Food allergies versus food intolerances

When it comes to preparing food for a large number of people, it is important to consider the taste of people, as well as their health. This means creating menus that include tolerant and allergic foods. People of all ages can suffer aversions and food intolerances; and the severity of their condition can vary on a large scale, from very mild and uncomfortable to very serious or fatal.

For reasons of safety, responsibility and consideration, it is always important to prepare the spread of the menu taking into account the needs of all. The first place to start is to learn the difference between a food allergy and food intolerance. This knowledge will help you better understand your possible menu options. Keep reading to do just that!

Activates an exaggerated response of the immune system that affects multiple organ systems in an attempt to alert the body of the toxin. This can trigger additional physiological responses that exaggerate and cause severe or fatal symptoms.

Food allergies are serious because some can cause serious injury or death. Even microscopic food particles can cause an allergic reaction, even a deadly one. The most common food allergies include peanuts, shellfish, cow’s milk, soy products, wheat, chicken eggs and tree nuts such as almonds, brazil nuts, hazelnuts, pecans, pistachios and the nuts. These are called the “Big 8” in the culinary world and are the best-known food aversions known to the general public.

Symptoms of food allergy:

Swelling (face, eyes, cheeks, hands, feet, etc.)
Threw up
Anaphylaxis (difficulty breathing, dizziness and loss of consciousness, etc.)
Respiratory symptoms
Food Intolerances
In contrast to food allergies that affect the immune system, food intolerances affect the digestive system of the body. When a person consumes food to which he is intolerant, the digestive system has trouble breaking down. This may be due to several reasons, mainly the lack of essential enzymes, sensitivity to food additives and reactions to chemicals naturally present in food (ie, mycotoxins). Food intolerances are not life threatening, but they can cause great discomfort and disease. In minor cases of food intolerance, people can consume small amounts without experiencing any digestive problems. The most common intolerances include glucose, lactose, tyramine, food preservatives and food additives.

Symptoms of food intolerance:

Fluid retention
Abdominal distension
Difficult breathing
When preparing food for a crowd, be it yourself or through catering services, be sure to consider both food aversions and intolerances. There is a wide range of menu options that can do that, so you will not have to sacrifice variety and flavor!

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