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Healthcare

Allergens

Recently, it is impossible not to notice that in the field of healthy eating, the extremes are becoming more and more present. Newer theories are emerging, each of which wants to be the newest, the best and even more revolutionary. So it’s time for allergens too.

Allergic substances
At the outset, I would like to say that I would like to avoid any kind of allergens or allergenic substances. I am for limiting gluten, dairy products, and products containing phytic acid, e.g. rye. These types of ingredients should be eliminated from the diet first of all if we are allergic to them! Otherwise, we have two options – either willingly to eat white rolls, or go to the extreme side and eliminate all these products, being convinced of their bad impact on the body.

Common sense
I would not like to be misunderstood – I am aware of the drawbacks of eating foods incompatible with our bodies. However, it is good to keep the common sense. If we are not professional athletes, we are not allergic to a given ingredient, we do not suffer from digestive system problems or autoimmune diseases, we do not lose weight – a small amount of this type of substance can not harm us. There are hundreds of studies proving that among professional athletes who do not suffer from food allergies, the consumption of this type of ingredients does not cause deterioration of results or decreases in form.

However, I am disturbed by dietary extremes. Turning to extremes can even be seen when choosing healthy food. This approach implies the exclusion of really many products out of fear of pollution, etc. As this continues, we will have to stop breathing.

The matter is simple – if you are sensitive to gluten, do not eat it! However, if your body does not react badly to rye, there are no contraindications to its consumption. Do not get rid of everything from the menu right away, because as a consequence you may find that only water is allowed. However, if you have a well-functioning digestive system, once in a while you can afford some deviations from the diet. Especially if it positively affects your psyche.

Before you rule, learn about your body
I would like to emphasize once again that I am not an advocate of allergic products. I just want to emphasize that before we completely exclude any ingredient from the diet, let us determine what our body can not do with. In common sense, we can determine what is good for us, and what does not. I do not support the exclusion of certain ingredients when there is no solid and rational basis.

As for me, I do not use gluten because it makes me swollen. However, once in a while I allow myself to do this, despite indigestion. Similarly, with rye, I do not eat it, because my body reacts badly to it. I do not eat dairy products and avoid eggs. As for lactose, I do not tolerate it, but I have to drink one latte every day – fortunately, this is the amount that my body can remake and neutralize. I know my body, and as you can see, I also introduce some exclusions. Although, as you know, I happen to indulge, especially on the cheat of the meal. Everyone has to determine what and when they can, taking into account their preferences and tolerances.

Excluding allergens is not worth the following fashion. It is better to focus on the processing capabilities of the body. Remember this! Allergens have been present in food for a long time and have been sensitizing even when we had no idea about their existence. The fact that there is an increasing amount of information, specialized literature about them arises, and that lately, loudly everywhere, does not mean that they have suddenly become more harmful in action.

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Healthcare

Allergies in the restaurant – restaurateurs should be on guard

Consumers suffering from food allergies are required to inform the person who accepts the order. Therefore, the responsibility of this person is excellent knowledge of the ingredients of the dishes served. 

The problem of food allergies in recent years has increased significantly – there are more and more cases of allergy to various foods. Therefore, restaurateurs should be on guard and just in case ask the customer ordering whether he is allergic or preventively inform about the content of potential allergens in the dish. Is this not an exaggeration? Perhaps, but the courts issue very strict judgments regarding the protection of health and life of consumers. 

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Peanuts – one of the most common allergens 

An example of such a judgment is that the owner of a British restaurant is found guilty of the death of a client who consumed a curry prepared with the addition of groundnuts for which he was allergic. The client informed about his allergy, but the officially chosen dish was to be prepared from almonds. A restaurateur wanting to cut costs has used a cheaper substitute for peanuts. The man died due to anaphylactic shock after eating the ordered dish. The decisive circumstance was that the man clearly indicated when ordering that the dish could not contain peanuts. Without this annotation, the judgment of the English court could have been completely different. 

Not just nuts 

Anaphylactic shock is the most dangerous form of food allergy. In most cases, fortunately, mild skin and gastrointestinal symptoms appear, requiring a doctor’s visit and the use of medications to alleviate ailments. The allergist is obliged to inform the person receiving the order about what he is allergic to. Otherwise, he can not claim damages effectively because the restoration can not be attributed to the restoration. 

