culinary categories for mammal meat and milk derived products.  I chose the additional languages based on how frequently they are spoken in the US restaurant industry, and how much space they needed to get the point across.  Depending on where you live and the restaurants you frequent, you may want to try making cards that use other languages.  For example, if you are in Canada, French might be a better choice to include than Spanish.

To those who come here as chefs, I want to extend my thanks.  Educating yourself about conditions like alpha-gal syndrome so that you can serve people with this condition wonderful meals greatly improves the quality of life for those affected.  Your efforts are greatly appreciated.


  1. I also made my own allergy card and is been a huge help. HIGHLY recommend it.

    1. If anyone happens to make and post their own cards, by all means please link to it here. The more options people have, the better.

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