Food Allergy Terms

Adrenaline: also known as epinephrine, is given via auto-injector (Ex: EpiPen® or Twinject®) for emergency relief of food allergy symptoms

Allergy Card: Wallet size cards that list your food allergies. These cards help those dining out explain their allergies easier to ensure safe dining. Printed card can be given to waiter/waitress, and passed onto the chef. Also know as chef cards.

Allergen: substance that can trigger allergic reaction; common food allergens include wheat, daily, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, and soy.

Allergic Reaction: the hyper reaction of the body’s immune system after exposure to allergen.

Antihistamines: drugs block histamine that body releases during an allergic reaction. Example would be Benadryl

Anaphylaxis: Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that is life threatening. Usually two systems of the body are involved such as the respiratory and circulatory system. An example of a reaction with these two systems would be difficulty breathing (respiratory) and drop in blood pressure (circulatory).

Asthma: a disease of the lung airways, which causes the airways to get swollen and inflamed, which makes breathing difficult. Having asthma can increase the severity of an allergic reaction to food.

Auto-Injector: device for administering medicine by injections to treat allergic reactions (Disposal of auto injector)

Celiac disease: an auto-immune disease that attacks tissue in the small intestine after ingestion of any and all foods containing gluten.

Cross-Contamination: cross-contamination is the transfer of a food allergen from other foods, cooking surfaces, eating surfaces, manufacturing equipment, utensils, etc. to another food.

Chef Card: Wallet size cards that list your food allergies. These cards help those dining out explain their allergies easier to ensure safe dining. Printed card can be given to waiter/waitress, and passed onto the chef. Also know as allergy cards.

Epinephrine: also known as adrenaline, is given via auto-injector (Ex: EpiPen or Twinject) for emergency relief of food allergy symptoms

Food Allergy: specific type of adverse food reaction involving the immune system.

Food Allergy Action Plan: a child specific plan listing out allergies, reactions, and treatments; copies of plan can reside anywhere the child does, classroom, nurse’s office, and bus

Food Intolerance: refers to an abnormal response to a food or additive, but it differs from an allergy in that it does not involve the immune system. Also, the severity of the reaction is much less with food intolerance than food allergy

Gluten: Foods that contain gluten come from the botanical family, Triticum spp, also known as the wheat family.

Hives: itchy area of skin or rash, raised above surrounding skin

Immune System: the body’s system which protects and reacts against infections. In the case of an allergic reaction, the immune system mistakes the allergen for something that the body needs to fight against.

Lactose Intolerant: when someone has difficulty digesting lactose. Lactose intolerance is very different than a dairy allergy, which is a reaction of the body’s immune system and can be life threatening.