Americans with food allergies may find dining out stressful. Cross-contamination and uninformed servers can quickly turn a dinner date in a mess.

Good news! There are many restaurants that cater to America’s 12,000,000 food allergy sufferers. It’s easy for consumers to make informed decisions about whether they are sensitive to shellfish, or have celiac disease (a condition that makes it impossible for the body to process gluten).

“There have never been more tools available to the consumer with food allergies to access health information and to act on what they find,”Andrea Levario is the executive director of American Celiac Disease Alliance. Levario, speaking on behalf of UNO Chicago Grill offers these tips to ensure safe and healthy eating at restaurants.

Research all options online before you arrive. Responsible chains make it easy to find menu information online. UNO, for example, provides detailed information about health, including notes on gluten-free dishes, via its website. You can call ahead to speak to a manager if the restaurant doesn’t provide nutritional and ingredient information.

– Make use of the information posted. Many restaurants have kiosks in the lobby that provide nutritional information. Some establishments might also have pamphlets they can provide on request.

Notify your server. A great server will put your satisfaction first. He will strive to make sure you are happy and have a safe experience. Ask your server to inform the kitchen about any allergies you may have.

Ask your manager about special accommodations. Managers can personally verify special-needs orders and add another safety-control measure.

“Dining establishments are growing in their understanding of food allergies and other customer health needs — some in response to new laws, some voluntarily like UNO,”Levario. “I believe these activities are an example of a very positive health-consciousness trend within the restaurant industry.”

The pace of life today is rapid. The rise of digital technology has allowed people to communicate with each other via the internet and simultaneously check their children’s soccer scores. Consumers can expect the same conveniences and benefits from all businesses, including their insurance companies, thanks to the internet age. For many people struggling to pay their medical bills, this can seem like a long wait, even though 98 percent of claims for health insurance are processed in 30 days.

It is no longer enough to be insured, as nearly two-thirds of American households have less income than 2002. It is vital to understand how quickly and efficiently your insurance carrier pays claims. This is important for both financial and medical recovery.

Recent research found that 66% would not be able to adjust to the high financial cost of serious illnesses or injuries. Only 49% of those surveyed have less than $1,000 to cover out-of pocket expenses. Additionally, rising healthcare costs have forced employers to take cost-saving measures that are putting employees under greater financial pressure.

* Increasing employees’ health care insurance copayments.

* Increasing employees’ share of premium.

* Implementing high-deductible health plans with health savings accounts.

Some people might have to wait as long as a month to receive their insurance payments. Many insurance companies are able to provide customers with fast service thanks to modern technology and better understanding of their needs. This is one example. AflacIt is almost rare for insurance companies to offer policies that include claims processing, approval, and payment in a single day.

Fast payment policies are no longer luxury items of the past. It is a necessity in today’s world. It is more important than ever that you have money available immediately for serious injuries or illnesses. You should ensure that your insurance company can move at your pace.

Aflac’s One Day Pay Promise can be found at