The Prevalence Of Food Allergy: A Meta-analysis

Department of Dermatology and Allergology, Utrecht University, Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands
Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (Impact Factor: 11.48). 10/2007; 120(3):638-46. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaci.2007.05.026
Source: PubMed


There is uncertainty about the prevalence of food allergy in communities.
To assess the prevalence of food allergy by performing a meta-analysis according to the method of assessment used.
The foods assessed were cow's milk, hen's egg, peanut, fish, shellfish, and an overall estimate of food allergy. We summarized the information in 5 categories: self-reported symptoms, specific IgE positive, specific skin prick test positive, symptoms combined with sensitization, and food challenge studies. We systematically searched MEDLINE and EMBASE for publications since 1990. The meta-analysis included only original studies. They were stratified by age groups: infant/preschool, school children, and adults.
A total of 934 articles were identified, but only 51 were considered appropriate for inclusion. The prevalence of self-reported food allergy was very high compared with objective measures. There was marked heterogeneity between studies regardless of type of assessment or food item considered, and in most analyses this persisted after age stratification. Self-reported prevalence of food allergy varied from 1.2% to 17% for milk, 0.2% to 7% for egg, 0% to 2% for peanuts and fish, 0% to 10% for shellfish, and 3% to 35% for any food.
There is a marked heterogeneity in the prevalence of food allergy that could be a result of differences in study design or methodology, or differences between populations.
We recommend that measurements be made by using standardized methods, if possible food challenge. We need to be cautious in estimates of prevalence based only on self-reported food allergy.

Download full-text


Available from: Laurian Jongejan,
  • Source
    • "EC 1420/13). Ensuring product authenticity and adequate legislative powers should improve the health-related aspects linked to correct consumer information, especially with regard to the use of fish containing species-specific allergens (Rona et al., 2007; Sharp and Lopata, 2014). Additionally, it is noteworthy to observe that most of these fish products come from outside Europe, where controls on farming sites, pathogens and bioaccumulation of heavy metals are lacking, and there may be polluted waters (Filonzi et al., 2010). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Considering that seafood mislabeling has been widely reported throughout the world and that the authentication of food components is one of the key issues in food safety, quality and sustainability, the aim of this study was to use DNA barcoding to investigate the prevalence of mislabeling among fish fillet products from markets and supermarkets located in Apulia (SE Italy). The study reveals a high degree of species mislabeling in fish fillet products. In particular, this study shows that the labels of only 32/200 fish fillet samples provided comprehensive information relating to commercial designation, scientific name, geographical area, production method and whether previously frozen. The labeling of other samples was not compliant with European legislation. Indeed, the scientific name, which must also be indicated from 1st January 2012, according to Article 68 of EU Commission Implementing Regulation No. 404/2011, was missing in 157/168 samples, the geographical area was missing in 152/168, while the commercial designation and the production method were reported in all samples. Furthermore, results from molecular investigations reveal a high occurrence of incorrect species declaration in fish fillet products. The commercial and/or scientific name declared failed to match the species identified in 164/200 (82%) samples. The study also highlighted that threatened, Vulnerable (VU), Endangered (EN) and Critically Endangered (CR) species considered to be facing a high risk of extinction has been used in the place of commercial species. This study thus provides further evidence of the need for increased traceability and assessment of food product authenticity. Additionally, traceability may improve the management of hazards related to fish safety, as well as guaranteeing product authenticity, providing reliable information to customers, enhancing supply-side management and improving product quality and sustainability.
    Fisheries Research 10/2015; 170. DOI:10.1016/j.fishres.2015.05.006 · 1.90 Impact Factor
    • "In a meta-analysis of 51 studies evaluating the prevalence of adverse food reactions, up to 35% of individuals reporting a reaction to a food believed that they had a food allergy, whereas studies confirming food allergy by oral food challenges suggested a much lower prevalence of approximately 3.5%. Much of this discrepancy is due to a misclassification of adverse reactions to foods that are not allergic in origin, for example lactose intolerance causing bloating, abdominal pain and diarrhoea after consumption of milk products (Rona et al. 2007). Studies by Young et al. (1994) and Zuberbier et al. (2004) highlight that self-reported but clinically unsubstantiated food allergy is relatively common as a reason for unexplained and unexpected 'symptoms'. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In the community, wine is sometimes considered responsible for adverse reactions. Commonly reported reactions to wine include skin flushing, itching and nasal congestion. A review of the literature was undertaken to identify adverse food reactions from wine, including those related to residues from egg, fish, milk, or nut processing aids and additives used in winemaking. Relatively limited literature was found reporting true allergic reactions following the ingestion of wine. This paper also examines what is known about the potential of egg, fish, milk, nut and other food proteins used in wine production to cause an allergic reaction to wine. It can be cautiously concluded that wine made with traditional proteinaceous processing aids, according to good manufacturing practice, poses little risk to the health of adult consumers with food allergies.
    Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research 10/2015; DOI:10.1111/ajgw.12171 · 1.82 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "Thus, pre-packaged foodstuffs must comply with the rules on labeling, presentation and advertising of foodstuffs, ensuring product authenticity and correct consumer information. Also the legislation should consider the sanitary aspects, species-specific fish allergens (Rona et al., 2007; Sharp and Lopata, 2014; Taylor, Kabourek, & Hefle, 2004; Woo and Bahna, 2011) linked to use of the generic name, ''fish'', which can be used in the ingredients list instead of a more specific name to describe any species of fish. Furthermore, factors such as traceability, quality, and sustainability criteria have become an integral part of the sale contract requirements, thus leading to changes in the selection of raw material by the processing industry. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Given the increase in the international trade of packaged frozen fishery products, this study used DNA barcoding to investigate the breaded hake and plaice species, sold in Italian markets. The results of this study generally matched the ingredient list on the food label. Only 6 of the 120 samples were non-compliant. Specifically, breaded merluccius samples match the species shown in the list of ingredients on the label. Of the ''breaded plaice'' samples, 4/14 contained Lepidopsetta polyxystra and 2/14 Merluccius gayi, thus failing to match the ingredient list on the label. Considering the European legislation indicates that the label must not mislead consumers, but international trade and the use of similar terms for different products makes it complicated when a product from one country is introduced into another in which the niche already exists, clear labeling is strongly recommended in order to ensure that consumers can make conscious choices.
    Food Chemistry 08/2015; 194:279-83. DOI:10.1016/j.foodchem.2015.07.135 · 3.39 Impact Factor
Show more