Reimbursement, or compensation 

The aggrieved restaurant client may apply for reimbursement of treatment costs. Two documents – a medical certificate from the day of the visit and a receipt from the restaurant – from the same day are enough to prove that there was an allergy due to the fault of the restaurateur. You have to prove that the waiter was informed about the allergy. Among other things, for this reason, it is worth going to a restaurant with family or friends. The injured client may apply for a refund 

– access and visits to the doctor 

– purchase of medicines 

– others related to treatment 

In addition, the patient who is on sick leave loses part of the income. Evidence, i.e. receipts, invoices and pay slips are needed to prove the amount of compensation. As a rule, the restaurateur goes back to his own pocket. However, it may happen that the compensation will be paid by the insurer. 

Third party liability insurance for restaurateurs 

Restaurateurs are not obliged to insure against civil liability for doing business. Nevertheless, some prefer to blow on cold. The liability insurance does not always cover the costs of compensation, because the insurer is not always obliged to pay it – the insurance company is not liable for all circumstances. Restaurateurs should be on the alert and follow the changing regulations, especially the EU ones. 

Passing the obligation on restaurateurs 

Restaurateurs are obliged to inform their clients about potential allergens occurring in their meals from December 13, 2014 – then came into force Regulation No. 1169/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2011 on the provision of food information to consumers, owners of all eating places. Information about allergens should be included in the menu sheet in the appropriate position either on a separate sheet or on the information board. 

Restaurateurs, owners of bars and cafes should post information about typical allergens in the menu. The composition of the dish should be given only if it includes any products that are classified as allergens. As an example, you can point to crustaceans and molluscs (seafood), fish, nuts, milk, eggs, celery, soy, gluten, mustard, sesame, lupine, sesame, sulfur dioxide. 

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You can read also: Peanuts – evil incarnate ?

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Most common allergies

Food allergy can manifest itself in many ways. We can observe a rash, pruritus, sore throat, watery eyes, breathing problems, intestinal discomfort, and even fatal anaphylaxis.

Food allergy can occur at any age. Even if earlier products in your diet were present and did not cause any symptoms, it could change with age. So when you’re observing allergy symptoms after eating something that was previously present in your diet, you should ask your doctor. If you are not sure which products contribute to allergies, read the products described in this article. 90% of allergies occurring are caused by only a handful of products. These include peanuts, fish, crustaceans, milk, eggs, wheat and soy.

MILK

Cow’s milk allergy is the most common food allergy among infants and young children. However, this problem also occurs in adults. Most children grow from allergies about 3-5 years old.

It is worth noting that lactose intolerance and milk allergy are two different things. In the case of milk allergy, milk proteins are a problem. Milk allergy (like all allergies) is an over-reaction of the immune system in response to a protein and can even be fatal.

Lactose intolerance means that the person has difficulty digesting the sugar contained in the milk. If we are dealing with a milk allergy, nothing will replace dairy products, dairy products without lactose.

The most often allergenic milk proteins are

lactalbumin – inactivated milk boils, so people who are allergic to it can drink milk after cooking

lactoglobulin – if you are allergic to this protein you can eat goat’s milk (children over 6 months of age)

beta-lactoglobulin – is found not only in milk, but is also present in beef and veal meat, so when you are allergic to this protein you can not eat these products too

casein – is found in cow’s milk and its products (eg curd), as well as in milk and goat’s cheeses

glycoprotein – it contains milk, cream and butter.

lactalbumin – inactivated milk boils, so people who are allergic to it can drink milk after cooking

lactoglobulin – if you are allergic to this protein you can eat goat’s milk (children over 6 months of age)

beta-lactoglobulin – is found not only in milk, but is also present in beef and veal meat, so when you are allergic to this protein you can not eat these products too

casein – is found in cow’s milk and its products (eg curd), as well as in milk and goat’s cheeses

glycoprotein – it contains milk, cream and butter.

The symptoms of milk allergy can affect one or many organs. Milk allergy can take the form of gastrointestinal – giving, among other things, symptoms such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, constipation, bloating; skin form – giving symptoms such as eczema, pruritus, dry skin; the form of the respiratory system – giving symptoms such as persistent runny nose, chronic cough, hoarseness, chronic pharyngitis; the form of the brain – giving symptoms such as irritability, behavioral disorders, aggressiveness and the shock form – sudden and life-threatening – dyspnea, heart disorder.

