We are becoming more aware, as a society, of food allergies and food intolerance. Most importantly, so are the food manufacturers and processors. In most countries the various food standard agencies have imposed regulations that require food companies to provide a common food allergens list for each of their products. Normally in the form of an ingredients list on the product packaging, it is essential that this list is located and read by anyone with a food allergy or food intolerance problem.
The 14 allergens listed below are those that are commonly recognised as problem causing. These are the foodstuffs that will frequently be highlighted on ingredients lists. This list is not exhaustive though, as there are sufferers (fortunately much less common) with allergic reactions to other foods and ingredients.
1 – Celery
2 – Cereals containing gluten
3 – Crustaceans – shellfish
4 – Eggs
5 – Fish
6 – Lupin – the seeds and flour
7 – Milk
8 – Molluscs – mussels and snails
9 – Mustard – powder, liquid, seed, leaves and infused oils
10 – Nuts – tree nuts
11 – Peanuts – a type of legume
12 – Sesame seeds
13 – Sulphur Dioxide
14 – Soya
As with all allergies and intolerances, the most effective course of action is to avoid any problem ingredients. Having said that, there are some sufferers who can tolerate a small amount of the “wrong” food on an infrequent basis. The secret is to know your allergy and to always seek expert assistance when needed. If you are cooking for someone with an allergy then do not assume that a little bit of this or that will be ok. It could make them very poorly.
Expanded information on each of these allergens will be available on this website TheAllergyCook.com