27.3.08

Warning! I'm Allergic to Seafood!


This is a serious matter. Please do not take your food allergies lightly. Read on...

What is Food Allergy?
It is the body's natural reaction to a food that the immune system mistook for being harmful. This recognition by the immune system causes it to produce specific antibodies to the food. The next time this food enters the body, the immune system automatically releases large quantities of chemicals (inclusive of histamine) in order to protect the body. These chemicals trigger a series of allergic reactions that can affect the skin, gastrointestinal tract, respiratory system, or even cardiovascular system.

What are the symptoms of Food Allergy?
These vary according to the degree of allergy to each food and these may even vary in intensity overtime (more symptoms or vanish altogether). They range from an irritation in the mouth or lips, swollen tongue, throat, nasal passage (or all your glands), breathing difficulties, hives, skin rashes, vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhoea, decrease in blood pressure, and loss of consciousness to death.

How to prevent Food Allergy?
First of all, if you suspect you are allergic to certain food (from the most common eggs, dairy, nuts to the rarer black pepper), consult your local physician to conduct a prick skin test or blood test to determine if an allergy exists. It may be useful to keep in mind what are the foods that you have consumed within the past 1-2 weeks that leads up to a food allergy.

Once determined, strict avoidance of the allergy-causing food is the only way to prevent any food allergy. If the allergic reaction is severe, your doctor will prescribe you with a self-injectable device containing Epinephrine ("adrenaline") to control the reaction.

Here's a piece of advice for everyone, do read Food Labels for any indication of possible Food Allergens. If you suspect you have possible allergic reaction towards certain foods, avoid those foods.

If you are serving food that contain common food allergens, inform your guests or customers by carefully labelling on your menus or word of mouth.

For more information, here are a number of links for your reading:
The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network:FAQ
Food Allergy UK

Take care of yourself and others if you are a food server as you have the responsibility to inform.


4 comments:

piebuko said...

I'm not allergic to any food! hehee.
I am lucky that I can eat anything I want. My poor husband is allergic to shrimps but he loves eating shrimps!

SheR. said...

Well.. guess I'm really unlucky. I do have asthma and very sensitive to a lot of things. Not allergies but get rashes from dirt particles. Ah well..

Sangeeta Sinha said...

Yes, food allergy is a dangerous thing. Non-veggies have to be careful of prawns and crabs. Many gets allergy if these are not washed and cooked properly. Even one may end up with food poisoning. In this part of the world, we take extra care with these two items.

SheR. said...

Ah.. My problem is not about the cleanliness of seafood. I just am allergic to certain ways of cooking these seafood.
And yes, there is a type of bacteria that can be pretty dangerous. So cleaning seafood must be practise with caution too.
Oh.. that's a whole lot of bacteria thing that I learnt from my Health and Safety course in London! :P