The Health Advocate

by Hannah Whittenly, The Health Advocate

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Recent studies have revealed that just over 32 million Americans have some type of food allergy, and many of those individuals are allergic to more than one type of food. While most food allergies can’t be cured, there are a few steps that you can take to avoid allergic reactions.

Check Ingredient Lists and Food Labels

As a general rule, those who have allergies should make a habit of always reading ingredient lists and food labels before they eat anything. Even if you believe that a certain type of food doesn’t contain the ingredients that you are allergic to, cross-contamination could still occur. Most food companies are now required to label their packages with common allergens. Some packages also tell you if any potential cross-contamination has occurred.

Inform Restaurants of Allergies

Eating out at restaurants is going to require a little bit of planning if you have a severe food allergy. Before you head to a restaurant, you might want to call ahead to see if they can accommodate people with allergies. At the restaurant itself, you should immediately inform the server or manager of your allergies. Those individuals will most likely need to speak with the cooks about using different kitchenware when they are cooking your food.

Hold Companies Responsible for Failure to Disclose

If a severe allergic reaction occurs and the restaurant or food company didn’t disclose the potential allergens, then you must speak with a personal injury attorney. In addition to helping you receive fair compensation, your lawyer can also ensure that the company doesn’t harm anyone else. The judge might award punitive damages and require the defendant to alter their practices so that no other customers are harmed.

Keep an Auto-Injector and Antihistamines With You

For a severe food allergy, you will most likely need to keep an auto-injector with you at all times. One of those devices is immediately going to stop the allergic reaction, and that will give you time to head to the hospital. Luckily, most people can easily deal with allergic reactions with some type of antihistamine. A pill that contains diphenhydramine is going to reduce common symptoms, such as hives, itching, and inflammation.
If you believe that you or a loved one might have a serious food allergy, then you need to schedule an appointment with a professional allergist. One of those medical professionals can carry out a series of tests to determine exactly which foods and ingredients are causing the allergic reactions.

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