More than 90 percent of food allergies are caused by the same 8 foods – peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, soy, wheat, fish, and shellfish.

But a surprising variety of foods cause the other 10 percent of allergies.

Wine, apples, and sesame seeds are just a few of the potential food allergens. While these food allergies aren’t nearly as common as peanut allergies, they still cause dangerous symptoms in a significant number of people.


A surprising number of people cannot eat pork, beef, chicken, and other types of meat. Author John Grisham is one famous meat allergy sufferer; he can’t eat any form of red meat. Dr. Hermant Sharma, director of the Food Allergy Program at Children’s National in Washington D.C., says “Interestingly, in most allergic reactions, it’s the protein that the body is responding to. But with meat allergies, it’s the sugar.” It is now thought that meat allergies may develop after exposure to ticks.

Sesame Seeds

Sesame seeds have become the ninth-most common food allergen, with rates continuing to rise. According to Dr. Sharma, this may be a matter of changing food choices in the United States. He explains:

“It’s a pretty common food allergy in other parts of the world, especially the Middle East where the diet is rich in sesame. Now the American diet is incorporating more and more sesame seed, which could explain the rise in prevalence.”


While allergies to apples tend to be mild, they are also more common than you might expect. Experts believe that people who react to apples are actually allergic to the birch pollen found on the apple’s skin. This pollen, also frequently found on plums and peaches, can cause an itchy throat.


If you’re allergic to ragweed pollen, you may also experience an allergic reaction, commonly including an itchy mouth, when eating melon.

Dried Fruit

If you experience a reaction when eating dried fruit – particularly that made commercially – it may not be the fruit itself that’s the problem. Instead, you may be reacting to sulfites, included as a preservative. Common symptoms include a flushed face and itchy jaw.

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