Australian Eatwell PTY LTD

Facts and Figures


Signs of allergic reaction and what to do

So far in this blog we have discussed what allergens are and how to distinguish the packaging with allergic ingredients. Unfortunately people don’t always take note of the ingredients they are using when cooking or they don’t cook their own food so they are oblivious to some of the ingredients used. So this blog will discuss the main symptoms of allergic reactions and what the steps of treatment are.

Firstly what are the symptoms? All of the symptoms will occur within a few minutes up to an hours of consuming the food. The initial effects experienced may be itching in the mouth and difficulty swallowing and breathing. Once the food begins to be digested symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal pain can occur. Allergens can also induce reactions on contact with certain areas of the body. When in contact with the skin hives, rashes and eczema can occur. If the allergens reach the airways it can cause asthma and difficulty breathing. The most severe effect of allergens is anaphylaxis, which is a sudden drop in blood pressure. It start off as tingling in the mouth and throat and if not treated quickly can be fatal.

When treating an allergic reaction there are different ways, prognosis depends mainly on the severity of the reaction. For miner reactions that cause redness in the skin and itchiness certain medications can be taken, for asthma inhalers can be used. If the reaction is more severe than an EpiPen might be needed. If you do not have any medication then immediate medical assistance will be needed.

The best way of avoiding an allergic reaction is to know what affects your body and to always be careful of what you eat.


Recognising the Packaging

Most people when grocery shopping wouldn’t take much notice of the labelling on the food, they would probably be more interested in the price. In Australia food labelling by law is required to have certain information such as a used by date and a nutritional information panel but is important information such as food allergens required to be on the labelling by law?

Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) who write the laws state that all ingredients must be listed on the labelling. Any extra allergen information isn’t required unless stated as a ‘claim’ on the packaging. Fair trading laws ensure that any claims on packaging are truthful.

An example of food labelling that has certain allergen claims are Australian Eatwell products. These claims ensure that people with certain dietary requirements can find the appropriate food easily and also know exactly what the food contains.


What are allergens and intolerance?

Allergens as the word implies causes an allergic reaction in the body, but why does this only happen for certain people?

The allergic reaction occurs when there is something abnormal in a person’s immune system. The body’s immune system responds by generating antibodies which can trigger symptoms such as skin rash, swelling in the face, vomiting, difficulty breathing and severe cases anaphylaxis. There is no cure for allergens, the only solution is to avoid the food all together.

Often people think when they react negatively to a food they have a food allergy but they can often instead have a food intolerance. The difference is that food intolerance doesn’t involve the immune system but instead an enzyme deficiency, a common example is lactose intolerance. Symptoms of an intolerance are most commonly; skin rash, headaches and stomach pains. Food intolerance reactions generally aren’t as severe as allergies.

Although they may seem similar it is important to know the difference between allergens and intolerance because of the differences in reaction risk. To diagnose someone it is as easy as seeing a doctor.