At Langford Allergy, we believe that education is part of the food allergy treatment plan. We don’t want to just treat the cause of the problem; we want you to understand what is going on inside your body! That way, you can effectively avoid dangerous anaphylactic episodes or uncomfortable allergic reactions. Discover several food allergy education tips to implement in your daily life:
Touching the Allergen May Lead to Localized Reactions
In highly sensitive people, touching the allergen may lead to a localized reaction. Most people will experience hives, red bumps that itch or burn. This is your body’s way of fighting the allergen by producing histamine.
Other highly sensitive people may experience a minor allergic reaction if they inhale the food allergen via particles in the air. For example, if you have an egg allergy and someone is frying eggs or if you have an allergy to milk and someone is steaming milk.
Read Food Labels Every Time You Buy
It’s not uncommon for ingredients to change in certain recipes. Unfortunately, the manufacturer does not have to notify you when he changes his labeling. Whether you’re buying your go-to snack for the second time or the two millionth time, make sure you read food labels every time you purchase. When you make this a habit, you will be able to scan the ingredient quickly and recognize “unsafe” ingredients.
Understand Cross Contamination
Cross contamination occurs when a particle is unintentionally transmitted from one product to another. To ensure your food has not been cross-contaminated, it’s important to look for specific symbols while you read your food labels.
If a label says, “This product does not consist of [allergen],” that does not mean that it was not made in a facility that also makes products containing the allergen.
For example, a product that says “Gluten-Free” means that there is no gluten in the ingredients. However, it very well could have been made in a facility that processes other gluten items. If the packaging says, “Certified Gluten-Free,” that means you do not need to be concerned for cross contamination, as it was made in a 100% gluten-free facility.