Many restaurant menus have a section that asks customers with food or peanut allergies to tell their servers. Even movie theaters have signs above cash registers asking customers to speak to the manager if they have food allergies.
If you have school aged children, their schools most likely have warnings or rules about food allergies. For example, children may not be able to bring lunches or snacks that contain peanuts or there may be designated tables in the cafeteria for children with peanut allergies only.
The point is, there are warnings everywhere about food allergies. It was not like this 20 or even 10 years ago.
Many researchers have been trying to figure out why there are more children and adults with food allergies. Recently, a study from the University of Chicago not only offers a possible cause of food allergies, but also a possible cure for food allergies. See www.uchospitals.edu (Gut bacteria that protect against food allergies identified)
Researchers of the study took a group of mice with peanut allergies and gave them the bacteria Clostridia, which is a gut bacteria commonly found in humans. After the mice were administered with the bacteria, the mice no longer had food allergies.
Clostridia acted as a barrier to keep the allergens in peanuts from entering into the mice's bloodstream. Though the allergens were in the mice, they couldn't produce an allergic reaction.
This result is encouraging; however, researchers say there is still much much work to be done before it can be developed in a safe drug format, which will take some time.
Though the researchers said that there is no proof of a causal relationship between food allergies and antibiotics, they raised a concern about the problem of overusing antibiotics. Many kids received 2 to 4 courses of antibiotics when they were babies, and most of the antibiotics given to babies were for vial infections. However, antibiotics do not combat viral infections. Therefore, antibiotics were given for no purpose. What studies are finding is that by getting unnecessary antibiotics, there may be an alteration and elimination of the bacteria that may keep allergens at bay in children.
Whatever the reason, there is no doubt that the number of children with food allergies is on the rise. Restaurants, schools, etc., have to make sure the foods they serve are safe for customers and students with food allergies. If children at school or restaurant customers are negligently exposed to food allergens, such as peanuts, and suffer serious allergic reactions, the school or restaurant may be responsible for the children or customers' injuries and damages.
To learn more about accidental exposure to food allergens and your legal rights, click on the articles below from our food allergy library:
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