Allergic Reactions

allergic_reactionsPeanuts, along with tree nuts, fish, shellfish, wheat, soy, and egg, are the most common food allergies

According to Food Allergy Research and Education, an estimated 15 million Americans have food allergies, and children are more likely to experience these allergies. In fact, approximately 1 in every 13 children in the United States lives with food allergies. While children can outgrow their food allergies, adults usually do not.

Sometimes the allergic reaction is more severe than the usual rashes and sneezing so you have to be prepared. Severe cases include difficulties in swallowing, faintness, and anaphylactic shock, which is a potentially life-threatening reaction that can impair breathing and send the body into shock.

In the event of severe allergic reaction, call 911 immediately and ask for professional medical emergency help or advice. Then, immediately get the person to an emergency medical room or facility.

The most immediate remedy for severe anaphylactic shock is to give the person an antihistamine or hypodermically administer shot of epinephrine. However, these are not commonly found in many households, so the prepared chef should keep an antihistamine or a pre-packaged single-dose injectable hypodermic in his or her kitchen medical supply kit and know how to use it. In cases like this, lay the person flat on his back. If he has difficulty breathing, tilt his chin backwards to open the airway.

Check out my book The Home Chef’s Kitchen Medical Emergency Guide for a step by step guide on what to do in situations like this.



Photo taken from

One response to “Allergic Reactions

  1. The single-dose injectable hypodermic you mention is now widely available as the brand Epi-Pen ( I believe you need a prescription to get one. Also, make sure to get one well in advance if you anticipate needing one. Given the recent epidemic of peanut allergies and related deaths, many, many children with allergies are now carrying these to school and supplies are always tight at pharmacies.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *