Today we are highlighting the importance of Food Allergy Awareness Month, which happens in May. Did you ever wonder why as a child you couldn’t bring your delicious peanut butter jelly sandwiches to school for lunch? The main reason was to protect and prevent your classmates or teachers from having a serious allergic reaction from a peanut allergy. Let’s dive deeper into this topic and enhance our knowledge surrounding food allergies and how to keep our family and friends who are allergic to certain foods safe.
What is Food Allergy Awareness month?
Food Allergy Awareness Month is a time to educate patients, family, friends, school staff, coaches and other individuals about food allergies and other diseases such as asthma. About 32 million people have food allergies in the US and 5.6 million are children who have food allergies. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) declared May to be “National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month” to promote and educate individuals on these diseases.
What is a food allergy?
A food allergy is a reaction caused by certain foods that are seen harmful to the body. When the body is exposed to these foods, the immune system reacts with certain symptoms to fight off the allergens, also known as an allergic reaction.
What are the signs and symptoms?
The most common symptom of an allergic reaction caused by a food allergy is called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is a life threatening reaction that can cause tightening of the airways, swelling of the throat, severely low blood pressure, and shock. Other severe symptoms can include hives or rashes of the skin, swelling of the lips, tongue and throat, tingling or itchy feeling in the mouth, shortness of breath, trouble breathing, coughing or wheezing, dizziness, lightheadedness, vomiting, or diarrhea. In the U.S it is estimated that severe allergic reactions can cause 30,000 cases of emergency room visits, 2000 hospitalizations, and 150 deaths each year.
What are the most common food allergies?
The most common food allergies are those to eggs, peanuts, tree nuts (almonds, walnut, pecans, cashews, pistachios), wheat, soy, fish (bass, flounder, cod), shellfish (crab, shrimp, scallop, clams), and sesame.
How are they treated?
There is no cure for food allergies. However, those with food allergies should take action in preventing allergic reactions by reading food labels and always careful to ask about ingredients in foods. Additionally, individuals should always carry epinephrine (EpiPen) with them in case an allergic reaction ever develops. People who know others with food allergies should be mindful of preparing or eating foods that may be harmful to them.
CulinArt Group is committed to making every guest’s dining experience an exceptional one. Please consult with the chef or manager on any allergies or special dietary needs or to discuss ingredients and/or food preparation methods.