For many people, food allergies can be all-consuming. With such extreme consequences, it only makes sense that avoiding these reactions becomes a full-time job. People will read labels excessively and double-check every ingredient in their meals. However, there are still several unlikely places where your food allergen could be hiding. Foods with unexpected ingredients and objects with unique bindings can all trigger allergic reactions.
Household Objects to Look Out For
Stuffed Animals – No one ever thinks that their stuffed animals could be a cause of concern – especially not when the concern is an allergic reaction. However, many stuffed animals use peanut shells and soy in their stuffing. For somebody with an allergy to peanuts or soy, this can be life-threatening. Make sure that you double-check the next teddy bear you gift!
Lotions – Be it sunscreen, moisturizer, or even soap, many lotions use tree nuts in their ingredients. For people with tree nut allergies, using one of these products can have terrifying results. Make sure to double-check everything, from hand soap to hair cream.
Play-Doh – It’s colorful, fun, creative, and filled with wheat. For anyone with a gluten allergy, Play-Doh (and other clays) are a no-go. These fun balls of color can trigger dangerous reactions for anyone allergic to gluten or wheat.
Drugs – Many over the counter and common drugs use fish and milk protein in their formulas, which can be extremely dangerous for anyone with a fish, milk, or dairy allergy. Make sure that your doctor and pharmacist know if your allergies before they prescribe you any new medication. Additionally, it is important for anyone with an egg allergy to know that many vaccines contain egg proteins.
Candles – A romantic, candle-lit dinner sounds like a dream. However, before lighting up the fire and setting the table, make sure to double-check those candles. Many candles use soy in their ingredients, which can trigger an allergic reaction to someone with an allergy to soy.
Chalk – Most kids love drawing with chalk. It’s an easy, outdoor activity that promotes creativity. However, for some kids, this adventure can trigger a scary allergic reaction. For several chalks, milk protein is the main ingredient in the formula.
Makeup – Wearing makeup is a rite of passage for countless young girls all over the world. However, for some, this step can have a bigger effect than others. Many makeup and beauty products use eggs as a binder in their formulas, which can cause an allergic reaction for anyone allergic to eggs.
Crayons – We’ve all seen it before, a group of kids sitting around with stacks of paper and crayons, drawing up their masterpiece. However, given that crayons use soy in their formula, this experience can have dangerous results for kids with a soy allergy.
Pet Food – soy, peanuts, tree nuts, and fish can all be found in your pet’s food. Before purchasing food for your pup, make sure to check the ingredients in their food the same way you would your own. Even though you won’t be eating the pet food, if possible, it is always better to avoid bringing your allergen into your home.
Foods to Avoid
Meat – People with dairy allergies can usually take comfort in eating a good piece of meat. However, several instances in which that piece of meat won’t actually be as safe as you expect. For example, many deli slices are cut using the same knife as cheeses, and many steaks are covered in butter. It is important to double-check every aspect of your meal before digging in.
Dressings and Sauces – You wouldn’t expect to find peanuts in most dressings and sauces. However, too many people have found out the hard way that peanuts are indeed being used in these recipes. While there are still plenty of safe options, it’s important to remember not to take anything for granted. Double-check the ingredients every time!
Potato Chips – Most potato chips are made out of potatoes, oil, and salt – a delicious and allergy-safe snack. However, some brands have been known to have wheat traces in their chips, making them not so allergy-safe. Before eating any snack, make sure you know exactly what you are putting in your mouth.
Coffee – Everybody loves a large coffee with lots of foam, except for when the foam is made from eggs. It is unexpected to have to worry about eggs in your coffee. Still, given the food's consistency, it is often used to give coffee foam that deliciously light texture.
Barbecue Sauce – Most people don’t think fish when they think of a barbecue; however, some barbecue sauces actually use fish as an ingredient. Make sure to read all the allergy information before slathering that steak in your favorite sauce.
Breading – While it is easy to assume that breading is made out of bread, many brands have been found to include trace amounts of nuts as well. For many, this may add to the flavor and texture. However, for those with tree nut allergies, this can be a terrifying discovery.
Avoiding Your Food Allergy
It may seem redundant to say, but the first step to ensuring your safety is reading labels. Whether it is food or just a household item, you can never be too sure about what you are buying. When it comes to your food allergies, don’t ever get too comfortable. Keep in mind that recipes change, and you can never trust that something will remain safe. If you aren’t sure about something, always reach out to the company before testing it out – don’t be embarrassed to ask about your safety!
Food allergies can oftentimes feel out of control. You work so hard to stay safe and then still find your allergen popping up in the most unexpected of places. Please keep your eyes peeled and stay safe. Never compromise when it comes to your health.