Archive for February, 2006

Researchers link fatal peanut allergy to enzyme

Posted by SB Anderson on February 28th, 2006

From Canada’s “Canadian researchers are part of an international team that claims to have found clues that could identify those at risk of fatal peanut allergies. The study found that nine people who died of peanut allergies had significantly lower levels of an enzyme which normally breaks down the chemical that causes bronchial spasms. They also had high levels of IgE antibodies that are activated during an allergic reaction.” Read the details here.

Another story on the same topic from Canada’s The Globe and Mail.

Flying with a peanut allergy

Posted by SB Anderson on February 27th, 2006

From Indiana’s “Dear Fearless Traveler: My son has a sensitive peanut allergy. Which airlines no longer serve peanuts aboard domestic and international flights? Dear Reader: In recent years, some airlines have replaced peanut snacks with less-controversial pretzels. The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network, an advocacy group in Fairfax, Va., maintains a list of carriers that are sensitive to fliers with peanut allergies.” Read more here.

Food allergies less common than you’d think

Posted by SB Anderson on February 26th, 2006

From “Many new parents are concerned about allergic reactions, and for good reason: food allergies can cause reactions varying in severity from mild to serious, including anaphylactic shock. However, the prevalence of allergy warnings has created the impression that large percentages of children have food allergies, and that danger lurks behind every food in the grocery store. The truth is much more reassuring. The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology reports that only 8 percent of children younger than 6 have adverse reactions to ingested foods, and that only 2 percent to 5 percent have confirmed food allergies.” Read more here.

More restaurants are taking allergies seriously

Posted by SB Anderson on February 26th, 2006

From New Jersey’s “While most people eating at restaurants begin by looking at the menu and selecting their meals, Dennis Cosgrave and his wife start by interrogating waiters and managers. They have to. Their 10-year-old son, Joey, is allergic to peanuts — for him a potentially deadly allergy. ‘We have to know if a restaurant has peanuts in their food or uses peanut oil or other peanut products in their food,’ Cosgrave of South Brunswick says. ‘If they do, we can’t eat there.’ ” Read more here.

Lunch-time supervisor for peanut-allergic student

Posted by SB Anderson on February 26th, 2006

From Rotorua, New Zealand’s The Daily Post : “Lunch time at school is deadly serious for 5-year-old Ariana Strawbridge. A shared sandwich or even a kiss from a classmate could kill her. Ariana has a life-threatening allergy to peanuts and egg whites. So each day at Westbrook School an adult supervises Ariana at lunch time to make sure she doesn’t eat anything that could harm her.” Read more here.

Don’t wait, use EpiPen, new guidelines say

Posted by SB Anderson on February 24th, 2006

From Canada’s “New guidelines have been released by Canada’s leading allergy organizations, setting ‘the gold standard’ for treating and preventing life-threatening allergic reactions. The key highlight of the guidelines, released this week, emphasizes the need to inject the drug epinephrine at the first sign of a life-threatening or anaphylactic reaction.” Read more here.

Allergy alert – peanuts

Posted by SB Anderson on February 24th, 2006

From Atlanta, Georgia’s The Weekly: “Ross Acquisition Co., manufacturer of the Choxie brand candies sold at Target stores nationwide, is voluntarily recalling its double dark truffles candy because of the presence of unlisted peanuts or peanut butter. As a precautionary measure, the company is also recalling Choxie brand milk chocolate truffles, milk chocolate peanut butter balls and milk chocolate caramel balls, even though these items do not contain any unlisted allergens.” Read the details here.

Allergy shots may help patients with IgE reactions

Posted by SB Anderson on February 24th, 2006

FromCincinnati, Ohio’s Business Courier: “Researchers at the University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center have shown in animal studies how allergy shots work, a finding they say could lead to improved protection for allergy sufferers [including those with food allergies].” Read more here.

Fries pass test; gluten- & milk-free, McD’s says

Posted by SB Anderson on February 23rd, 2006

After surprising us with an announcement last week about its fries, McDonald’s has changed its tune. The company asked an allergy researcher to test the fries for the presence of gluten and milk, and none was found. Why the company initially told us the fries contained gluten and milk BEFORE testing them is a mystery. And what made McD’s think the fries’ flavoring included these two allergens? No answers, yet, but in the meantime, the fast food company must face several lawsuits regarding its lack of disclosure from the start. This could be a moot point, as the company suggests, since the research of one says the fries are indeed milk- and gluten-free.

Here are stories that are popping up since this lastest disclosure in the fries saga:

Flavorings Add Lawsuits to McDonald’s Menu

McDonald’s faces lawsuit after nutritional info slip

Unfortunately, no clear answers yet, but I’ll keep you posted.

Allergy alert – walnut

Posted by SB Anderson on February 23rd, 2006

According to the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network, “Arnold Foods Company, Inc. is recalling Brownberry brand Natural Wheat Bread (24 ounces) due to undeclared walnuts. The bread was sold in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. The product being recalled has a blue or white square lock tab closure with a code date of Feb 27 printed on the lock tab closure. Consumers who have purchased the product can return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions should call the company at (800) 984-0989.”