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Food Allergies: What’s Your Reaction?

  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.


Soy=soy

Sometimes called: Kyodofu, Miso

May be hidden in: Flavorings, vegetable broth, vegetable gum, vegetable starch


Shellfishlobster 

Sometimes called: Crevette, Ecrevisse

May be hidden in: Bouillabaisse, fish stock, flavorings, soups, sauces


Nutsnuts

Sometimes called: Nut oil, Nut paste, Nougat

May be hidden in: Extracts, barbecue sauce, cereals, crackers, chili, candy, Asian dishes


wheatWheat

Sometimes called: Durum, Farina, Gluten

May be hidden in: Flavorings, malt, soy sauce, starch, surimi, vegetable gum


Milkmilk

Sometimes called: Casein, Caseinates, Whey

May be hidden in: Flavorings, lunch meat, margarine, hot dogs, sausage


eggEggs

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 peggyp@dining.rutgers.edu or visit the website http://www.foodallergy.rutgers.edu for more information.

Ask before you eat!

Revised By: Lindsay Yoakam Reviewed By: Dr. Byrd-Bredbenner, Ph.D. R.D. F.A.N.D., Dept. of Nutritional Sciences
References: Manual of Clinical Dietetics, Canada, 6th edition. Thompson L. Wheat Starch, Gliadin, and the Gluten-free diet. Journal of the American
Dietetic Association. 2001:101(12) 1456-1459. Ask Before You Eat. http://foodallergy.rutgers.edu/ Accessed on: February 18 2014. Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Food Allergies in the United States. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21134576.Accessed on March 5 2014.
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