Of course, everyone knows that if you have a peanut allergy that you should avoid peanuts, peanut butter, peanut butter cookies and foods that have the word “peanut” in them. The real danger of a peanut allergy is that many people do not realize that peanuts or peanut products are used in many foods. Peanut allergy prevention requires knowing which foods could possibly contain peanuts.
Peanut Protein Could Be Hidden Where You’d Never Suspect
Parents of children with peanut allergies have found that ordering a children’s meal at a local fast food restaurant can be a dangerous thing to do. Even if you order French fries, they could be fried in an oil blend that includes peanut oil. Sometimes restaurants fry peanut crusted items in the same non-peanut oil that they make fries in, and this also exposes the allergic person to peanuts. It’s always best to find out what type of oil the restaurant uses and if anything else is fried in the oil that might contain peanuts before ordering.
Just Because You Don’t See Peanuts…
Ethnic foods often have peanut butter or ground peanuts in them, including Chinese food. Peanut butter is an ingredient in egg rolls. It mixes in with other ingredients so that it can’t be seen, and it can’t be tasted either. It is used to hold the cabbage and other ingredients in the egg roll together. Peanut butter is also used in some types of chili where its flavor is completely disguised.
Eating Ethnic Foods Can Be Risky
Indian dishes may contain peanut products, as well as Indonesian, African, Mexican, Thai, and Vietnamese dishes. Some of these foods are fried in peanut oil that is called arachis oil. When you eat at a restaurant in the United States, much of the food served may not be made at the restaurant. Many restaurants buy food products pre-made and they reheat or fry the product at their eatery. This means that you can’t always be sure if there are peanut products in dishes that you eat at restaurants.
Foods with Hidden Peanut Products
If you order ice cream at your local ice cream shop, it could have come in contact with another flavor that had peanuts in it. Many times, the ice cream is scooped and then rinsed off or soaked in a container and reused for the next order. It’s probably not safe to eat this kind of ice cream, even if you order plain vanilla.
Baked Goods and Other Foods May Contain Peanuts
Baked goods from bakeries are another source of hidden peanuts. Ground peanuts may be used in a filling for pastries and other products, yet they don’t have the appearance of peanuts. Salad dressings are another source of hidden peanuts, and granola often has peanuts as well. The only sure way to avoid peanuts is to cook and bake at home with peanut-free baking recipes.