Food Allergies

Image of a fish, eggs, and shrimp with a yellow ribbon around them that says "Allergy"

Food allergies are extremely common. They affect nearly 5% of adults and 8% of children and the percentages are rising. It is not uncommon to hear from family or friends that they have had to modify family meals because someone in their household is suspected of having a food allergy.

Some FAQs

What foods are most likely to cause allergic reactions?
Although it is possible for any food to cause an allergy, most food allergies are caused by these eight foods: Milk, Eggs, Fish, Crustacean Shellfish, Wheat, Soy, Peanuts, and Tree Nuts (brazil nuts, almonds, cashews, macadamia nuts, pistachios, pine nuts and walnuts).

What is the difference between a food allergy ad a food intolerance?
A true food allergy causes an immune system reaction that affects numerous organs in the body. It can cause a range of symptoms. In some cases, an allergic food reaction can be severe or life-threatening. In contrast, food intolerance symptoms are generally less serious and often limited to digestive problems.

What are common symptoms of a reaction to a food allergy?
The most common food allergy signs and symptoms include:

  • Tingling or itching in the mouth
  • Hivesitching or eczema
  • Swelling of the lips, face, tongue and throat or other parts of the body
  • Wheezing, nasal congestion or trouble breathing
  • Abdominal paindiarrheanausea or vomiting
  • Dizzinesslightheadedness or fainting

What do restaurant owners and operators need to know about food allergies?
The Michigan Modified Food Code (FC 2-102.11) requires the person in charge to be able to describe the eight foods identified as major food allergens and the symptoms that major food allergens could cause in a sensitive individual.

Click this link to find allergen posters for printing and posting.