Knowing which foods trigger
food allergies and avoiding those foods is the best
way to prevent
allergic reactions. Unfortunately, food allergens are
often "hidden" in sauces, ice creams, baked goods, and other items. If you have
food allergies, read food labels carefully. Be aware of
other names for food allergens, such as "caseinate" for milk or "albumin" for
eggs. Many people think that seeing "nondairy" on a label means there is no
milk in the product. This is not necessarily true.
products are recalled when food ingredients are missing from food labels. For a
list of recalled products, see the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Recalls,
Market Withdrawals, and Safety Alerts page at
Eating out can be dangerous for
people with severe food allergies. Here are some tips:
- Bring safe substitutes from home. For example,
bring soy milk to have with cereal.
- Be aware of possible
cross-contamination. For example, an ice cream scoop may have been used for
Rocky Road ice cream, which contains peanuts, and then used for your vanilla
- Alert the wait staff to the possibility of a severe food
reaction. Carefully question them about ingredients. If they are not sure, ask
to speak to kitchen staff.
- Always wear
medical alert jewelry that lists your food allergies. Medical alert jewelry can
be ordered through most pharmacies or on the Internet.
If you or your child has ever had a severe allergic reaction, always carry an
allergy kit that contains a syringe of
antihistamine tablets. Give the epinephrine shot as
soon as you or your child feels a reaction starting. Then take the
antihistamine. For more information about the shot, see:
- Allergies: Giving yourself an epinephrine shot.
- Allergies in children: Giving an epinephrine shot to a child.
If you are traveling to another country, learn the words
for the foods that trigger your allergy so that you can ask in restaurants and
read food labels. Call airlines, tour operators, and restaurants ahead of time
to explain your food allergy and request safe meals. Prepare your own food when
possible. Discuss your travel plans with your doctor.
This answer should not be considered medical advice...This answer should not be considered medical advice and should not take the place of a doctor’s visit. Please see the bottom of the page for more information or visit our Terms and Conditions.
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