Avoiding reactions outside the home: Challenges, strategies, and opportunities to enhance dining out experiences of people with food hypersensitivities
People with food hypersensitivities experience adverse reactions when eating certain foods and thus need to adapt their diet. When dining out, the challenge is greater as people entrust the care of their allergy, intolerance, or celiac disease, in the hands of staff who might not have enough knowledge to appropriately care for them. This interview study explored how people with food hypersensitivities avoid reactions while eating out, to inspire future digital technology design. Our findings show the social and emotional impact of food hypersensitivities and how people practically cope by investigating restaurants' safety precautions, correcting orders, or even educating restaurants' staff. We discuss our findings against the experiences of other people living with chronic conditions and offer design opportunities for digital technologies to enhance dining out experiences of people with food hypersensitivities.