Health Watch - Dangerous Food: Peanut Allergies

Health Watch is a Public Service of the University News Bureau and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about how even nutritious foods can sometimes be dangerous. For the approximately 3 million Americans who are allergic to peanuts or tree nuts, these otherwise healthy nuts can be deadly.

Peanuts cause some of the most severe food-induced allergic reactions, killing up to a hundred people every year, and children are most likely to be in danger. Dr. Rebecca Gruchalla, chief of allergy at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says manufacturers have been working with the allergy community to improve product labeling, but it’s still possible for foods that don’t contain peanuts to have been contaminated with peanut products during the manufacturing process. People with peanut allergies have to be especially vigilant about reading product labels and asking about ingredients in homemade foods. Children with peanut allergies may need to bring their own treats to school or to parties to make sure they have something safe to eat.


July 2011

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