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Georgia Institute of Technology

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Food Allergy Information

Eight foods account for 90% of all food-allergic reactions. They are milkeggpeanuttree nuts,fishshellfishwheat, and soy.

The symptoms may be mild (rashes, hives, itching, swelling, etc.) or severe (trouble breathing, wheezing, loss of consciousness, etc.). A food allergy can be potentially fatal. Scientists estimate that as many as 15 million Americans have a food allergy, including approximately 6 million children.

You can identify allergen-containing foods with the following symbols placed on food items:

This symbol will be displayed when dairy is used in an unapparent way. 

This symbol to inform those who have mild to extreme nut allergies.

This symbol identifies foods that include soy or soy derivatives.

This symbol identifies foods that include gluten. When in doubt, please ask to see the manager or chef.  

This symbol identifies foods that include shellfish.

What are the common symptoms of a reaction?

Symptoms may include one or more of the following: a tingling sensation in the mouth, swelling of the tongue and the throat, difficulty breathing, hives, vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, drop in blood pressure, loss of consciousness, and even death. Symptoms typically appear within minutes to two hours after the person has eaten the food to which he or she is allergic.

What is the best treatment for food allergy?

Strict avoidance of the allergy-causing food is the only way to avoid a reaction. Reading ingredient labels for all foods is the key to avoiding a reaction. If a product doesn't have a label, individuals with a food allergy should not eat that food. If you have any doubt whether a food is safe, call the manufacturer for more information.

Source: Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network

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