Food allergies and intolerances
If you think you have a food allergy or intolerance, it is important to see your doctor.
Food allergy and food intolerance are types of food sensitivities, both can make you feel very ill.
A food allergy this means your immune system reacts to a particular food and causes immediate symptoms.
Symptoms can include:
Sometimes this reaction can be so severe that it can trigger a life-threatening reaction known as anaphylaxis. For more information on anaphylaxis, see the Food Standards Australia and New Zealand website.
A food intolerance does not involve the immune system. Instead food intolerance is actually an adverse reaction to a particular food.
The symptoms can be unpleasant and in some cases severe but are generally not life-threatening.
Common food allergens
The eight most common food allergens are:
- tree nuts
- sesame seeds.
All food businesses must declare the eight most common food allergens, either on a food package label, a sign or if a consumer asks about ingredients of an unpackaged food.
Gluten (from wheat, rye, barley, oats and their products) and sulphites (which are added to food as a preservative) are required by law to be declared on food labels.