Home Health Food allergies, how to avoid risks outside the home

Food allergies, how to avoid risks outside the home

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It doesn’t take much. Very little. For those who are sensitized, even a “hidden” food during the preparation of a dish or that perhaps has only come into contact with an apparently “clean” recipe, can represent a health risk, giving rise to allergic crises more or less significant. Obviously, the diagnosis must be made, which must be carried out with targeted tests, and then potential risk foods must be kept away. even if you eat away from home.

At the Congress of the Italian Society of Allergology, Asthma and Clinical Immunology (SIAAIC, SIAAIC’s ‘Per Federica’ project was presented in partnership with Eni: starting from January 2022, SIAAIC experts will hold free online training courses dedicated to catering professionals, who in 4 hours will teach how to prepare food safely for allergy sufferers, how to recognize the signs of an allergic reaction, how to intervene in case of anaphylactic shock. At the end of the course, participants will receive the orange sticker certification ‘Here Eat Safe! ‘.

Allergy or intolerance?

First of all we need to understand if it is really a food allergy and not an intolerance, which can cause similar annoyances, especially to the digestive system. Some proteins contained in foods that are part of our usual diet, or even consumed only occasionally, can cause an allergic reaction in predisposed subjects. The reaction is triggered within a few minutes (from 2-3 to 30-120) of eating one or more foods.

Food allergy it is more frequent in the first years of life, and is mainly linked to milk and egg; it affects up to 5 percent of children, but fortunately the vast majority, at the age of 5-6, become tolerant again towards these foods.

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On the contrary, food intolerance often causes symptoms similar to those of allergies, which are not however due to the reaction of the immune system, and vary in relation to the amount ingested of the non-tolerated food. Under accusation, in this case, it is above all the milk. Everything stems from the inability to digest lactose, a problem that occurs both in children and in adults. The systemic nickel syndrome was recently discovered; this substance, present mainly in vegetables, in addition to giving contact allergy, it can cause bloating and abdominal problems.
In all cases, what matters is to find out the nature of the allergy or any intolerance as soon as possible. And it’s not always easy.

Diagnosis is immediate only when severe symptoms appear that lead to urgent control after ingestion of a food. But as long as the reaction is delayed or the symptoms vary, it becomes extremely difficult to recognize the source of the problems. The tests, in this case, are there and are effective. Starting from the prick-test, which is done on the skin of the forearm and puts the “wrong” defenses directly in contact with the potentially allergenic substances thanks to a “scratch” that lets the allergen extract enter directly under the skin. The reaction in this case is very rapid and after a few minutes if the skin turns red you can suspect the “guilty” food.

With he patch test the allergenic extract of the food is instead placed on healthy skin and remains there for 48 hours: if redness appears, it means that there is an abnormal response to that food. With a blood sample, which must be done in the laboratory, it is possible to determine the specific IgE, or immunoglobulins that “wrongly” react to a food in case of allergy.

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Attention outside the home

“Eating a meal outside the home can be a big risk for Italians with food allergies: these are about 500,000 children and 2 million adults who, if they ingest a ‘forbidden’ allergen even in small quantities, can undergo a serious reaction until anaphylactic shock, which occurs suddenly and can lead to death from cardiovascular collapse and respiratory crisis – explains Gianenrico Senna, president of SIAAIC.

This is what happened to Federica, the girl who gives the name to the project carried out with Eni: how much success has closely affected those who work in the company and for this the initiative was born, which aims to spread knowledge that is essential to allow allergy sufferers to be able to consume food and drinks outside the home with more peace of mind, relying on catering professionals who are informed and trained on the topic of food allergies.

Free courses, which will be carried out by SIAAIC expert personnel starting from January 2022 in online mode lasting 4 hours, will provide the essential knowledge to prepare safe meals but also to recognize allergies and intervene by activating the correct procedures in case of emergency: many reactions anaphylactic can be resolved thanks to a timely and adequate intervention, therefore spreading knowledge as much as possible and the tools to manage them can save patients’ lives “.

At the end of the course the participants will take a test and, if they pass it, they will obtain the orange stamp certification ‘Qui Mangi Safe!’, Which certifies the presence of personnel trained to deal with allergies among the employees of the public.

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