Where can “Priority Allergens” be found?

 

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On Friday I shared a post about soybeans and 2 places I really did not expect I would find them – ink and pillows. This morning I thought I would share some information shared on Anaphylaxis Canada’s website about “priority allergens”, also known as food allergens identified as being the most common, based on Canadian food labelling requirements.

Here are the 10 “priority allergens”:

  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Mustard
  • Peanuts
  • Seafood (fish, crustaceans, shellfish)
  • Sesame
  • Soy
  • Sulphites
  • Tree Nuts
  • Wheat

Anaphylaxis Canada – Priority Food Allergens

Anaphylaxis Canada has clearly outlined other names, possible sources and non-food sources for the different food allergens. Though the lists are not exhaustive, they are a great place to start if you are curious where some of these food allergens can be hidden.

Have a look and let us all know in the comments if anything surprised you. Are there other sources you have found for any of the 10 food allergens listed above that are not on Anaphylaxis Canada’s website?

Let’s ring in the New Year!

Erika Profile - China Beach

Thank you for all your support and encouragement in 2014! It has been one busy year and I would not be where I am right now without you. Thank you to my family, friends and fellow readers. :)

I have some great plans for 2015 as my #1 goal to raise awareness still stands. I am planning some giveaways and other surprises for 2015 and my question to you is…

What would you like for 2015. What questions do you have? Who would you like to write a guest blog post? If you would like to share a story or tips in 2015 or know someone who may want to, please send me an email at erika.ladouceur@livingwithallergies.ca or submit a contact form on my website. I would love to have various guest posts to share different angles of perhaps similar stories.

Wishing you a safe New Years’ celebration tonight with your family and friends. Let’s make 2015 a year to remember! Wishing you all great health and happiness in 2015.

– Erika

Safe Holidays?

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How were your Holidays? Were you able to eat delicious food surrounded by those you love without a reaction. Thanks to wonderful friends and family who truly understand my allergies, I had a reaction free Christmas. Even my environmental allergies were well controlled as I avoided any environments which might have triggered a reaction.

If you and your family went to friends and family for dinner, did your hosts understand your food allergies? If they had pets, did they understand how your asthma and allergies would be affected?

Hopefully you had great safe holidays and that New Years will also be a safe one for you. If you are going somewhere, please prepare ahead and communicate your allergies and the level of severity. Better to be safe.

Have a wonderful Monday!

Erika

 

Happy Holidays!

I would like to wish you and your family a happy holiday season!

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Remember to be safe and not take any risks with food that you are allergic to. You do not want to end up in the ER on Christmas Eve. I’ve been there, done that and do not wish that upon anyone. We spent December 24th driving to the hospital and all evening in the ER for observation. Please be cautious when eating away from home. There is no such thing as being “too careful”. Ask lots of questions, bring food you know you can eat and let others around you know about your allergies and that you carry and epinepherine auto-injector so that someone can help you if you have a severe reaction. Plan ahead.

As for environmental triggers, speak up and let others know when you are having a reaction or your asthma is flaring up due to pets, smoke, incense or candles.

 

Happy holidays!

Erika

Safe Christmas Gummies!

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I found these the other day. Surf Sweets are truly, the only candies I ever have because they are free of everything I am allergic to and sensitive to, so I know I will not have a reaction and feel very safe buying their products. On Halloween they came out with small trick or treating packs and they now have a Holiday Gummy Mix with snowmen and Christmas trees! Just as tasty as every other Surf Sweets candy I have ever had.

If you’ve never heard of Surf Sweets, here’s why I love their products so much! :)

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Free of the top ten most common allergens

Nut Free facility

 

 

 

If you are looking for a fun holiday treat for your kids or a party you are hosting, look around and see if you can find these. If you cannot find the Holiday ones, perhaps you will find other candies that they have, like jelly beans, peach rings, watermelon rings, gummy bears and worms and a whole lot more!

 

Hosting for friends and family with food allergies – Preparing the food

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Are you hosting a holiday party and know that you will have guests with food allergies and/or sensitivities like gluten? Do you have food allergies and/or sensitivities? If you don’t, you may be nervous about preparing the food safely.

Once you have done the meal planning and grocery shopping and are ready to start prepping and making the food you make sure you pay careful attention to ingredient labels and avoid cross-contamination.

  1. Re-read ingredient labels Even if you have already read the ingredient list on items when you were in the grocery store, re-read them at least two more times before using the product. Be very very meticulous when reading over ingredients. You will want to look on each side of the package to make sure they have not listed a “may contain” label somewhere else on the package. Unfortunately, some manufacturers do not write may contain labels near the actual ingredient list. Know the ingredients. There is no “overly cautious” here. It’s important to be 100% certain that the items you use are safe for guests with food allergies. I’d recommend you keep the wrapper or box or cut out the ingredients so your guest can re-read the ingredients too. I trust friends and family to prepare food for me, however I always  re-read ingredient labels even if you are told it is safe.
  2. Be extremely cautious of cross-contamination   If you will be preparing some food which your guest is allergic or sensitive to make a plan before you start cooking of which utensils you will use for which foods. In making a plan before you start preparing and cooking, it will help you be more aware and reduce the risk that you end up using utensils that you prepared unsafe food with to prepare the allergy safe food. Make sure the cutting board is clean and the surface you plan to work on as well. I often recommend preparing the food for the guest with food allergies on plates as that surface is definitely safer than a cutting board which, especially if plastic may have residues from previous unsafe ingredients. Use your best judgement and if you are ever unsure, pick up the phone and call the guest or parent of the guest.  Communication is always key!

Hosting for friends and family with food allergies – Before the event

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Please share with those that do not have allergies and may be hosting this    holiday season.

Christmas Eve is just 10 days away and many of you may already be on holidays already or very soon. Christmas and New Years is a very busy time of year for parties with friends and family. Holiday parties usually involve some kind of food, whether there is a meal, or h’ourdeuvres. If you are hosting a dinner with family and friends this holiday season, here are a 4 tips for you to ensure your loved ones can have a fun time while feeling safe.

Before I get into the tips, one very important note; COMMUNICATION is KEY! So please do not be afraid to ask questions or share if you feel uncomfortable preparing food for the person with the food allergy/allergies.

  1. Ask if anyone coming to the party has any food allergies. You may not be able to cater the food that is to be served to completely avoid their food allergens, especially if they list is a long one, however it is nice to feel like we are being considered in the planning. The smallest of gestures; like not placing bowls of bulk nuts out because we have a life-threatening food allergy to peanuts and tree nuts means so much to us.
  2. Ask the severity of the allergy. If you are aware of the allergy, and severity, you can discuss the next steps with them. You do not want to find out when you are serving dinner that someone has a life-threatening allergy and
  3. Ask if they plan to bring their own food and let them know that if they prefer to bring their own food that is perfectly OK. I know I often feel uncomfortable bringing my own food to dinner parties, however I always feel better when I know that the hosts or other guests know about my allergies and thus understand why I have my own food.
  4. If they do not plan on bringing their own food, it is up to you, as the host, to discuss with them if you are worried about what you plan to serve or how to make it safe. Perhaps they would like to help in the preparation of the food or can bring a dish that would be safe for them and that others would also like to eat. Maybe they can give you tips about what they can eat which will help put you at ease.

On Wednesday, I will be sharing tips on what to do once you get the list of food allergies or perhaps sensitivities like wheat and gluten. I’ll discuss ways to make your kitchen safe before preparing the food and how to minimize the risk of cross-contamination in your kitchen.