Food Allergy Facts | Food Allergies | Test My Allergy

Food Allergy Facts

Discover more about food allergies


We’ve put together our food allergy facts in order to help you further identify the causes of symptoms.

Food allergies are a medical condition in which exposure to food triggers an immune response. Often referred to as an allergic reaction this response occurs because the immune system attacks proteins (allergens) in the food that are normally harmless.

Symptoms of a food allergy range from mild sneezing, itchy mouth, hives to more severe throat tightening and difficulty breathing.

Anaphylaxis is also a possible and serious allergic reaction that is sudden in onset and can cause death.

Common Allergen Foods

Recent published studies between 2018 and 2019 estimate the number of Americans of all ages who have convincing symptoms of allergy to specific foods:


Shellfish – 8.2 million
Milk – 6.1 million


Peanut – 6.1 million
Tree nuts – 3.9 million


Egg – 2.6 million
Fish – 2.6 million


Wheat – 2.4 million
Soy – 1.9 million


Symptoms can present physically and even behaviourally. Individuals can suffer from more than one symptom and symptoms can change over time.


Sesame – 0.7 million
Approx 40% of children are allergic to more than one food.

Food Allergens

There are over 170 foods have been reported to cause allergic reactions.

The 8 main food allergens are milk, egg, peanut, tree nuts, wheat, soy, fish and crustacean shellfish

These main allergens are responsible for most of the serious food allergy reactions in the United States every year.

Allergy to sesame allergy is a growing concern due to the increase in use in many processed products without the awareness of consumers.

Areas of concern:

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention reports that the prevalence of food allergy in children increased by 50% between 1997 and 2011.

Between 1997 and 2008, the prevalence of peanut or tree nut allergy appears to have more than tripled in U.S. children.

Allergy Statistics


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