Food allergies are widespread and can be unpredictable. While some people never experience a problem, allergic reactions could potentially affect anyone including you, your customers, or your staff.
Food allergies are most common in babies and children, but they can arise at any point in life—even if someone has eaten a particular food for years with no problems.Children may grow out of some food allergies when they become adults, but there is no medical cure today. People
who are affected must follow strict avoidance diets to avoid a reaction.
What about oral allergy syndrome?
Oral allergy syndrome (OAS) is technically a pollen allergy, not a food allergy. However, when someone with allergies to birch, ragweed, or grass pollens consumes particular raw fruits, vegetables, or tree nuts, OAS can cause an itchy mouth or throat. Cooking or peeling the food in question may distort the proteins enough to overcome the problem.1,2 However, if a customer asks you to avoid a certain food, it's best to do so, as there have been documented incidents of serious reactions.
1. American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. 2014. “Types of Food Allergy.” www.acaai.org
2. National Jewish Health (2018) www.nationaljewish.org/ healthinsights/healthinfographics/oral-allergysyndrome- oasfruits-vegmouth-itchy