Food allergy in the United States
Food allergies cause roughly 30,000 emergency room visits and 100 to 200 deaths per year[dubious ] and the prevalence is rising. Food allergy affects as many as 5% of infants less than three years of age and 3% to 4% of adults.
For example, an estimated 8% of children have at least one food allergy, a projected total of 5.9 million children across the population, according to a 2011 study published in the journal Pediatrics, “The Prevalence, Severity, and Distribution of Childhood Food Allergy in the United States."
Although sensitivity levels vary by country, the most common food allergies are allergies to milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, seafood, shellfish, soy and wheat.[clarification needed] These are often referred to as "the big eight." They account for over 90% of the food allergies in the United States.[not in citation given]
Under the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 (Public Law 108-282), companies are required to disclose on the label whether the product contains a major food allergen in clear, plain language. The allergens have to clearly be called out in the ingredient statement. Most companies list allergens in a statement separate from the ingredient statement.
In 2009, Governor Deval Patrick signed into Massachusetts law an Act Relative to Food Allergy Awareness in Restaurants. The allergy awareness act requires food protection managers to view a video about food allergens, a poster identifying the 8 most common food allergens and information about identifying and responding to food allergies posted for food service staff, and customers must be notified of their obligation to inform staff about any food allergies.
On 4 January 2011, President Barack Obama signed into federal law the Food Safety and Modernization Act of 2010 (S510/HR2751, 111th Congress). Section 112 of this Act establishes voluntary food allergy and anaphylaxis management guidelines for public kindergartens, elementary and secondary schools.
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- "Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004". FDA. August 2, 2004.
- "Memo: Proposed Amendments to 105 CMR 590.000, State Sanitary Code Chapter X: Minimum Sanitation Standards for Food Establishments, to Comply with the Allergen Awareness Act (Word)". Massachusetts Department of Health. June 9, 2010.
- "Food Allergies and Intolerances Resource List for Consumers". Food and Nutrition Information Center, National Agricultural Library. December 2, 1010. - a collection of resources on the topic of food allergies and intolerances
- Weissman, Susan, Feeding Eden: The Trials and Triumphs of a Food Allergy Family, New York : Sterling Publishing Co., Inc., March 6, 2012. ISBN 978-1402781223
- Food Allergy Among U.S. Children: Trends in Prevalence and Hospitalizations - NCHS Data Brief No. 10, October 2008.
- National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
- Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
- American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology — Diseases 101 (Contains further references to JACI publications)
- Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics
- Cleveland Clinic Medical Education on Food Allergy