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Nut Allergies


Vieweat, 6/7/2014

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A significant percentage of the world population faces nut allergies, which can decrease the quality of life and is a danger to life and health. Allergic to nuts means – nut allergies to walnuts, cashews, almonds, Brazil nuts, pistachio nuts and hazelnuts.

So what is nut allergies and how bad it can affect one’s health?

Analogic to other symptoms of food allergies, nut allergies can provoke a negative impact to immune system of a human body. Assuming healthy functioning of the immune system, it is supposed to protect our bodies from toxins, bacteria and other substances that may cause undesirable harm to a human body. A substance (for example containing traces of nuts) that is usually harmless and poses no danger to the body can cause immune system impairment, in case of allergic inflammation. Immune system affected as if an attack from the outside has been made, weakening the body and damaging its vital functions. This is what happens if you are allergic to nuts. It is considered to be very dangerous and harmful event.

What are the consequences of nut allergies and possible underlying cause?

Anyone who suffers from nut allergies, facing various reactions during an allergic inflammation of the immune system, depending on the amount of nuts consumed and severity of nut allergies. The consequence can be moderate, such as fever, swelling, itching, etc., but it can be much more severe, specifically fainting, irregular heartbeat and breathing, etc. In the most extreme cases, the use of products containing nuts, such as spreads and fillers of various cakes, can cause anaphylactic shock and even death within a short time.

Attributable risk factors:

Nuts or nut traces can be found in a variety of products. Peanuts, almonds and pistachios are often components of various mixtures, such as breakfast cereals, chocolate or sweet spreads, cakes and desserts, snacks and sweets. Sometimes nuts traces can be found in bread or bakery products, like bread for a healthy diet, and other products.

Informative notes and knowledge about nut allergies in restaurants, hotels or other catering

People suffering from nut allergies are generally aware of the possible consequences. Nevertheless, it is very important for other people to get acquainted with potential consequences of the risks, related with nut allergies. This applies especially to catering providers. Restaurant owners, chefs, hotel employees and catering companies - all of them are relevant to foodservice sector, whose clients can be people liable for nut allergies.

How to help those people liable for nut allergies, during a dinner out?

The best way to avoid allergic inflammation is to exclude nuts and food which contains traces of nuts. While packed food ingredients are clearly marked on the package, meals outside home are not. We recommend to restaurant owners and other catering companies mention whether a menu item contains nuts or their components. It is a good idea to have informative notes about food components in different languages. It would be useful information for tourists or people having foreign country residence.

Moreover, it is strongly recommended to arrange  ongoing training for chefs, waiters and other catering employees, aimed at awareness raising of allergies and familiarization with ingredients in every dish they serve.

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External links:

Tree nut allergy - Wikipedia