Nuts allergy recommendations
Some nuts, belonging to different botanical families, may be tolerated but some others may not. In this case, try to buy those that are tolerated in shell, because peeled nuts may be contaminated with others from the processing line.
It is also highly recommended that the allergic patient wears an identification bracelet or plate, with clearly visible print, their food allergy condition and the specific food referred to.
Self-injectable epinephrine should be carried. Patient, family and carers should have the necessary training for its administration. In the event that an injection of adrenaline has to be applied, the patient should go to a health center or to the hospital’s emergency services where additional treatment can be immediately provided if needed.
Overall, up to one third of anaphylactic reactions can cause a second wave of symptoms that will occur several hours after the initial attack. Therefore allergic patients should remain under observation in a clinic or hospital for 4 to 8 hours after the reaction.
In order to avoid foods containing nuts, it is important to read food labels.
In general, when nuts involved in an allergy are unknown, be sure to avoid foods that contain any of the following ingredients:
- Arachis, peanuts or groundnut
- Brazil nuts
- Sunflower seeds
- Pine kernels
- Pecan nuts
- American Hickory
- Macadamia nuts
- Marzipan / almond paste
- Nougats and chocolates
- Nu-Nuts artificial nuts (peanuts that have been deflavored and reflavored with a nut-like pecan or walnut)
- Pastes and spreads containing nuts (e.g. almond paste, Nutella)
- Nut butters (e.g. cashew butter, almond butter, peanut or groundnut butter)
- Nut oils (e.g. sunflower oil)
- Expressions such as “emulsified” or “satay” (peanut sauce which may indicate that the food was thickened with peanuts)
- Use extracts to which has been added artificial or imitation flavor
- Pastry and bakery products (cakes, breads seed, etc.) containing nuts
- Hydrolyzed vegetable protein (included in some cereals)
- Ethnic foods, commercially prepared baked goods, and candy can be cross-contaminated with nuts since nuts are frequently used in these types of foods.
- Nuts are added to an increasing variety of foods such as barbecue sauces, pesto sauce, English sauces, cereals, crackers and ice-cream.
There are even non-food products that contain ingredients that may cause adverse reactions in allergic patients to nuts or peanuts, such as cosmetics and personal hygiene products.
Be careful when eating at Asian restaurants (where they usually use sauce “satay” made from peanuts), or buffet restaurants, as serving spoons are placed and removed from several trays that may contain nuts or seeds and may cause cross contamination between foods.