Food allergens are proteins or derivatives of proteins found in foods that trigger aberrant immunological reactions. They range from minor gastrointestinal discomfort to skin rashes and possibly life-threatening asthma and anaphylaxis. Food allergies are a term that encompasses a wide range of unpleasant food reactions. The Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education, and Research (or FASTER) Act of 2021 was signed into law in April 2021 by President Biden in order to safeguard Americans from potential food allergens. Sesame has been added to the list of food allergies in the new law, joining the likes of milk, eggs, fish, and shellfish.
Protecting Yourself from Food Allergens
When a member of the family is diagnosed with food allergies, home life can become more complicated. However, they may enjoy meals that are safe for everyone if modifications to shopping, cooking, and cleaning are done in the home. If you have a food allergy, here are some recommendations to help you stay safe:
i.) Learn to read food labels and ensure that everyone in your family knows how to do so.
ii.) Separate the safe and dangerous foods. Assign specific pantry and refrigerator shelves, and keep all foods in airtight containers.
iii.) Use different equipment for preparing safe and dangerous meals. Some households even have distinct dishes (usually differentiated by different colors).
iv.) To avoid the spread of food allergens, everyone in the household should wash their hands before eating and after eating.
v.) To avoid the spread of food allergens, everyone in the household must wash their hands before eating and after eating.
vi.) Consider limiting meals to the kitchen and dining room solely to promote allergen-free zones in your house.
Keeping Your Food Safe
Keeping up with food and health information is necessary to ensure food safety. Many people fail to practice proper food safety to prevent food-linked diseases and infections. Every year, an estimated 600 million individuals – about one in every ten people on the planet – become unwell after eating contaminated food, with 420 000 deaths, resulting in the loss of 33 million healthy life years. In order to maintain food safety, ensure that foods are stored at freezing temperature in the refrigerator (40 or lower). Foods can be stored at freezing temperatures for three to twelve months without spoiling. Also, ensure you wash every utensil used in food preparation before and after usage.
Here are some tips for staying safe for people with allergies or sensitivities. For more food and health information, give us a call today.