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July 31, 2007

One in Five Households Now Has a Food Allergic Family Member

The Wall Street Journal completed a food allergy poll with Harris Interactive. The survey of over 2,800 adults indicates about one in five American households includes at least one person who suffers from food allergies.

32% described their food allergy was very serious or life threatening, however, only two-thirds of these serious allergy sufferers say they inquire about how foods are prepared and informing managers about their allergy when dining out. I'm not sure what the other third is thinking - maybe they just enjoy rolling the dice or frequent trips to the ER?

Get this... 44% of the severely allergic respondents said that they suffered an allergic reaction to food while dining out because they were not informed or misinformed about the ingredients in a meal at a restaurant. Wouldn't you think that would be a high enough number to drive everyone to inform restaurant staff about his/her food allergy?

Part of me thinks polls like this have limited value - how many of those folks really have a food allergy? For those of us managing a clinically diagnosed severe food allergy, we just cannot imagine going out to eat and simply hoping that what we read on the menu is enough to go by when ordering a food allergen safe meal.

Posted by David at July 31, 2007 3:42 PM