11 million American's suffering from food allergies

March 23, 2004, just-food.com: Roughly one in 25 Americans, are believed to be affected by one or more food allergies, according to a new study released at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology annual conference.

Food allergies or reactions, sometimes life-threatening, triggered by the ingestion or contact with certain foods effect 11 million people in the U.S. according to The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN), a co-investigator of the nationwide survey.

While peanuts often get the largest share of public scrutiny in the battle to combat food allergies, the study found that seafood allergies affect approximately 6.5 million people – more than double the three million people who have a peanut or tree nut allergy.

"It's clear that as we gain a better sense of the numbers of people involved, food allergy represents a serious food safety and health issue in this country," said Anne Munoz-Furlong, CEO and founder of FAAN.

"Peanuts are the tip of the iceberg. We must also make people equally aware and diligent about the dangers of fish and shellfish, tree nuts, milk, egg, wheat, and soy – the other major food allergy culprits," she added.

The study showed that a shellfish allergy is reported by one in 50 people and a fish allergy by one in 250. The most commonly reported allergic reactions to shellfish were caused by shrimp, crab and lobster. In the fish group, salmon, tuna, and halibut were the most common causes of reactions.



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