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As the diagnosis of food allergies has become more prevalent in recent years so has the need to raise the level of awareness in catering for sufferers in hotels and restaurants.

FISH & SHELLFISH: Some people are so sensitive to fish that they cannot handle or smell fish without getting symptoms such as sickness, diarrhoea, stomach cramps and swelling. Sensitivity to fish and shellfish are not one of the same-many are tolerant of one or the other.

EGGS: Egg intolerance is quite common in young children and is often combined with an allergy to cows milk. Foods to avoid include mayonnaise, custard, biscuits and cakes, most noodle and pasta products, sweets, many sauces and chocolate snacks and desserts. Many processed products contain dried egg, egg protein and lecithin.

SOYA: A common intolerance, avoid food such as blended vegetable oil, tofu, lecithin, soy sauce and oil, peanuts and beansprouts.

NUTS: Capable of causing anaphylaxis which can prove fatal to more common responses such as vomiting, coughing and wheezing. Avoid almonds, all various nut types (brazil, hazelnuts and walnuts). Carefully check cereals, salads, oils, cakes, biscuits, and many foreign foods, particularly Asian with the liberal use of candle nuts, cashew nuts and peanuts.

YEAST: Foods to avoid include bread, pizza, cheese and fermented dairy products, tofu and soy sauce, mould-ripened cheese, certain pastries, pickled food, beer, wine and cider.

ADDITIVES: The use of additives in food manufacturing is prolific, from helping to prolong the shelf life of the product to enhancing its taste and appearance. There are both natural and artificial additives, check products for E numbers or names.
E100 colourings
E200 preservatives
E300 antioxidants
E400 emulsifiers and stabilizers

Also look out for artificial sweeteners, flavour enhancers such ads MSG and various flavourings.