allergen surprises

reading labels is the only way to know where you'll find allergen surprises

allergen surprises

When I first set out to write this post, I had a few allergen surprises in mind. I thought I would share five or ten ways I’ve learned allergens hide. As I began to write, I realized it was impossible to limit the list to just five or ten. Every bit of research I did revealed new allergen surprises. Ultimately, I decided to go one of my favorite sources, other food allergy parents. I posted a question about places where parents were surprised to encounter food allergies at 11 PM on a weeknight and within minutes the responses were pouring in. The post ended up with over 175 comments! What did I learn? Well to start, food allergy parents are like me and basically never sleep. Milk hides in everything. Allergens extend far beyond food. There are an insane amount of surprises to be aware of. The food allergy parent community is a vast wealth of knowledge. 

Below I’ve organized all the responses by the allergen.

Please note: I’ve refrained from brand specifics as manufacturers change ingredients all the time.

peanut/tree nut

food

  • guacamole (pistachios)
  • deli meat
  • canned yams (nut oil)
  • canned collard greens (nut oil)
  • chili

non-food

  • fertilizer
  • pressed wood “door stoppers”
  • hair product
  • ant bait
  • potting soil
  • beanbags
  • wood varnish
  • facial scrub
  • pin cushions

milk

food

  • canned tuna (casein)
  • fast food french fries
  • seasoning packets
  • non-dairy coffee creamer (caseinate)
  • pre-cut fruit (to maintain freshness)
  • potato chips (lactose)
  • wine
  • deli meat
  • frozen veggies
  • sausage
  • hot dogs
  • bread
  • anti-nausea medication
  • spice pastes
  • chewing gum

non-food

  • hand soap
  • bath bombs
  • dust free chalk
  • bath color drops
  • fabric
  • yarn (specifically labeled as milk yarn)
  • shampoo or conditioner
  • condoms
  • inhalers
  • birth control pills
  • medical gloves
  • balloons

egg

food

  • sour candy
  • wine
  • icing
  • condensed soup
  • dog food

non-food

  • tempera paint
  • face paint

soy

food

  • canned tuna
  • bread and buns
  • pre-cut fruit (to maintain freshness)
  • apples and orange rinds (to give shine)

non-food

  • dye and ink
  • wax
  • furniture foam
  • canning lid liner
  • colored pencils
  • air freshener
  • candle
  • soap
  • lotion
  • babywearing wrap
  • disposable utensils

other

coconut

  • facial tissues
  • water filters
  • cleaning supplies

corn

  • plasticware
  • toilet paper
  • sanitary supplies
  • iv tubing
  • shredded cheese

fish

  • milk (fish oil)
  • wine

latex

  • tennis ball
  • mattress
  • bucket

legume

  • pet food

oat

  • fast food ground beef tacos
  • sensory bins
  • medical gloves

sesame

  • candy corn
  • lip gloss

sunflower

  • chips
  • broth
  • crackers

tomato

  • lotion
  • sunscreen

wheat

  • shredded cheese
  • playdough
  • toothpaste

If you think of something to add, let me know! I’ll update this as needed.

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