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Myths About Food Allergies

Allergic reactions to certain foods and beverages are a major public health concern, affecting millions of Americans and accounting for hundreds of thousands in lost wages and labor hours every year. These episodes range widely in severity of symptoms, from watery eyes and coughing to anaphylactic shock.

Allergic reactions are essentially a mistaken response on the part of the body’s immune system in which a nutrient is perceived and attacked as a foreign substance. The most common culprits in the production of allergic reactions include:

  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Tree nuts (walnut, cashews, etc.)
  • Fish and shellfish
  • Soy
  • Wheat

However, in spite of being such a significant, widespread problem, food allergies are also confounded by a number of popularly-held misconceptions.

For one thing, a significant amount of confusion exists concerning what exactly an allergy is. Lactose intolerance and similar rejections of food, for example, are not technically allergies, but are often labeled as such. This leads people to believe that allergies include a much wider range of reactions than is truly the case.

It is also not necessarily the case that all children “grow out” of their allergic reactions. While some may slowly develop a tolerance for milk, eggs, and wheat, the possibility of the allergy disappearing for good is not guaranteed, as it will often reappear later in life.

It is also a myth that peanuts account for the majority of allergic reactions. In fact, less than one percent of the adult population is affected by this condition, with most allergies attributable instead to fruits and vegetables.

Thanks to efforts on the part of the FDA and other governmental organizations, food manufacturers and servers have a responsibility to alert consumers to the presence of common allergens in the products they sell.

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If you or someone you love has been affected by a serious allergic reaction and you believe another’s negligence may have played a role, contact the experienced Green Bay personal injury lawyers of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, today by calling 800-242-2874.