Date: May 21, 2019

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Food Allergies: Information for the Food Service Industry Provider

This page was reviewed or revised on Wednesday, May 4, 2016 9:59 AM

People suffering from food allergies must do everything possible to avoid the food and the ingredients which cause mild to severe reactions. Food Service establishments have a responsibility to inform their customers about the ingredients used in the meals served on the premises.

Allergies and asthma are the common chronic problems in Canada. They affect more than 4,000,000 adults and children and even cause deaths.

Allergic reactions to food can appear either immediately after the food is eaten or some time later. People with food allergies can have only 1 or any number of the following symptoms (or reactions).

Immediate Reactions:

  • allergic rhinitis (runny nose)
  • asthma
  • severe vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • an anaphylactic shock which is a general shock that affects multiple organs and can cause death.

Delayed Reactions:

  • skin problems
  • wheezing
  • depression
  • fatigue
  • aches and pains

People with food allergies are generally aware of the foods and ingredients to avoid. This is the only sure way to prevent allergic reactions. The following foods and additives are known to cause adverse reactions in Canadians:

  • peanuts
  • tree nuts such as almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts (filberts), macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts (pignolias), pistachio nuts and walnuts.
  • sesame seeds
  • soy
  • milk
  • eggs
  • fish and crustaceans such as crab, crayfish, lobster, prawns and shrimp and shell fish including clams, mussels, oysters and scallops.
  • wheat
  • sulphite