Candy and sugar treats mean milk, coloring and nuts. The ‘first kiss’ brings chills of cross-contamination and the sense of shyness and hesitancy about sharing with someone else your life-threatening condition.
To make this Valentine’s Day happy and lighthearted, let’s adopt clever tweaks to the usual celebrations and support an environment where nobody feels excluded. Follow us while we take you through some more details by describing avoidance and cross-contamination.
Many of us not familiar with food allergies are not aware that the first rule for a FA (food allergic) patient is avoiding the allergen, or the (protein of the) food that causes the reaction and may be life-threatening. Put it in a different way: there are no other precautions than staying away from nuts, milk, sesame or your food allergen.
The solution is simple, healthy and inclusive: choose the non-edible alternatives.
To make it easy, we put together a list of non-edible items you can find during a trip to your regular grocery store, so the good news is: it doesn’t take any extra effort; you just have to visit a different aisle.
What is cross contamination and how does it relate to food allergies? The dictionary describes it as:
“The process by which bacteria or other microorganism are unintentionally transferred from one substance or object to another, with harmful effects.”
In other words, it’s a lurking danger for an individual allergic to food.
Here are some examples.
If your child, allergic to peanuts, plays at recess with a friend who had a PBJ sandwich for lunch, he or she may be at risk of a reaction.
Cross-contamination is the reason why food manufacturers are required to disclose on their labels if the food was processed in the same facility as other foods that contain any big allergen potentially life-threatening.
Some suggestions on how to prevent cross-contamination: