Preventing allergic reactions in the kitchen

allergic reactions

Preventing allergic reactions in the kitchen

Food allergies are becoming increasingly common, especially in children. There are around 2 million people who have been diagnosed with a food allergy in the UK, including 5-8% of children. It’s becoming increasingly likely that someone in your family will have an allergic reaction and more of us must take extra precautions in the home. 

Food allergies can produce anything from mild, irritating symptoms to anaphylaxis which can lead to death. For those with more severe allergies, it’s important to avoid allergen contamination. This is especially true in the kitchen where most food handling occurs. 

Safety strategies

Some people try to eliminate allergens from their home completely. This could be a great strategy for some, but for others, it might not be effective. For example, some people have multiple allergies to a wide range of foods like dairy, eggs, nuts, celery, and gluten. If all other members of the family are allergy-free, it would be difficult and impractical to enforce the elimination of all foods containing these ingredients. So there needs to be an alternative solution.

Making your kitchen safe

There are many things you can do to minimise the risk of allergens causing an allergic reaction in a family member. You should:

  • Label foods as safe or not safe – This is useful for children who may not understand their allergies yet. Using green and red stickers to label food as safe or not safe can make knowing what they can touch and eat easy. 
  • Avoid mix-ups – You might have both safe and unsafe versions of the same food. Just don’t store similar items near each other. 
  • Avoid contaminating the food supply – If you have both safe and unsafe foods in your home, you need to prevent cross-contamination. Teaching everyone in the house to wash their hands before touching safe foods. Have separate sets of utensils for safe and unsafe foods. And teach everyone to clean all countertops before preparing food. 
  • Confine food consumption to your kitchen – So people don’t take allergens to other areas of the house.

These are just a few simple tips to help you make sure your kitchen doesn’t become a dangerous place for people with allergies. Some families come up with their own unique systems which work to prevent allergic reactions in their home. As long as you’re taking effective steps to minimise the risks, it doesn’t matter how you do it. 

The London Allergy and Immunology Centre works to help people and children with allergies live their life free from anxiety and stress. We provide the right treatments and the information you need to stay safe and give you peace of mind. All you need to do is book an appointment today. 

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