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Hidden Allergens in Christmas meals

Updated: Aug 25, 2022

This Christmas season, when families gather together and consume tasty holiday foods, it is essential to be aware of allergic reactions, which usually increase during this period.

Food allergies are estimated to affect 1% to 10% of adults and children in developed countries[1]. Notably, young children, especially toddlers, are at a higher risk of the potential for an anaphylactic shock due to food allergy, at a rate 5x that seen in adults[2]. Despite paying attention to ingredients used for cooking delicious traditional holiday meals, your loved ones with multiple food allergies will remain at high risk for allergic reactions due to hidden allergens.

When it comes to food, you can’t always see ingredients. Macaroons, a festive favorite, are actually made with almond flour! Other common hidden allergens include tree nuts (Almonds, Walnuts, Cashews), dairy, eggs, wheat/gluten, soy, shellfish, and fish. Drinks are another component of the Christmas season to consider. Wines, for instance, if they are not ecologically sourced, might contain sulfites, a preservative that grape growers dust over grapes in the weeks leading up to harvest. Sulfites can trigger allergy-like reactions to sensitized people, such as wheezing in those suffering from asthma, allergic rhinitis, and urticaria[3].

Additionally, we can find other hidden allergens in beverages, such as pine nuts in craft beer, almonds in some gins, milk in cream liquors, or wheat in beers and spirits.

Patients and clinicians must be educated about allergens' relevant sources and cross-reactive allergens to prevent accidental reactions. It is important and recommended to visit your allergist if you experience any allergic symptoms this holiday season and get tested for specific allergens to pinpoint your true allergy triggers.

AT HYCOR Biomedical, we believe that people with an allergy improve their quality of life when they know exactly what is causing their symptoms. NOVEOS System, the first technological breakthrough in routine allergy diagnostics in 20 years, is your best partner for Specific IgE Testing, empowering the laboratory, clinicians, and patients with accurate allergy test results from a new standard of assays designed to limit the impact of interferences.

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#FoodAllergy #AllergicDisease #AllergyEpidemic #AllergyPrevention #FoodAllergens

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