If you've been living with allergies, you probably know the obvious stuff by now -- don't take in stray cats, don't hang around in dusty attics, don't inhale deeply in smoking lounges. But that might not be enough. There could be hidden allergy triggers and irritants all around you that you don't know about. "Hidden allergens and irritants are a huge problem for people with allergies," says Hugh H. Windom, MD, an associate clinical professor of immunology at the University of South Florida. "The...
If you're allergic to eggs and you see one of these names in the ingredient list, don't buy it.
Albumin (or albumen)
Eggs (all types)
Where Eggs Hide
Noodles and pasta may have egg in them.
Meatballs and meatloaf often have egg.
Bagels, pretzels, and other baked goods get their shiny appearance from egg white.
Watch out for eggs in foods like breakfast cereals, ice cream, and even egg substitutes.
How to Choose Safe Foods
Stick with packaged and labeled foods. Foods from salad bars, deli counters, and bakeries are more likely to accidentally have your allergy triggers in them.
Read food labels every time you buy a product -- even if it's something you buy every week. Food manufacturers change ingredients all the time. A food that has been safe for you and your family may not always be OK.
If you see an ingredient you're not sure about, be careful. Look it up first. Contact the manufacturer if you need more info.
Buying a different size or low-fat version? Read the label. Low-fat or reduced-calorie versions of familiar foods may have very different ingredients. Sizing (like snack-sized packs) or packaging (a can instead of a carton) can affect ingredients. Some products may have different ingredients in different parts of the country.
Check labels on medications and toiletries. Food allergens can show up in drugs, cosmetics, shampoos, soaps, and lotions.
Do ask and tell. At restaurants, let the staff, servers, managers, cooks, or chef know about your food allergy and special accommodations that you might need. Don’t be shy about asking how a dish is prepared. Sometimes, it can be hard to tell everything that is in a dish based on how it is listed on the menu.