Too many people who don’t have to deal with food allergies on a daily basis poopoo the idea of cross contamination. I can tell you it is a VERY real issue. About half of the foods that my son is allergic to, he was exposed through cross contamination of foods. All of those “may contains” statements on labels in the grocery store? A good percentage of them actually contain the allergen. You even have to be careful with what you or your pet eats and what you use to clean your house.
My son’s actual allergies are lobster, almonds, oranges, peanuts, and sesame. The reactions tested so severe, we were advised to avoid all shellfish, tree nuts, citrus fruit, peanuts, and sesame. So far, this advise has been proven wise. Here’s the thing though. My son has never actually ingested lobster or sesame.
The lobster had to come from two sources. My son was on a serious Ramen kick for awhile. Ramen is made in a facility with shellfish. There’s suspect number one. Suspect number two is contaminated french fry oil. Restaurants just fry everything together instead of having dedicated fryers. My son loves french fries. As a family, we are not shellfish eaters, so these are the only two places I can come up with that he was exposed.
Sesame exposure occurred in just about every restaurant with sesame seed buns. Especially fast food. We discovered this after diagnosis when the doctor said sesame “might” be a problem, and we tried chicken nuggets. My son can only eat them at Wendy’s in a pinch because they are the only ones without sesame seed buns. All the other chicken nuggets make him itchy.
So please, when someone says they have food allergies, take them seriously on all accounts – ingestion, contact, and cross contamination.