Dr Clifford BassettToday, I’d like to discuss summer food allergies.

Food Allergy Overview

Some of the most common food allergens that may affect food allergy sufferers are peanuts and nuts, cow’s milk and eggs, especially in younger children. In adults, shellfish is thought to be one of the most common food allergens in the US with more than 2% of adults affected.

Unsuspecting Food Items

Summer is barbecue season. As such there are a variety of party and picnic items that many unsuspecting diners may not realize can pose a real problem if you are very sensitive. Sauces, marinades used on the grill may contain egg, milk, soy, fish and even nuts. Even the grill and counter top surfaces may expose an individual to hidden food allergens.

In some cases more than one factor may be at work, such as concomitant alcohol with an ingested food in adults. About 5% of those with food allergies report reactions with wine, beer and some spirits.

In general, the biggest risk for summertime foods triggering an allergic reaction is of course by ingestion, or eating the food. Infrequently, reports of food allergy exposure by inhalation (particularly with boiling foods such as shellfish) and by contact can create havoc and increased anxiety in persons at risk. This may magnify the severity of a reaction.

For more information, please visit About.com.