Food Allergy Law Goes Into Effect Jan. 1

By: Ashley Davidson
By: Ashley Davidson

"Every year upward of 200 people die from allergic reactions to food."

Teresia Huddleston is a registered dietician with the Barren River District Health Department. That didn't stop her from recently falling victim to a food allergy.

"I was sitting at work and I have a long history of allergies and I knew from my past experiences I was having an allergic reaction."

Huddleston is not alone. When a 15-year-old girl died recently after kissing her boyfriend who had eaten peanut butter she was allergic to, it made national headlines. Now the federal government is working to making food allergens in products clearly labeled in language that the common person can understand.

"As in milk they have to list milk ingredient and not just say casein or other milk products. They have to actually list milk, eggs, the specific type of nuts. People who have a peanut allergy may not necessarily be allergic to tree nuts."

To make sure you avoid eating something you may be allergic to here's a check list to go by:

- Always read the label of packaged foods you're eating.
- Know what food allergens they have.
- You may even want to carry a card with items you have food allergies to and present it at restaurants to see if you are in the clear.

If you do suffer from food allergies you can speak to your doctor about getting an EpiPen. EpiPen is an auto-injector that administers epinephrine-and epinephrine is the definitive emergency treatment for severe allergic reactions.

For more information on food allergies, visit these websites:
http://www.niaid.nih.gov/factsheets/allergystat.htm
http://foodallergy.net/


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