The Affect Of Food Allergies On The Restaurant Industry

1871 words - 7 pages

Has the rise in customer food allergies had any impact on the restaurant industry? Food allergies and food intolerance are a scientific phenomenon that has been affecting people basically since the beginning of time, though they were previously rarely heard of. Today, however,
20the number of people with food allergies is much higher and
it is still on the rise. The book
8Peanut Butter, Milk, and other Deadly Threats: What You Should Know About Food Allergies, written by Sherri Mabry Gordon,
reports, "According to a 2004 study released by the
21American Academy of Allergies, Asthma, and Immunology, food allergies are
a much bigger health challenge than once thought. Roughly one in twenty-five Americans are now believed to be affected by one or more food allergies." (Gordon 11) Further statistics online reveal
22that more than twelve million Americans suffer from food allergies
and food intolerances. (Network) Now, because of the increase in the number of people afflicted with food allergies, more and more of these individuals who require special diets are dining out in restaurants which, inevitably, poses many challenges for the chef of the restaurant, the manager, and the service staff. Gordon informs us that, "Food allergies were first documented in the fourth century B.C. by Hippocrates. He noted that milk could cause hives and stomach upset." (Gordon 72) Although food allergies are not a new occurrence, throughout time there has been very little accurate information regarding food allergies and food intolerance. (Gordon 72) What is a known fact, however, is that
12there is no cure for food allergies, so strict avoidance of food allergens is the only way to
manage allergic reactions and prevent serious health problems. (Network) Scientists have not found a cure yet, but they have made great progress in researching, diagnosing, and treating food allergies as well as educating the public about them. Two of the main organizations responsible for this progress are the
19Food Allergy Initiative (FAI), a nonprofit organization that raises funds
to invest in research designed to find a cure and improve treatment options, and
11the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN), founded in 1991 by Anne Munoz-Furlong, it is the largest nonprofit organization in the
world dedicated to providing information about food allergies and raising public awareness of the seriousness of food allergies. (Gordon 73) Gordon states in her book that there are three very probable theories explaining
18why there has been such an increase in food allergies among people. The
first theory is "The hygiene theory," explained in Gordon's book by
9Dr. Robert Wood, director of the pediatric allergy clinic at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions in Baltimore, suggests that the
less exposed to germs that we are,
14the more time our immune system has to worry about allergens. He also noted that recent studies have revealed that
the likelihood of...

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