Food allergens: the usual suspects

Got a food allergy, or think you have one? Health Canada has identified nine food allergens, foods most commonly associated with allergic reactions. While you can develop a sensitivity to any food, just a small minority are involved with the majority of food allergies.

Without further ado, meet the usual suspects:

  • eggs
  • fish (includes crustaceans and shellfish)
  • milk
  • peanuts
  • sesame seeds
  • soy
  • sulphites (a food additive that is also naturally found in food and the body)
  • tree nuts (includes almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts [a.k.a. filberts], macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachio nuts, and walnuts)
  • wheat and other cereal grains that contain gluten

The foods listed above can produce a variety of allergic reactions that range from a mild case of hives to an extreme situation where you have trouble breathing. These foods can also be listed under other names in the ingredient list on a package. If you believe you have a food allergy, talk to your doctor. Don't take chances!

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