32 million Americans are living with potentially life-threatening food allergies. 377% increase in diagnosis of anaphylactic food reactions between 2007 and 2016. Every 3 minutes a food allergy reaction sends someone to the emergency room.
A food allergy reaction happens when the immune system overreacts to a food or substance in a food, which then triggers a protective response. Symptoms of a food allergy reaction range from mild to severe. However, just because you may experience multiple mild reactions, doesn’t mean that the reaction will always be mild. You could experience more severe symptoms at another time with eating the same food. The most severe allergic reaction is anaphylaxis, which is a life threatening reaction that can impair breathing. It can be fatal and it must be treated with an injection of epinephrine (adrenaline).
Keep in mind, some people may experience symptoms (like itchy mouth and throat) after eating a raw or uncooked fruit or vegetable which could indicate an allergy to the pollen, not the food itself.
Reading food labels: Getting use to reading food labels is essential, even if you have bought the product before. Food companies change ingredients and manufacturing processes without warning. all ingredients are supposed to be listed on the ingredient list. The top 8 food allergens are also listed on the “contains” section which is just below the ingredients list, typically.