What are the dangers of hidden allergens?
Last Updated: 12th January 2023 · Written by Donna Mastriani
Watch out for your hidden allergens. If you don’t know what they are, a Lifelab Testing allergy test helps you to identify which dangerous foods could cause your symptoms.
Taking allergies more seriously
Remember last year when Pret A Manger hit the headlines due to the tragic consequences of mislabelled food products? Well, now, Pret A Manger has pledged to improve labelling with a roll-out of full lists of ingredients on freshly made products to begin this week. The pledge comes amid government consultation on tougher allergen labelling following the tragic death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse who died after eating a Pret sandwich containing sesame, which saw the existing system branded inadequate.
Though Pret’s pledge is a move in the right direction, the current lack of labelling of on-site freshly made produce across sandwich shops nationwide means that for sufferers, being vigilant isn’t always enough. Lifelab Testing’s in-house nutritionist Sian Baker shares her tips on how you can protect yourself against an allergic reaction or intolerance flare-up when purchasing food or dining out.
Allergens listed by law
There are just 14 foods that are required to be labelled by law, allowing many ingredients or traces to go undeclared. Additionally, hidden allergens can be found in beauty, household and pet products as well as medication, and can be disguised under different names – egg, soy and wheat all have a variety of widely used alternative names, so if you do have an allergy, it’s important to be aware of what these might be. An allergy test could help you to identify which items you need to look out for.
Allergens can also be hidden through cross-contamination during the growing and manufacturing processes, or through the use of the equipment and serving implements in restaurants and eateries. While many food labels or menus state that cross-contamination may occur, it is important to remember that if products are freshly made on-site then ingredients do not need to be stated – instead, look for signs that advise you speak to staff about potential allergens.
Allergy sufferers are urged to take extra care when consuming processed foods, due to ingredients such as soy, milk, egg and wheat frequently being added to act as preservatives or to enhance texture or flavour.
Where can you get an allergy test?
If someone is experiencing allergic or intolerant reactions, keeping a food diary of items consumed and symptoms can be put together with the results of an allergy test to achieve the greatest possible understanding of which ingredients may be causing them. Lifelab Testing offers a range of at-home intolerance and allergy testing kits, alongside access to a nutritional therapist to discuss any results the customers receive.
Intolerance and allergy tests are available at www.lifelabtesting.com. Whether it is an allergy test or an intolerance test that you want, we can help you!