What is a food allergy? A food allergy is the body's negative reaction to a particular protein. The immune system mistakes the food as harmful and triggers the body to defend itself. What are the common food allergens? The 8 most common food allergens are: peanuts & tree nuts (almonds, walnuts and pecans), fish, shellfish, eggs, wheat, dairy products and soy. Can adults develop food allergies? Can a person outgrow an allergy? Yes, adults can develop food allergies. They may not be allergic to any foods their entire life and then suddenly become allergic to a food. In some cases, individuals outgrow their allergies, but this is not always the case. What are some of the symptoms of a food allergic reaction? Symptoms vary from person to person but can include, swelling of mouth or throat, rash, hives, vomiting, difficulty breathing, and in rare severe cases death. How long does it take for symptoms of an allergic reaction to appear? It depends on how sensitive the individual is to the food allergen. Usually the symptoms of an allergic reaction occur within a few minutes to an hour after consuming the food allergen. In rare cases, there is a secondary reaction several hours later. Do all foods containing food allergens need to be labeled? The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires food labels to clearly state, in plain English, if any ingredients contain protein derived from the eight major allergenic foods: milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, or soybeans. How much of the food allergen needs to be consumed to trigger an allergic reaction? It does not take much of the food allergen to trigger and allergic reaction in some people. Traces of the food allergen may be left on food contact surfaces (pans, dishes, cutting boards, utensils) and hands that have not been adequately washedand may be transferred on to other food contact surfaces and foods.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU SUSPECT A FOOD ALLERGY
Symptoms of an allergic reaction can occur within minutes to up to 2 hours after consuming the allergen, and some may be delayed by up to three days.
FOOD ALLERGY RESOURCES
Check our Frequently Asked Questions and take a look at our links to learn more about a specific concern.
& ANAPHYLAXIS NETWORK (FAAN)
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