Why Supermarkets are Becoming More Food Intolerance-Friendly - Allergy Test

According to FARE (Food Allergy Research and Education), researchers estimate that 33 million Americans have a food allergies or food intolerance. Food allergies, in particular, affect about 1 in 13 children in the US. The CDC characterizes food allergies as a “growing food safety and public health concern.” More than 40% of children with food allergies have been treated in an emergency department. Congress has officially designated the eight major food allergens that cause 90% of allergic reactions within the Food Allergen labeling and Consumer Protection Act. These eight significant allergens include milk, eggs, fish (such as bass, flounder, and cod), crustacean shellfish (such as crab, lobster, and shrimp), tree nuts (such as almonds, walnuts, pecans), peanuts, wheat, and soybeans. The Food Allergen Protection Act of 2004 also requires that labels identify the food source names of all ingredients that contain any protein derived from — peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, milk, eggs, wheat, fish, or soybeans.

Retailers are responding to an increase in food allergies and intolerances.

The growing prevalence of life-threatening food allergies and intolerances has influenced supermarket retailers’ strategies with food allergies and intolerances. Seattle-based PCC Natural Markets integrates its 3700 Gluten-free SKUs with other products and highlights them with orange-coloured shelf tags for easy shopping. Iowa-based retailer Hy-Vee caters to the needs of parents of children with allergies. During major school holiday seasons, Hy-Vee adds shelf tags to candy and snack items to indicate which ones are nut-free. To qualify for a tag, an item must be free of nuts and processed in a facility that does not process nuts.

With food allergies and sensitives on the rise, one consistent approach that many supermarket retailers are taking is to have clear and consistent labeling that accurately provides the shopper with the information they need to make an informed decision about whether a food is safe for them or not. Scarborough, Maine-based Hannaford Supermarkets has added online filters that allow visitors to Hannaford.com to search store-specific inventories for items that restrict products containing allergen ingredients. Other major retailers have also followed by adding filters to their online ordering.Supermarket Food Intolerance Stats

Speciality supermarkets, like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, are also good options for allergy-safe shopping. They generally offer a variety of products for many restricted diets and offer materials detailing which items in their stores are dairy-free, wheat-free, nut-free, gluten-free, or free of other common allergens. Speciality supermarkets often offer store brands of especially common allergy-safe alternatives such as rice pasta and soy milk, making them especially cost-effective for these products. Some sell baked goods that may meet some common allergy needs as well. Many major supermarkets are now offering even more options and brands to accommodate food allergies and intolerances.

Food allergy vs. food intolerances?

Intolerances and allergies are often terms that are used interchangeably. However, they are clinically different and should not be used as synonyms. As I tell my clients, an allergy is cut and dry. If you’re allergic, your immune system is heavily involved; they can be life-threatening, and you avoid it.

Food Allergy

Food allergy is due to an abnormal immunologic response following exposure (usually ingestion) to a food. There are multiple types of food allergies, each with distinct clinical and pathophysiologic features. Food allergies are broadly categorized into either immunoglobulin E (IgE) mediated or non-IgE-mediated processes. IgE-mediated food allergic reactions are rapid in onset, typically beginning within minutes to two hours from the time of ingestion. They can be life-threatening and cause anaphylaxis.

Food Intolerance

A food intolerance often have “a grey area” that is not as easily understood. Unlike an allergy, a food intolerance are not life-threatening – but they can be life-limiting. A food intolerance do not carry the same risk as an immune system reaction from allergies and cause an activation of a different part of the immune system than an allergy. A simple way to explain the difference is that a food intolerance generally involve the digestive system (although sometimes other body systems and symptoms occur), the amount of food ingested is directly related to the severity of symptoms, and the food causes similar symptoms with each exposure.

Whether or not someone has a life-threatening food allergy or a life-limiting and unpleasant food intolerance, it is essential to have multiple and diversified food options to accommodate food restrictions. Thankfully, supermarkets continue to take steps to offer many food options, as well as labeling, safety options, and features on food packaging so that customers can make explicit and informed decisions about whether foods are safe for them or not. Many brands such as Enjoy Life, Made Good, SunButter, and YumEarth, Bob’s Red Mill, offer specific allergen-free food options.

Easy ways to test a food intolerance and allergies from the comfort of your own home!

Many people know that certain foods bother them when they eat them, but they have not been adequately tested. Allergy and Sensitivity testing can offer a cost-effective and non-invasive way to determine certain foods that may be problematic. The expert team at Allergy Test, including bioresonance technicians and lab managers, have spent the last 13 years continually testing technology to bring you the most effective tests on the market, covering the largest number of trigger items, all from their ISO9001 accredited Allergy and intolerance testing laboratory.

The Allergy and Intolerance test Plus from Allergy Test tests for 38 allergies and 79 intolerances through a blood spot sample. It is a quick, easy, discreet, and inexpensive way to figure out allergies and intolerances. The test uses ELISA testing for raised IgE and IgG4 antibodies and offers accurate lab results to enable you to adjust your diet and lifestyle to reduce or avoid triggers. PDF results are sent securely to your email address and app within seven days of receiving your sample. The results will include explanations of the testing process, IgE reactions to items screened, IgG4 reactions to items screened, and elimination diet recommendations. Don’t let allergy and intolerance symptoms take the joy out of eating!

Hop over to www.allergytest.co and look around for yourself; it will make you wonder! Our Customer Service advisors are always available via LiveChat, and they are always looking to help you out.