Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) and Kids With Food Allergies (KFA) are two organizations that strive to improve the everyday lives of individuals with food allergies. Here are a few important facts and statistics about food allergies in the United States:

  • A food allergy is a medical condition in which exposure to a certain food triggers an allergic reaction.
  • Allergic reactions to food can range from mild (itchy mouth, a few hives) to severe (throat tightening, difficulty breathing). In some cases, people can experience anaphylaxis (pronounced an-uh-fil-LAX-is), which is a serious allergic reaction that requires an immediate response and can cause death.
  • Epinephrine is the first-line treatment for anaphylaxis and it can reverse severe allergy symptoms.
  • A severe food allergy reaction sends someone to an emergency room every 3 minutes. That is roughly 200,000 ER visits per year.
  • Between 2007 and 2016, there was a 377% increase in serious allergic reactions to food.
  • Nine major food allergens – milk, egg, peanut, tree nuts, wheat, soy, sesame, fish, and shellfish – are responsible for the most serious food allergy reactions.
  • There is no cure for food allergies. People with food allergies must avoid the food allergen(s). To stay safe, they must read food labels, ask questions about ingredients, and learn to recognize and treat reaction symptoms.

If you would like to learn more about food allergies, please contact our Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Laura Stanton at stanton.60@osu.edu. She has a teenager with food allergies and is passionate about keeping individuals with food allergies and other dietary restrictions safe and included.