Food Allergy

Education | Empowerment | Support

Peanut Allergies: The Facts

          Peanuts are the most common cause of death by food-and about 1/3 of the peanut sensitive patients have severe reactions to peanuts. 


  • Most people don't know that peanut oil is used commonly in Oriental Cooking
  • Although uncommon. a peanut protein, hydrolyzate, may be used in soft drinks as a foaming agent.  It could also be used in confections as a whipping agent.  11 of 45 brands of milk formulas in France contained variable amounts of peanut oil.  
  • Some patients with peanut allergies will also react to sweet lupine seed flour, which may be used for example, to fortify spaghetti-like pasta. 
  •  Residual peanut proteins are believed to become more allergic when heated.  Like peanut oil, other vegetable oils such as soy, maize, sesame, and sun flour oils contain low quantities of protein.
  • Individuals who are allergic to peanuts are said to not be allergic to nuts such as almonds, pecans, or walnuts. 
    *however, if you are anaphylactic I would not recommend testing other nuts! There is a high probability of cross-contamination both pre- and post-factory
  • Make sure to read the Ingredient labels and check for warning labels for potential cross contamination


"Peanuts are added to a large variety of processed foods (Table XI). These include ice cream (as a flavoring), marinades, snack foods, and biscuits. Peanuts can be used as a flavoring or a seasoning agent67 and may be labeled as such (Table XII). Nuts may be used in the manufacture of vegetable burger patties.68 A fatal reaction to peanut antigen in almond icing has been recorded.69 Peanut butter may also be used to "glue down" the ends of egg rolls to keep them from coming apart.70 Some individuals do not know that peanut butter is commonly used in Oriental cooking."


"Peanuts can be "deflavored," "reflavored," and pressed into other shapes such as almonds and walnuts.9,65 These products retain the allergenicity of the peanut. Some patients with peanut allergy also react to sweet lupine seed flour, which may be used, for example, to fortify a spaghetti-like pasta.71"

"Although uncommon, a peanut protein hydrolyzate may also be used in soft drinks as a foaming agent or in confections as a whipping agent.67 " 

Foods that may contain peanut or peanut oil.

Baked goods
Baking mixes
Battered foods
Breakfast cereals
Cereal-based products
Chinese dishes
Egg rolls
Ice cream

Milk formula
Peanut butter
Satay sauce and dishes
Thai dishes
Vegetable fat
Vegetable oil

Labels that may indicate the presence of peanut protein

Peanut butter
Emulsifier (uncommon)
Oriental sauce

-Hidden Allergens in Foods


    "It's important to be vigilant about your child's food allergies, even during simple, everyday activities. Here are some basic tips...:

    1. Avoid baked goods you didn't make yourself - anything with an unknown list of ingredients. Stay away from baking mixes, chili mixes, etc.
    2. Be careful when eating at Asian or buffet restaurants - spoons often go in and out of various bowls that may contain nuts or seeds and could easily cross contaminate foods.
    3. Don't be cavalier about food allergies - tell everyone who handles the food your child eats, from waiters and waitresses to chefs and bakers. If the manager or owner of a restaurant is uncomfortable about your request for peanut- or nut-free food preparation, don't eat there.
    4. If you're unsure about whether a food or candy is nut and peanut free, log on to the manufacturer's website or call the toll-free number listed on the package. Most companies have customer service representatives that can answer nut and peanut allergy questions accurately.
    5. Encourage people not to feed your child. Don't take food from strangers. Make your own snacks and treats to take to parties, play dates, school functions, and other outings.
    6. Talk to the daycare supervisor or school principal before your child attends. Then talk to your child's classmates or send home a note explaining that your child has a severe allergy to peanuts or nuts. Ask parents to refrain from sending in snacks that contain peanuts. If your child's school doesn't already have one, talk to the school principal, your child's teacher, or cafeteria personnel about setting up a nut- and peanut-free table in the cafeteria.
    7. Keep epinephrine accessible at all times - not in the glove compartment of your car, but with you because seconds count during an anaphylaxis episode. It's a good idea to also keep epinephrine in your child's classroom (not just in the nurse's office), or in your child's backpack, depending on your state's laws on carrying medicine in classrooms. "

    -Kid s Health for parents



    Types of Nuts

    "The question as to whether a person who is allergic to specific nuts should avoid nuts of all species is yet unanswered.  The incidence of cross-reactivity between nuts from unrelated trees is not known.  A 1989 study on 14 nut-allergic-children indicated that allergy to one species of nut did not necessarily indicate allergy to all species of nuts.  In the study, one child reacted to 5 nuts, one child to 2 nuts, and the other 12 children reacted to only one nut each. 

            However, individuals who have an anaphylactic reaction to one type of nut should avoid nuts of  all types in the interest of safety.  The likelihood of people reacting to tree nuts if they are anaphylactic to peanuts is also unknown; to ensure that accidental exposure to peanut is avoided, people who are anaphylactic to peanuts should avoid all tree nuts as well.  Because many of the life-threatening anaphylactic reactions occur in response to nuts, this group of foods is considered the greatest risk to the greatest number of allergic people, especially children.  Therefore, most people with proven allergy to peanuts or any species of tree nut are usually advised to carefully avoid exposure to all nuts, nut-containing foods, and derivatives of nuts such as oils."

    -Dealing with Food Allergies By, Janice Vickerstaff Joneja, PhD, RDN

    Foods to Avoid:

    • peanut butter
    • mixed nuts
    • crushed nuts in sauces
    • African, Chinese, Indonesian, Japanese, Mexican, and Vietnamese dishes (which often contain peanuts or are contaminated with peanuts during meal preparation)
    • pesto (an Italian sauce made with nuts)
    • marzipan (a paste made from ground almonds and sugar)
    • mandelonas (peanuts soaked in almond flavoring)
    • health food bars
    • artificial nuts (which could be peanuts that have been deflavored and reflavored with a nut, such as pecan or walnut)
    • all cakes and pastries with unknown ingredients, particularly carrot cake, pumpkin cake or pie, and fruit and nut rolls
    • bouillon and Worcestershire sauce
    • praline and nougat
    • muesli and fruited breakfast cereals
    • vegetarian dishes
    • prepared salads and salad dressings
    • grav


    Foods that may contain peanuts, or peanut oil:
    • Baked goods
    • Baking mixes
    • Battered foods
    • Biscuits
    • Breakfast cereals
    • Cereal-based products
    • Chili
    • Chinese dishes
    • Cookies
    • Egg rolls
    • Ice cream
    • Margarine
    • Marzipan
    • Milk formulas
    • Pastry
    • Peanut butter
    • Soups
    • Sweets
    • Thai dishes
    • Vegetable fat
    • Vegetable oil

    Labels that may indicate the presence of peanut protein:

    • Ground nut
    • Peanut
    • Peanut butter
    • Emulsifier
    • Flavoring
    • Oriental sauce
    • food additive 322 (also often listed as lecithins)
    • arachis (an alternative term for peanut)
    • hydrolyzed vegetable protein (which may be found in some cereals)
    • arachis oil (peanut oil)
    • emulsified or satay (which could mean that the food was thickened with peanuts)
    • natural and artificial flavoring (which could contain tree nuts and are used in many foods, including barbecue sauce, cereals, crackers, and ice cream)