Here are some food allergy basics:
Two percent to 2 1/2 percent of the general population suffers from food allergy, or between 6 million to 7 million Americans. Up to 3 million Americans suffer from peanut or tree nut allergy.
Eight foods account for 90 percent of the allergic reactions: peanuts, tree nuts (walnuts, pecans, etc.), fish, shellfish, eggs, milk, soy and wheat.
Peanuts are the leading cause of severe allergic reactions, followed by shellfish, fish, tree nuts and eggs.
Physicians are reporting an increase in the number of food-allergic patients in the nation.
People with food allergies and asthma appear to be at an increased risk for severe allergic reaction.
Food allergy is the leading cause of anaphylaxis outside the hospital setting, accounting for an estimated 30,000 emergency room visits and 2,000 hospitalizations each year.
It is estimated that as many as 150 to 200 people die each year from food allergy-related reactions; about 50 people die each year from insect sting reactions.
Source: Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network, www.foodallergy.com.