In honor of National Asthma and Allergy Awareness month, we will share a series on food allergy focusing on everything from myths to personal stories of dealing with food allergy.

There is a substantial amount of false information available on the internet and it can be very difficult to separate fact from fiction in food allergy.  This post will try to correct some of these myths. (This article is adapted from “Common questions in food allergy avoidance”, written by Maureen Egan, MD & Matthew Greenwalt, MD and published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, March 2018.)

MYTH: MY CHILD HAS A PEANUT ALLERGY, SO I NEED TO REMOVE ALL PEANUT PRODUCTS FROM MY HOME.

FACT: If a food allergic person touches a surface (such as a table top) that has remnants of the food still on it and then puts the hand into their mouth or touches their eyes, a reaction can occur, but this is considered an ingestion (eating it), not an inhalation (breathing it) reaction.  Some families may choose to be peanut free at home, but that is a personal decision. If a family chooses to keep peanut (or any allergen) in their house, they should wash their hands with soap and water after eating it, and clean the table top with cleaner or commercial wipes. Hand sanitizer does not remove food proteins.

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