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,"
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.