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Sulphite Allergy

Sulphite Allergy

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Published by melissascheichl416
Document for those with Sulphite allergy providing information regarding possible sources in ingredient labels and more....
Document for those with Sulphite allergy providing information regarding possible sources in ingredient labels and more....

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Published by: melissascheichl416 on Jun 10, 2010
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One of the nine most commonfood products causing severeadverse reactions
Sulphite sensitivity reactions
 Allergic reactions are severe adverse reactions that occur when the body’s immune system overreacts to a particular allergen.These reactions may be caused by food,insectstings and medications.In Canada,the nine priority food allergens are peanuts,tree nuts,sesame seeds,milk,eggs,seafood (fish,crustaceans and shellfish),soy,wheat and sulphites (a food additive).Although sulphites do notcause a true allergic reaction,sulphite-sensitive peoplemay experience similar reactions as those with food allergies.Those who have asthma are most at risk tosulphite sensitivity and other forms of sulphite reactions.
 What are the symptoms of an allergic reaction?
When someone comes in contact with an allergen orsulphite,the symptoms of a reaction may develop quicklyand rapidly progress from mild to severe.The most severeform of an allergic reaction is called anaphylaxis.Symptomscan include breathing difficulties,a drop in blood pressure orshock,which may result in loss of consciousness and evendeath.A person experiencing an allergic reaction may have
of the following symptoms:Flushed face,hives or a rash,red and itchy skinSwelling of the eyes,face,lips,throat and tongueTrouble breathing,speaking or swallowingAnxiety,distress,faintness,paleness,sense of doom,weaknessCramps,diarrhea,vomitingA drop in blood pressure,rapid heart beat,loss of consciousness
How are food allergies and severe allergicreactions treated?
Currently there is no cure for food allergies or sulphitesensitivity.The only option is complete avoidance of the specificallergen.Appropriate emergency treatment for anaphylaxis (asevere food allergy reaction) includes an injection of adrena-line,which is available in an auto-injector device.Adrenalinemust be administered as soon as symptoms of a severe allergicor sensitivity reaction appear.The injection must be followedby further treatment and observation in a hospital emergencyroom.If your allergist has diagnosed you with a food allergyor a sulphite sensitivity and prescribed adrenaline,carry itwith you all the time and know how to use it.Follow yourallergist’s advice on how to use an auto-injector device.
Frequently asked questions aboutsulphite sensitivity 
 What are sulphites?
Sulphites are substances that naturally occur in food andthe human body.They are also regulated food additivesthat are used as preservatives to maintain food colour andprolong shelf-life,prevent the growth of micro-organisms,and to maintain the potency of certain medications.Sulphites are used to bleach food starches (e.g.potato)and are also used in the production of some food packagingmaterials (e.g.cellophane).
Are sulphites safe to eat?
Yes,for the majority of consumers.However,some sulphite-sensitive people,many of whom also have asthma,may reactto sulphites with allergy-like symptoms.Sulphites can triggerasthma and symptoms of anaphylactic reaction.
I have a sulphite sensitivity.How can I avoida sulphite-related reaction?
Avoid all food and products that contain sulphites andsulphite derivatives.These include any product whoseingredient list warns it “may contain” or “may containtraces of” sulphites and sulphite derivatives
Can I have a sulphite-related reaction even if I do not eat a food or use a product that containssulphites or sulphite derivatives?
Yes.There have been reported reactions to inhaledsulphites;however,not from food itself.If sulphites andsulphite derivatives are not present in food,a reactioncannot occur.However,sulphites and sulphite derivativescan often be present under different names,e.g.,potassiumbisulphite.For other common ingredient label names,referto the list below.Always read the ingredient list carefully.
