NUT ALLERGIES - THE FACTS!

Nut allergies are now becoming extremely common in todays world with many airlines and schools becoming 'nut free'. Here at getbuzzing all our delicious bars are 100% Nut Free using the 9 Nut Test to ensure there is not a trace of nuts in any of our bars which gives peace of mind to all our customers.

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Peanut allergy and tree nut allergy can sometimes result in severe allergic reactions and understandably this can cause intense anxiety among those affected and their families.

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How common are peanut allergy and tree nut allergy?

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Research has shown that peanut allergy among children increased significantly during the 1990s. In 2002 a medical team on the Isle of Wight found that around 1 in 70 children across the UK was allergic to peanuts, compared with 1 in 200 a decade before. (Grundy et al, 2002).

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The high rates of peanut allergy were acknowledged in a UK Government report in 2004, which put the figure among children in England at around 250,000 (House of Commons 2004). Similar trends for peanut allergy have been noted in the USA (Sicherer et al, 2010).

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How do I reduce risks?

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Shopping - Always read food labels, even if you are buying a product you have eaten many times before as recipes and manufacturing methods sometimes change. Check both the inner and outer wrapping of multipacks.

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All pre-packaged food sold within the EU, including the UK, must declare and highlight the presence in the ingredient list of 14 major allergens even if they appear in small quantities. These 14 allergens include:

Peanuts and common tree nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, cashew nuts, pecan nuts, Brazil nuts, pistachio nuts, macadamia nuts and Queensland nuts).

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“May contain” warnings (sometimes known as advisory labelling) are used by food companies where there is a risk of cross-contamination during the production process. 

Food tips:

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1. Watch out for:

Satay sauce (made with peanuts)
Pesto sauce (which can contain tree nuts or pine nuts) 
Marzipan and praline (confectionery products made with nuts).
Salad dressings may contain nut oils.

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2. Foods likely to contain peanuts or tree nuts include the following:

Cakes
biscuits
pastries
cereal bars
confectionery
ice cream
desserts
vegetarian products
salads
salad dressings

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This list is not exhaustive.

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3. Roasting and heat treatment do not reduce the allergenicity (capacity to produce an allergic reaction) of peanuts or tree nuts. In fact laboratory experiments have suggested that roasting and heating peanuts (but not boiling) may actually increase their allergenicity (Maleki et al 2000).

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4. Be careful when others share food with you. For example, a member of the Anaphylaxis Campaign reports that her son suffered a severe allergic reaction after drinking from a classmate’s bottle. The classmate had eaten peanuts.

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Key message: The question of what else to avoid is one that must be discussed with your allergy doctor. All individuals are different and require specific advice.

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About the Anaphylaxis Campaign: Supporting people with severe allergies The Anaphylaxis Campaign is the only UK wide charity to exclusively meet the needs of the growing numbers of people at risk from severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) by providing information and support relating to foods and other triggers such as latex, drugs and insect stings.

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Our focus is on medical facts, food labelling, risk reduction and allergen management. The Campaign offers tailored services for individual, clinical professional and corporate members.

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Visit our website www.anaphylaxis.org.uk and follow us on Twitter @Anaphylaxiscoms.

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