Each year, millions of Americans have reported allergic reactions to food items. It is important to note that most food allergies cause relatively mild and minor symptoms, BUT some food allergies can cause severe reactions, and may even be life-threatening. If it is life-threatening, you need to know about it, and you can do this by ordering an allergy test. Don’t put yours or other family member’s lives at risk and try allergy testing today.
What is important to know, however, is that there is no cure for food allergies, apart from avoiding them. Managing your food allergies through an elimination diet and avoidance of food allergens is the best way to ensure a healthier future for you. So, strict avoidance of food allergens — and early recognition and management of allergic reactions to food — are important measures to prevent serious health consequences. If you think you may have an allergy and are looking for more advice, we do recommend you consult your doctor after you have tried an allergy test.
1) Major Food Allergens – What Are They?
Whilst almost every food item can cause allergic reactions in people with food allergies, there are certain foods which are the most common culprits. The law identifies the eight most common allergenic foods, and it is essential that these are listed on your food items. These food items account for 90% of food allergic reactions, and are the food items which have triggered the most reactions.
The eight foods identified by the law are:
- Fish (e.g., bass, flounder, cod)
- Crustacean shellfish (e.g., crab, lobster, shrimp)
- Tree nuts (e.g., almonds, walnuts, pecans)
So, if any of these foods are a massive part of your diet, then you will need to try an allergy test to make sure that you do not risk any symptoms.
2) Where To Look For Major Food Allergens
Food allergies are now taken a lot more seriously than they previously were, and there is a law which requires ALL major food allergens to be identified on the label if they are used to make the food. A label will meet the required standard if the common or usual name of the ingredient is identified. If the name of the ingredient is not common but is a subresource of the food item, then it can be listed following the name of the ingredient. Examples include buttermilk and milk.
The law requires that food labels identify the food source names of all major food allergens used to make the food. This requirement is met if the common or usual name of an ingredient (e.g., buttermilk) that is a major food allergen already identifies that allergen’s food source name (i.e., milk). Otherwise, the allergen’s food source name must be declared at least once on the food label in one of two ways, as explained by the FDA:
- In parentheses following the name of the ingredient.
Examples: “lecithin (soy),” “flour (wheat),” and “whey (milk)”— OR —
- Immediately after or next to the list of ingredients in a “contains” statement.
Example: “Contains Wheat, Milk, and Soy.”
3) Some Symptoms Are More Severe Than Ever
Symptoms of allergies range in severity from mild to severe. There are some mild symptoms which occur after someone has ingested a food allergen, but symptoms can occur and become very severe immediately. The symptoms could lead to anaphylaxis and become life-threatening, so it is important you are aware of what foods are causing your symptoms.
Information about ordering an allergy test
For more information on an allergy test and allergy testing, you can check out www.allergytest.co and look around our website. Our tests are able to identify whether or not you have a food allergy or an intolerance, so please do not hesitate to get in touch.