Do you know someone who has food allergies? With as many as 1 in 25 Americans affected by them, chances are, you do.
What is a food allergy?
The Mayo Clinic defines a food allergy as an immune system reaction that occurs soon after eating a certain food. Even a tiny amount of the allergy-causing item can trigger signs and symptoms such as digestive problems, hives, or swollen airways.
In the U.S., the eight most common food allergens are milk, egg, peanut, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish, and shellfish. Food allergies are not the same as food intolerances, and food allergy symptoms can overlap with symptoms of other medical conditions. Therefore, it is important to have your food allergy confirmed by an appropriate evaluation with an allergist.
What causes a food allergy?
The job of the body's immune system is to identify and destroy germs (bacteria or viruses) that make you sick. A food allergy happens when your immune system overreacts to a harmless food protein—an allergen. Family history appears to play a role in whether someone develops a food allergy. If you have other kinds of allergic reactions, like eczema or hay fever, you have a greater risk of food allergy.
Dining at our cafes
The key to eating out with food allergies is to plan ahead. We are happy to accommodate customers who need to take such concerns into consideration. If you have a food allergy, please speak to the Food Service Director or Executive Chef of your café. If you are eating at a buffet-style facility, consider people with food allergies who may come after you. Don't use the same serving utensils for multiple food items.
Have questions? Visit the Let's Chat page to leave feedback for your cafe manager.
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