The difference between a Food Allergy and a Food Intolerance

The difference between a Food Allergy and a Food Intolerance

Kylie Hollonds

GF Oats avoid the Top 10 Food Allergies

If we follow the guide on the Food Standards Australia Website, we can see the top 10 Food Allergies listed.

So, what is the difference between a food allergy and a food intolerance?

What is a Food Allergy?

A food allergy occurs when a person's immune system reacts to allergens that are harmless to other people. Most food allergies are caused by peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, sesame seeds, fish and shellfish, soy, lupin and wheat. These must be declared whenever they are present in food as ingredients (or as components of food additives or processing aids), however, small the amounts present. Read more about allergen labelling requirements.

When it comes to labelling on food packaging companies must follow guidelines set out by FSANZ.

For example - Gluten-containing cereals need to be declared on the label so people with Coeliac Disease and cereal allergies can identify these products. Gluten-containing cereals include wheat, rye, barley, oats, spelt and hybrid strains of these cereals (e.g. triticale).

The Food Standards Code also includes requirements for making 'gluten-free' and 'low gluten' claims about food. For more information about these claim requirements, see Standard 1.2.7 – Nutrition, Health and Related Claims.

We are able to label our oats ‘low gluten’ but we felt this was more confusing to consumers searching for our oats, as the definition for Low Gluten that a product tests to <20ppm and our oats test down to <3ppm, which equals ZERO/NIL.

What you will see on our packaging is “contains cereal’, may contain gluten. This is a requirement of the food labelling standards. 

Food intolerances, on the other hand, are not as serious but can affect consumers in many similar ways to the allergy, but commonly, not as severe reactions.

Adverse reactions to foods occur in a small proportion of the population. These reactions are not the same as allergies, but may include: rashes and swelling of the skin, asthma, and stuffy or runny nose, irritable bowel symptoms, colic, bloating, and diarrhoea, migraines, headaches, lethargy, and irritability.

If you think you or your child has a food intolerance, it is important to seek advice from a medical practitioner since all of the symptoms you may be experiencing can also be caused by other disorders.

Both added ingredients, including food additives and processing aids, and naturally occurring food components, such as salicylates, lactose and gluten may be involved in food intolerance.

You can view our FULL ALLERGEN STATEMENT HERE...

 

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