The biggest reason why we use humans versus technology is because for such an important translation, we want to ensure accuracy. Please allow me to explain further. To be specific, I am referring to why Allergic Traveler will always use human translators as opposed to online translation tools for our chef cards and our luggage tags

Dietary alert cards

Allergic Traveler’s Spanish card

Benefits of human translators

In an “allergy free” nutshell, the answer is simple… We have seen too many mistakes when it comes to translations. While it may be quicker or cheaper, it is not safer. It is not worth an allergic reaction or even death to save time or money.

Don’t believe me that online translation tools make errors? Here is an example of how such a mistake occurred and the consequences.

How we came to be

Years ago, I met a guy at a food allergy conference who told me this story. Keep in mind this was when I was just toying with the notion of Allergic Traveler. He asked me why I was at the event and what I did for a living. I told him about my concept for Allergic Traveler, that I was thinking about starting a company to help those with food allergies travel safely and I wanted to know his opinion. With everyone at the conference having food allergies, this was my prime target market. I explained to him that I wanted to help those who ate out locally or while traveling to communicate their food allergies safely in numerous languages. His response, “that’s brilliant!” I asked him why he thought that?

He said, he had just returned from Czech Republic. This traveler had made his own chef cards online, using a translation tool. He continued to tell me that everywhere he went throughout the Czech Republic, waiters and chefs were laughing at him. For the life of him, he could not figure out why. For an anaphylactic food allergy, he was amazed at why people would think this was funny. He admitted he was becoming more and more frustrated.


The answer

Hand GrenadeFinally, after days of travel, he finally found a bilingual good Samaritan that was willing to help him understand the humor. He showed him his chef card and the good Samaritan immediately saw what was so funny. He told my newfound friend, “you see this diphthong here on your translation, it is going in the wrong direction. As such, it states that you are allergic to hand grenades!”

Guess what? We all are! Moral of the story? Please don’t chance it. Make sure that you card is done by a certified translator, a legit company or a native speaker. As well, you should always use your cards, no matter if you are dining in Rome or Little Italy.

We also invented our line of luggage tags. These tags can be added to any child’s back pack. They help bring awareness to your child’s allergy when they are out of your site. For instance, when they are off at camp, sleep overs, or field trips, these cards alert others of their dietary restrictions. Recently, we have been welcomed into the Autistic world, specifically for the non-verbals. Our luggage tags have helped communicate their dietary restrictions when the autistic person could not.

Luggage Tag

Allergic Traveler luggage tag on back pack.











Have you had such an experience with your chef cards? If so, please share with us.

Enjoyed the read? There is more travel adventures and food allergy adventures that can be found here.



Author: Tarah Jakubiak

After working for 20 years in the corporate world, Tarah Jakubiak founded Allergic Traveler. Jakubiak, president of Allergic Traveler has traveled the world since the age of two. She has been to 25 countries and 34 states. Jakubiak has been to all inclusives, gone on cruises, gone camping; backpacking through Europe, gone to the big cities, and little hidden gems. She has multiple food allergies but it does not stop her from seeing the world. Jakubiak is allergic to eggs, nuts, mushroom, soy, garlic, corn, sesame, potatoes, celery, shellfish, chicken, pork, peanuts, and many fruits. She is originally from Montreal, Quebec and now lives in Greensboro, NC with her husband.