Whenever I see the universal sign about food allergies in a restaurant, I'm tempted to add the words "Or Not."
You see, here's the thing. When you tell the server, you tell everyone else within hearing distance. And that may not be smart.
What if a disgruntled neighbor is sitting nearby? A neighbor who feels you crossed her property line many times without permission while you worked on your latest renovation. Once she knows you're allergic to peanuts, she may decide to sprinkle a few minute peanut crumbs on your fries at the next block party. Not to worry about breathing difficulties. Once you ingest the peanut crumbs, soon you won't be breathing at all!
Then there's that Little League dad with a grudge. He's sitting at the next table, and he's still smarting about the time you were umpiring a game and called his kid out when he thought he was safe. Once this neighbor knows you have a deadly allergy to pepper, you've provided him with a game plan. He might sneak a few grains of it onto your food at the annual Little League banquet. Yet out! Forget about the three strikes.
Get the picture? One word of advice if you're tempted to yak about your food allergies while dining out.