Food allergies are an issue year round, but SupermarketGuru wants you to stay safe when ringing in the New Year. Here are some tips.
For the 15 million Americans who have food allergies, the holiday season can sometimes be a challenge. Holiday treats can contain surprise ingredients; and even trace amounts of peanuts or milk can cause severe reactions in some people. SupermarketGuru wants you to ring in the New Year allergy free, so here is a list of simple tips to minimize risks without putting a damper on the holiday fun from The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network
Many of us are familiar with the issues surrounding allergies, but you can never be too careful, stress to family and friends that food allergies are serious - reactions can be fatal.
Alert holiday party hosts about your food allergy and clarify all ingredients used to prepare foods. Let them know ahead of time so there is no last minute stress.
Avoid dishes with sauces or myriad ingredients; these may contain hidden allergens.
Eat before attending special events in case the foods that are served contain allergens. Ask the host if you can bring an allergy free dish so that you can enjoy the party as much as the other guests.
For party hosts, FAAN encourages sensitivity toward guests with food allergies and suggests using designated pots, pans and utensils to avoid cross contact of foods. It is important to note that it only takes a particle of an allergen to cause a reaction.
Confusing Ingredient Terms: During the holiday season, FAAN receives numerous phone calls from members who have questions about ingredients. Here are the FAQs:
Nutmeg and mace: Both are obtained from the same tropical tree. The seed of this tree is the source of nutmeg. The outer coating of the seed is ground to make the mace. These ingredients should be safe for a person who is allergic to tree nuts.
Calcium stearoyl-2-lactylate and sodium stearoyl-2-lactylate: Combinations of lactic acid and stearic acid. They are used as dough conditioners, whipping agents and emulsifiers. These ingredients should be safe for a milk-allergic person.
Lactic acid: A commercial food produced either by chemical synthesis or from bacterial fermentation of a carbohydrate such as corn sugar. It is considered safe for a milk-allergic person. However, lactic acid starter culture may contain milk. Patients should contact the manufacturer to find out the safety of this ingredient.
Marzipan: A paste made of ground almonds, sugar and sometimes egg whites. Marzipan is not safe for people who are allergic to almonds or eggs.