As many start the new year with resolutions to consume a more plant-based diet, we should spare a thought for the food allergic patient negotiating an increasing array of food hazards. As a Consultant Allergist, I frequently hear patients discuss their experiences of eating out. A common theme has emerged recently regarding reactions to vegan food.
Persistent anaphylactic milk and egg allergy is an increasing phenomenon in the context of our allergy epidemic. Patients with milk and egg allergy are at high risk of reactions to these common ubiquitous foods. It might seem an attractive prospect to eat vegan food if suffering from this dual blight on dietary choice. However, choosing vegan does not guarantee that the product is free of cross-contamination with food allergens and this is likely to be more of a problem in restaurants serving vegan options alongside dairy and egg-containing foods. Additionally those with co-existing nut allergy may be at risk of nut cross-contamination or substitution of a nut-based product such as cashew nut butter or cheese.
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