Food allergies are specific parts of food or components in food that are recognized by immune cells and cause an immunologic reaction. Surprisingly, only a small number of foods account for over 90% of all food allergies: milk, eggs, soy, wheat, nuts, and shellfish. If you are diagnosed with an allergy, adjusting your diet is necessary to prevent an adverse reaction and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
One of the biggest hurdles a food allergy sufferer may face is eating away from home. If you didn’t personally prepare the meal, you might not be aware of every ingredient that was used. Some foods may appear safe, but it is important to keep in mind that cross contact with the food you are allergic too may have occurred during preparation. Knowing what’s available to eat and what you should avoid beforehand makes mealtime less stressful. All of the menus and ingredients for recipes served in the dining halls can be found at http://www.food.rutgers.edu. If you’re unsure about a food, don’t hesitate to ask for the Dining Hall Manager.
Keep in mind that particular allergens may be hidden in unsuspecting foods. Looking at the ingredients list on the food label can help you determine if there are any hidden allergens, before digging in.
Sometimes called: Kyodofu, Miso
May be hidden in: Flavorings, vegetable broth, vegetable gum, vegetable starch
Sometimes called: Crevette, Ecrevisse
May be hidden in: Bouillabaisse, fish stock, flavorings, soups, sauces
Sometimes called: Nut oil, Nut paste, Nougat
May be hidden in: Extracts, barbecue sauce, cereals, crackers, chili, candy, Asian dishes
Sometimes called: Durum, Farina, Gluten
May be hidden in: Flavorings, malt, soy sauce, starch, surimi, vegetable gum
Sometimes called: Casein, Caseinates, Whey
May be hidden in: Flavorings, lunch meat, margarine, hot dogs, sausage
Sometimes called: Albumin, Globulin, Livetin
May be hidde n in: Margarine, marzipan, marshmallow, flavorings, pasta noodles
Dining services has a sophisticated system in place to provide a safe eating experience to students with food allergies. If your allergies require it, carry an EpiPen with you at all times. If you suffer from food allergies, reach out to dining services’ nutritionist at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website http://www.foodallergy.rutgers.edu for more information.