 What do I do if I am not sure whether a productcontains sulphites or sulphite derivatives?
If you have a sulphite sensitivity,do not eat or use theproduct.Get ingredient information from the manufacturer.
Does product size affect the likelihood of anallergic reaction?
It does not affect the likelihood of a reaction;however,the same brand of product may be safe to consume forone product size but not another.This is because productformulation may vary between different product sizes of the same product.
 Avoiding sulphites and sulphite derivatives
Make sure you read product labels carefully to avoidproducts that contain sulphites and sulphite derivatives.Certain medications contain sulphites,yet are safe forand may be used by sulphite-sensitive people as directedby an allergist.Avoid food and products that do not havean ingredient list and read labels
every time
you shop.Manufacturers may occasionally change their recipes oruse different ingredients for varieties of the same brand.Refer to the following list before shopping:
Other names for sulphites
E 220,E 221,E 222,E 223,E 224,E 225,E 226,E 227,E 228(European names)Potassium bisulphite/metabisulphiteSodium bisulphite/dithionite/metabisulphite/sulphiteSulfur dioxideSulphiting agentsSulphurous acid
Possible sources of sulphites
Alcoholic/non-alcoholic beer,cider,wineBaked goods,e.g.,breads,cookies,pastries,wafflesBottled lemon and lime juice/concentrateCanned/frozen fruits and vegetables,e.g.,mushrooms,sliced apples,olives,peas,peppers,pickles,pickled onions,tomatoesCereal,cornmeal,cornstarch,crackers,muesliCondiments,e.g.,coleslaw,horseradish,ketchup,mustard,pickles,relish,sauerkrautDeli meat,hot dogs,sausagesDressings,gravies,guacamole,sauces,soups,soup mixesDried fruits/vegetables,e.g.,apples,apricots,coconut,mincemeat,papaya,peaches,pears,pineapple,raisins,sun dried tomatoesDried herbs,spices,teaFish,including crustaceans and shellfish,e.g.,shrimp(fresh/frozen)Fresh grapes,lettuceFruit filling,fruit syrup,gelatin,jams,jellies,marmalade,molasses,pectinFruit/vegetable juices,e.g.,coconut,grape,sparkling grape,white grapeGlazed/glacéed fruits,e.g.,apples,grapes,maraschinocherriesPotatoes,e.g.,frozen french fries,dehydrated,mashed,peeled,pre-cutSnack foods,e.g.,candy,chocolate/fruit bars,tortilla/potatochips,soft drinks,trail mixSoy productsStarches,e.g.,corn,potato,sugar beet;noodles,rice mixesSugar syrups,e.g.,glucose,glucose solids,syrup dextroseTomato paste/pulp/pureeVinegar,wine vinegar
Non-food sources of sulphites
Bottle sanitizing solution for home brewing
Note:These lists are not complete and may change.Food and food products purchased from other countries,throughmail-order or the Internet,are not always produced using thesame manufacturing and labelling standards as in Canada.
What can I do? 
Be informed
See an allergist and educate yourself about food allergies.Contact your local allergy association for further information.If you or anyone you know has food allergies or would liketo receive information about food being recalled,sign up forthe Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (CFIA) free e-mail“Food Recalls and Allergy Alerts” notification serviceavailable at
.When you sign up you willautomatically receive food recallpublic warnings.
Before eating
Allergists recommend that if you
do not have
your auto-injectordevice with you,that you
do noteat
.If an ingredient list says aproduct “may contain” or “doescontain” sulphite or sulphitederivatives,do not eat it.If youdo not recognize an ingredientor there is no ingredient list available,avoid the product.
Watch out for allergen cross contamination!
Cross contamination is the transfer of an ingredient(food allergen) to a product that does not normallyhave that ingredient in it.Through cross contamination,a food that should not contain the allergen could becomedangerous to eat for those who are allergic.Cross contamination can happen:during
food manufacturing
through shared productionand packaging equipment;at
through shared equipment,e.g.,cheese and delimeats sliced on the same slicer;and through bulk displayof food products,e.g.,bins of baked goods,bulk nuts;andduring
food preparation
at home or in restaurantsthrough equipment,utensils and hands.

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