WHEAT

Allergy to wheat is not the same as celiac disease. If you are allergic to wheat, you have an immune response to a protein found only in wheat. In turn, the celiac disease has a reaction to gluten, which can also be found in other cereals such as rye, barley, oats, and also wheat. Allergy to wheat is quite a widespread phenomenon. No wonder, on average, we eat about a kilogram of cereal products a day, of which 95 per cent. is wheat.

Wheat allergy is more common than celiac disease, but it is rarely talked about. Symptoms may appear in various configurations and strength. The most common fears are nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, runny nose, stuffy nose, cough, eczema, pruritus, redness of the skin, palpitations, chest pains, osteoarticular pain, depressed mood.

EGGS

Food allergy to eggs is the second most common allergy in children. People suffering from this allergy are usually allergic to only egg white.

Egg protein contains over 20 different protein fractions, of which the main allergens are

ovalbumin – the majority of allergic people are sensitive to this protein

ovomucoide – the strongest allergen – can also be contact-sensitized when the egg touches the skin

owotransferrin – may cause asthma

lysozyme – formerly considered the main egg allergen, but nowadays it is known that the sensitizer less often.

egg yolk can also be sensitized, but it happens much less often.

Allergy to eggs can be manifested, among others inflammation in the mouth, diarrhea, vomiting and breathing difficulties.

SOY

There are two types of soy allergies

primary, in which after the first contact with soya comes to the sensitization of the body, but it usually does not give strong and easily noticeable symptoms;

secondary, which affects people suffering from other types of allergies, mainly those who are allergic to birch pollen.

Generally, soy allergy is mild, but in rare cases it can cause anaphylaxis. Soy is a very common ingredient in many foods, and anyone who has a soy allergy must read the ingredients they buy very carefully.

PEANUTS

Allergy to nuts usually starts in childhood. Only 1 in 5 people develop this type of allergy. All you need is a really small amount of nuts to get an allergic reaction. Symptoms of nut allergy include the skin, respiratory tract and digestive tract. In the most severe cases, sensitization can cause anaphylactic shock, which is life-threatening.

Allergy to peanut nuts causes the Ara h 1 and Ara h 2 proteins found in peanuts. for walnuts, cashews, brazilian, hazelnuts, macadamia, pistachios and chestnuts. You can find them eg in peanut butter, cakes, sweets, salad dressings, pesto, cereals, crackers, coffees, frozen desserts and some types of cold meats.

FRUITS

Citrus fruits, strawberries, fruits containing histamine, pineapple and kiwi most often sensitize.

FISH

Very common is allergy to many types of fish at once, although there is also allergy to a single species. Hypersensitivity reactions to this food may occur not only after ingestion, but also by inhalation eg during cooking or after contact with the skin. The biggest fish allergen – protein M – is thermostable and does not lose its allergy during cooking or frying.

The most common sensitizing species of cod, which contains more than 30 antigens, herring, sprat, eel, tuna, salmon, carp, perch. Fish allergies may also have an allergy to caviar.

Undesirable reactions to fish are not always the result of allergies to fish. Some fish species contain a lot of histamine (eg herring, salmon, tuna). There are also possible toxic reactions caused by the presence of heavy metals (eg mercury).

CRUSTACEANS

Usually, if someone is allergic to fish, he is also allergic to crustaceans. All seafood can sensitize, so allergy can be triggered by by crayfish, shrimp, crab, lobster, mussels, squid, snails, oysters, octopus, crawfish. Some people are allergic even to the smell of seafood.

SENSITIVITY TO SULFATE

Sulfites are chemical substances used in food processing to prevent browning and discoloration. They are also present in some medicines. Just as some people feel palpitations after drinking caffeine, some people are sensitive to this substance. In rare cases, it is known that sulfites cause anaphylactic reaction. Susceptibility to sulfites is most common in people with asthma.

In summary, up to 90% of allergies are associated with eight products, which is why it is relatively easy to identify the culprit. The most allergenic foods include milk, eggs, wheat, fish, crustaceans, citrus fruits, peanuts and soy.