As consumers become increasingly concerned with food safety and quality, ensuring food safety in terms of allergen exposure is still vitally important to everyday health, the USDA warns.
Millions of Americans have allergic reactions to food each year. There are eight major food allergens, and being aware of the signs and symptoms associated with an allergy attack can help to keep you safe and avoid potential triggers in the future.
More than 160 foods have been identified that can cause allergic reactions in those with allergies. These foods make up about 90 percent of food allergic reactions and can be categorized into the following eight categories, in no particular order:
- Tree nuts
While there is no cure for food allergies, avoiding allergens and recognizing reactions immediately can help prevent serious health consequences, according to the FDA.
The FDA mandates for food allergens to be listed on each food product’s packaging, so always read food labels carefully.
Those with allergies should also know how to recognize symptoms associated with an allergy attack. These symptoms typically appear within a few minutes to two hours after eating the problematic food. Some of the most common symptoms associated with an allergic reaction 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
If you notice any of these symptoms during or after eating, it’s vital to contact a doctor or health care provider for proper testing and evaluation. A medical professional can diagnose the allergy and provide the best course of treatment and prevention for future episodes.
For more information about food allergies, click here.
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