When people think of food allergies, they think children and peanuts. But a staggering 45% of allergies actually form in adulthood. What’s even more surprising is that the shellfish allergy is the most common in adults, with more than 35% of allergies being registered after the age of 17.

A study, taken by the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology found that black, Asian and Hispanic adults are more at-risk for developing certain allergies than white adults.

The report serves as a warning that just because you age you are not free from developing new allergies. There is a hospital in Northern Ireland who is being sued after a mother whose daughters have “life-threatening” food allergies.

Maire-Iosa McVicker took her case after her children were twice exposed to food in an allergy clinic’s waiting room. The waiting room in the Ulster Hospital originally had signs banning food and drink because of the risk to patients.The South Eastern Trust apologised after signs were removed and agreed to provide a specialised food-free room.

We called some local cafe’s in Gloucestershire to see if they’ve had to change their menus, or whether they’ve had to add any additional allergy information.

Both Costa and Starbucks have said that they have displayed more information regarding allergies. Curious Cafe, Cheltenham, has also added more allergy information.

Out of the five cafes we spoke to, none of them had to change their menus, and all of them made a folder with nutritional value and allergies, such as gluten and wheat.

Symptoms:

  • tingling or itching in the mouth
  • a raised, itchy red rash, and in some cases, the skin can turn red and itchy, but without a raised rash
  • swelling of the face, mouth, throat or other areas of the body
  • difficulty swallowing
  • wheezing or shortness of breath
  • feeling dizzy and lightheaded
  • feeling sick (nausea) or vomiting
  • abdominal pain diarrhoea
  • hayfever-like symptoms, such as sneezing or itchy eyes

People may not recognise they have a food allergy and believe their reaction is a food intolerance and might not seek the help of an allergist for diagnosis.

If you feel like you might have a food allergy, check the symptoms and call 999 for assistance.

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