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Tips if you have a food allergy

There is no way to prevent an allergic reaction other than avoiding the allergen.

Strict avoidance is the best way to prevent a reaction. This includes all products that definitely contain the allergen as well as those that “may contain,” “manufactured in a shared facility”, or “processed on the same equipment.” Experimenting or taking risks to determine if you can tolerate small exposures to the food allergen is dangerous and will likely result in an allergic reaction.

Read labels on packaged goods.

Since 2006, federal law mandates all packaged goods containing milk, egg, wheat, soy, fish, crustacean shellfish (but not mollusks), peanut, or tree nut be labeled in plain English declaring the presence of these allergens. However, when the allergens are not main ingredients but could be included in the packaged goods through cross-contact, a product may be voluntarily labeled as “may contain,” “manufactured in a shared facility”, or “processed on the same equipment.”

Discourage food sharing.

Unless you can verify that all the ingredients are safe, do not accept food from others. If your child has food allergies, ensure he or she follows this practice at school, on field trips, at sporting events, and at friends’ homes. Never assume the food being offered is safe or was safely prepared unless you can personally verify this.

Learn how to clean potentially cross-contaminated surfaces – including your hands!

Soap and water and commercial detergent wipes are your friends, but gel hand sanitizer is not. Do not use gel hand sanitizer to clean your hands after allergen contact.

For dishes, vigorous scrubbing with dish soap and water followed by cleaning in the dish washer is recommended. Allergic reactions can be triggered through ingestion of trace, residual amounts of protein on someone’s hands, which can also contaminate common surfaces. This is particularly important among small children who may frequently put their hands – and everything else – in their mouths.

Your Health and Safety Matters!

Contact The Benefits Store today for you and your families health insurance needs.


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