12 Foods That Allergy Sufferers Should Never Put in Their Cart

When it comes to food allergies, certain items can pose serious health risks, and it’s crucial to be aware of what to avoid while shopping. Common allergens like peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, and dairy can trigger severe reactions, ranging from mild hives to life-threatening anaphylaxis.

With numerous products lining the shelves, knowing which foods could potentially cause severe allergic reactions is crucial. Based on a detailed study report by the World Allergy Organ Journal, we’ve compiled a list of food items that allergy sufferers should always avoid. Let’s take a look at each one of them here.


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Peanut allergies are very common among children in the United States. Because of this, numerous schools have implemented “nut-free” policies. As per this report by the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, once a popular choice for kids’ lunches, are now banned from school premises. The same report also indicates that nearly 2.5 percent of U.S. children are allergic to peanuts. Even a tiny amount of peanut protein can trigger a reaction, making it crucial for allergic individuals to avoid peanuts altogether.


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Shellfish, including shrimp, crab, and lobster, are among the top allergens that can cause severe reactions in allergic individuals. Reactions can range from mild symptoms like hives and itching to severe anaphylaxis, which can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention. According to a Cleveland Clinic report of 2023, around 6 million people in the U.S. suffer from selfish allergy, making it one of the most common food allergies. There are multiple ways to prevent and diagnose these allergic reactions to shellfish.


Polite cheerful positive smiling female worker of fish shop in apron offering fresh raw salmon to woman customer
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Fish is a significant concern for people with food allergies, as it can trigger severe reactions. Common reactions include hives, nausea, and respiratory issues, with some cases leading to anaphylaxis, a potentially life-threatening condition. Sometimes even the cooking fumes of fish can cause severe asthmatic reactions.

Recently as per the abcnews report, an 11-year old kid in New York City died due to this. Hence, avoiding fish entirely is crucial for those with this allergy to prevent serious health risks.

Dairy Products

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Dairy products, including milk, cheese, and yogurt, are common triggers for allergic reactions, especially in children. Symptoms can range from mild skin rashes and stomach upset to severe reactions like anaphylaxis. A study published in the “Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology” found that approximately 20% of children with milk allergies experience life-threatening reactions. Due to proteins like casein and whey, even small amounts of dairy can cause significant problems for those allergic.


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Eggs are a common allergen, especially among children, and can lead to various reactions, such as skin rashes, respiratory issues, and anaphylaxis. Even small amounts of egg protein can trigger symptoms, making it crucial for allergic individuals to avoid eggs and egg-containing products entirely.

Reports show that reactions can range from mild hives to severe breathing problems, highlighting the importance of vigilance when reading food labels and choosing safe alternatives.


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Wheat is a common allergen that can cause significant problems for people with wheat allergies. For those with wheat allergies, consuming wheat can lead to symptoms such as hives, stomach pain, and breathing difficulties.

Celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder triggered by gluten in wheat, affects about 1% of the global population. In people with celiac disease, ingesting gluten damages the small intestine, leading to diarrhea, weight loss, and fatigue. Therefore, avoiding wheat is crucial for individuals with these conditions to prevent serious health issues.


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Soy is a common allergen found in many processed foods, making it challenging for allergy sufferers to avoid. Symptoms of a soy allergy can range from mild, such as hives and itching, to severe, including difficulty breathing and anaphylaxis.

Studies show that nearly 70% of children outgrow their soy allergy by age 10, but for those who don’t, vigilance is necessary. Soybeans and soy products like tofu, soy milk, and edamame should be strictly avoided to prevent allergic reactions.

Sesame Seeds

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Sesame seeds are a significant allergen, causing severe reactions in sensitive individuals. According to a study report published by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, sesame allergies affect over 1 million people in the United States.

Even trace amounts can lead to symptoms like hives, swelling, and anaphylaxis. Sesame seeds are among the top 10 allergens in the United States. This makes it crucial for allergy sufferers to avoid sesame seeds and products containing them.


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Mustard is a common allergen that can cause severe reactions in sensitive individuals. Symptoms of a mustard allergy can include hives, itching, swelling of the lips, face, or throat, and in severe cases, difficulty breathing and anaphylaxis.

This allergy can be triggered by consuming mustard seeds, mustard powder, or even mustard oil. It is important to read food labels carefully to prevent allergic reactions, as mustard can be an ingredient in many sauces, dressings, and processed foods.


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Corn can be a hidden danger for people with food allergies because it is found in many processed foods, including snacks, sauces, and drinks. Corn derivatives, such as corn syrup and cornstarch, are commonly used in many food products, making it hard to avoid. For those with a corn allergy, it’s crucial to read labels carefully and avoid any foods containing corn or its byproducts to prevent allergic reactions.


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Coconut, though often considered a fruit rather than a nut, can still cause serious allergic reactions in some people. A study published in the National Library of Medicine reported that while tree nut allergies are more common, coconut allergies can still occur and should be taken seriously. Allergy to coconut can cause symptoms like skin rashes, stomach pain, and even anaphylaxis in severe cases. For those with a coconut allergy, it’s important to avoid all forms of coconut, including oil, milk, and flakes, to prevent adverse reactions.


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Honey can harm people with pollen allergies because it often contains traces of pollen. When consumed, these traces can trigger allergic reactions such as itching, swelling, and even anaphylaxis in severe cases. Symptoms can range from mild oral allergy syndrome, causing itching and swelling in the mouth and throat, to more severe systemic reactions. Individuals with pollen allergies (hay fever) need to avoid honey to prevent these potentially severe reactions.

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