MIAMI, FL – July 2013 – Florida Center For Allergy & Asthma Care (FCAAC) wants the South Florida community to be aware of possible food allergies this summer. It is important to know which summer foods to watch out for and avoid.
Mangos are a South Florida diet staple. Nourishing and delicious, mangos are an excellent source of antioxidants, beta-carotene and vitamin C. Unfortunately for some, mango trees produce an oil called urushiol, present in all parts of the plant, including the roots, leaves, stems, flowers, and fruit, which can induce allergic contact dermatitis when touched or consumed. Mango allergy symptoms can typically take hours to present. Signs of contact dermatitis include blisters around the mouth, itching, redness and hives. Dermatitis can best be treated by visiting your doctor for an examination of the affected area. Moderate or severe reactions may require treatment by an allergy specialist and further testing to determine the level of reaction and specific allergy.
Melons and other tasty fruits for some people can be anything but delicious. Some people who are allergic to certain pollens can suffer from a cross-reaction after they eat certain foods, such as melons, apples and celery, according to the ACAAI. The condition is known as oral allergy syndrome, and symptoms include itching, tingling or swelling of the mouth.
Seafood such as clambakes, fresh lobster and shrimp are popular summer treats. But for more than two percent of all Americans, seafood allergies are a big summer concern. The most common kind is a shellfish allergy to shrimp, crab and lobster. If you have a shellfish allergy, your best bet is to avoid all seafood. Symptoms can include congestion, skin rash, or anaphylaxis.
Grilling foods on a barbeque could lead to cross contamination. Grills are an ideal vector for cross contamination because food is generally placed directly onto grill grates and moved with one spatula or set of tongs. Ideally, grill owners clean their grates thoroughly after every use, but not everyone meets this ideal, especially if the grill in question is at a campsite or park. In addition to the possibility of cross-contamination, marinades and sauces often include unexpected common allergens such as nuts, corn, soy, wheat, eggs, onions, sesame, and even dairy. Seasonings can be mixed into burgers or brushed lightly onto foods, and it’s not always possible to tell by looking at a grilled food what allergens might be present. Even when grillers are aware of cross-contamination, or all the foods appear to be safe, ask about ingredients and remind your children to do the same. Whenever possible, go to your outdoor events a little early and make yourself available to read labels on commercial marinades.
“Avoiding the foods you are allergic to is the best prevention for severe allergic reactions. Do not underestimate small symptoms. Check with your doctor and enjoy a healthy summer,” said Dr. Adriana Bonansea-Frances.
About Florida Center For Allergy & Asthma Care
Florida Center For Allergy & Asthma Care has been in business for more than 38 years and has board certified physicians with extensive experience in treating both adults and children. FCAAC has 18 centers throughout South Florida, serving communities in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. The Centers specialize in the testing and treatment of adults and children who suffer from allergies, asthma and other disorders of the immune system. Among the most common allergies treated are allergic skin diseases, food, drug and pet allergies. Florida Center For Allergy & Asthma Care Research conducts clinical trials on new medications. The goal of the FCAAC team is to provide professional and quality care resulting in total patient satisfaction.
Editor’s Note: If you would be interested in interviewing Dr. Frances please let us know.