Eating Well


Quick Facts

    How many people have food allergies?
  • It may seem like more, but only 4% of adults and 4% of children have food allergies.
  • About 90% of food allergies are caused by: tree nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews, pistachios ,etc.), peanuts, milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, wheat, and soy.
    What about peanut allergies?
  • About 0.6 – 1.0 % of people have peanut allergy, which can vary from mild to severe.
  • Nearly 20% of peanut allergies can be outgrown.
  • Four times as many people are allergic to seafood than to peanuts.
    It seems like more people have peanut allergies, why?
  • The prevalence of peanut allergy doubled from 1997 to 2002.
  • There may be better reporting and improved detection of allergies, which should be diagnosed by a physician.
  • The reported increase in peanut allergy mirrors an overall increase in childhood allergies.
    Are all peanut allergies severe?
  • No, some are mild, however in those who have severe reactions, ingesting just a trace amount can cause a reaction.
  • It is critical to manage peanut allergies, as with any allergy, to avoid severe reactions, such as “anaphylaxis.”
    What is the allergen in peanuts?
  • The major proteins Ara h1, Ara h2, and Ara h3 are the allergens in peanuts.
  • Smelling the aroma of peanuts cannot cause an allergic reaction.
    What about peanut oil?
  • Highly refined peanut oil is different from peanuts and from “crude” or gourmet peanut oil because it does not contain peanut allergens.
  • Highly refined peanut oil is purified, refined, bleached, and deodorized, which removes the allergic proteins from the oil.
  • The majority of peanut oil used by foodservice has been highly refined and processed.
  • The FDA does not consider highly refined peanut oil as a food allergen.


Click here to see more by downloading the fact sheet on peanut allergy.

To download the full White Paper on Peanut Allergy, click here.

Quick Facts about Allergies