Crazy over peanuts
A lot of people love peanuts, but for an unfortunate few, eating peanuts and other foods that cause food allergies, death could result.
An estimated 2% of adults and about 5% of infants and young children in the US suffer from food allergies. Allergic reactions to food vary in severity, but about 30,000 people require fast treatment in the ER and 150 die each year as a result of them. The only means of preventing allergic reactions is to avoid the foods that cause them.
To help people avoid the risks food allergies pose, the FDA requires that the labels of all foods FDA regulates (all foods except meat, poultry, and certain egg products) must clearly identify the source of all ingredients that are, or are derived from, the 8 most common foods that cause bad reactions.
The 8 foods are:
- Fish (such as bass, flounder, cod)
- Shellfish (such as crab, lobster, shrimp)
- Tree nuts (such as almonds, walnuts, pecans)
Symptoms of food allergies typically appear within a few minutes or up to 2 hours after a person has eaten the food to which he or she is allergic. An allergic reaction to food is a 911 emergency. Symptoms can include:
- Flushed skin or rash
- Tingling or itchy sensation in the mouth
- Face, tongue, or lip swelling
- Vomiting and/or diarrhea
- Abdominal cramps
- Coughing or wheezing
- Dizziness and/or lightheadedness
- Swelling of the throat and vocal cords
- Difficulty breathing
- Loss of consciousness
In case of emergency:
Carry an Epipen – This medicine is an alpha and beta receptor stimulant used to treat severe allergic reactions to insect bites, foods, drugs, or other allergens. It may also be used to treat severe conditions that affect breathing.
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