Study: Food Allergy Reactions in Restaurants are Common and Can be Severe


In a study recently published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice, researchers sought to characterize allergic reactions that occur in restaurants to better inform the restaurant industry, food allergic individuals, and allergists so that better mitigation strategies can be implemented.

The study is based on data collected over a two-year period from 2827 individuals listed in the Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) registry.

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The study determined that dining out accounted for the second most common location for a food allergic reaction after one’s home, and of those many were severe with 28.0% requiring one dose, and 6.2% requiring two doses of epinephrine.

Cafes, fast food establishments, and Asian restaurants were frequently implicated sites with peanut, tree nuts, and milk the most common inciting allergens and tree nuts resulted in the most common use of epinephrine.

Of the allergic reactions:

  • 53.9% occurred despite conveyance of food allergy to restaurant staff,
  • 26.6% occurred when allergens were declared on the menu, and
  • 13.7% happened when allergens were declared on the menu and restaurant staff were informed of a food allergy.
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The researchers concluded that allergic reactions in restaurants are common and can be severe. The findings underscore the need for restaurant staff training and mandatory declaration of allergenic ingredients in meals.

The findings will help support advocacy efforts and inform patients, allergists, and the restaurant industry on best practices for dining out to improve the quality of life for food allergic individuals.

Click here for effective strategies that will help you avoid reactions when dining out.

Study: Use Multiple Strategies to Safely Dine Out with Food Allergies

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Dave Bloom
Dave Bloom
Dave Bloom is CEO and "Blogger in Chief" of

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