An estimated 2 to 4% of adults and 6% of children are now suffering from some type of food allergy. As such, it can be difficult to create suitable dishes for customers with allergies. Here, you will find practical tips to help you cater to these guests’ dietary needs and provide them the information they need to make informed choices.
What’s the difference between food allergy and food intolerance?
Food allergy occurs when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks a food protein. Allergic reactions to foods vary in severity and can be potentially fatal. Symptoms may include stomach upsets, rashes, eczema, itching of the skin or mouth, swelling of tissues (e.g. the lips or throat) or difficulty in breathing.
Food intolerance is simply the body’s inability to digest a particular food, which is why it is important to be aware of the common types of food intolerance, such as lactose intolerance. Symptoms of intolerance may include abdominal cramps, bloating and diarrhea.
Did you know?
Many people think that food allergy and food intolerance mean the same thing, but they do not. Food intolerance, unlike a food allergy, does not involve the immune system and is not life-threatening.