Study: People with Eczema Should Avoid Food-Based Skin Products

If you have a skin inflammation such as eczema, using skin cream that contains food ingredients could lead to an allergic reaction, according to a letter to the editor published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice.

Australian researchers report on the case of a 55-year-old woman who had a life-threatening reaction after eating two mouthfuls of a salad containing goat cheese. Although the woman suffered from eczema and seasonal asthma throughout her life, she had no history of reactions to food. But after conducting tests to track down the problem ingredient, doctors found that she was allergic to goat’s milk.

Further investigation revealed that the woman frequently used a moisturizer containing goat’s milk to soothe her eczema, although she stopped using it when her condition worsened. Rubbing the cream into inflamed skin, however, presumably sensitized her. When she ingested goat cheese, it triggered a reaction that escalated within minutes, requiring emergency treatment with epinephrine.

The researchers believe that this is the first direct evidence that humans can become sensitized to a food allergen by exposure through the skin. However, previous studies suggest that people with eczema have developed food allergies after using soaps and oils that contain wheat, oat, peanut and goat’s milk. The authors advise eczema patients to avoid skin care products and cosmetics that contain food ingredients.

Fourth of July Western Cornbread

This recipe is perfect for your Fourth of July cookout or a summer picnic. It’s free of the top eight allergens and can be fried or baked depending on your preference. If you’re looking for a refreshing dessert to serve, check out our “4 Frozen Recipes for the Fourth of July.”

Western Cornbread

Milk-free, Egg-free, Wheat-free, Peanut-free, Tree nut-free, Soy-free, Fish-free, Shellfish-free (Free of the Top Eight food allergens)

  • 2 cups white cornmeal
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 T. vegetable oil
  • 3/4 to 1 1/4 cups boiling water
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 cup frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • oil

In large bowl, combine cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Stir in 1/4 cup water and vegetable oil. Slowly add boiling water. Stir batter until it reaches consistency of grits. Add chili powder, corn, and cilantro. Mix well. In large skillet, pour oil 1/2 inch deep. Heat to medium-high. Scoop 1/4 cup batter and drop into hot oil. Fry in batches, cooking 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Serve with margarine if desired.

Note: The amount of boiling water that will be used can vary depending on the type of cornmeal that is used. Coarsely ground or stone-ground cornmeal will require more liquid.

Suggestion: For baked cornbread, pour 1/3 cup vegetable oil into jelly-roll pan, spreading it to the edges. Pour batter into pan. Bake 12 to 15 minutes at 475 degrees. Turn cornbread and bake an additional 5 minutes or until golden brown.

We hope you and your family have a fun and festive holiday weekend!

2014 FARE Vision Award Winners

The FARE Vision Awards take their name from FARE’s vision statement, which is to make the world safe for people with food allergies. These awards recognize individuals and entities who work to make that vision a reality, and who support FARE in its mission to find a cure for food allergies and to keep individuals with food allergies safe and included.

Our 2014 award winners have gone above and beyond in their efforts to support the food allergy community, and they are truly leaders in making a difference for everyone who is living with food allergies. Awards were presented at the FARE National Food Allergy Conference on Saturday, June 21, 2014.

awards winners with adrian

Pictured from left to right: FARE’s CEO John Lehr; FARE Vision Award Recipient for Outstanding Community Citizen, Anne Thompson; FARE Vision Award Recipient for Outstanding Corporate Citizen, Siobhan Cavanaugh accepting for Mylan Specialty; and pro football player and Mylan Specialy spokesperson Adrian Peterson

Vision Award for Outstanding Corporate Citizen 
Presented to a corporation that has made a positive impact in the lives of people with food allergies and supported the food allergy community through a partnership with FARE.

Presented to Mylan Specialty

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Through its work and actions, Mylan Specialty has shown its commitment to the food allergy community by helping people live well with food allergies, promoting positive change on behalf of the community, and otherwise supporting the development of a safer world for people with food allergies.

Our 2014 honoree has been a leader in supporting transformative programs focused on increasing anaphylaxis awareness, preparedness and access to treatment for those affected by life-threatening allergies. FARE has been proud to partner with Mylan Specialty on a wide-range of education and awareness initiatives, including this, our first FARE National Food Allergy Conference, for which Mylan is the presenting sponsor. Mylan also is the national presenting sponsor for the FARE Walk for Food Allergy program, which takes place in more than 60 cities nationwide to raise awareness and critical funds to fulfill FARE’s mission. Last year’s walks raised a record $3.6 million to support food allergy research, education, advocacy and awareness programs. Mylan also regularly supports annual programs such as our Teen Summit and the meeting of the International Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Alliance.

In just this past year, Mylan’s support has made possible several special projects that have advanced the cause of the food allergy community. These include:

  • The documentary “An Emerging Epidemic: Food Allergies in America,” which was produced and distributed by the Discovery Channel in partnership with FARE, and
  • The creation of our new comprehensive educational tool called Your Food Allergy Field Guide, which is designed to help families transition from a new food allergy diagnosis to living well with food allergies. In less than six months, thanks to grants from Mylan and other supporters, FARE was able to distribute more than 100,000 free printed copies of the Field Guide to allergists nationwide to provide to their patients with food allergy, and to create a free digital version on our website.

In addition to these great programs, Mylan has also worked to increase awareness through its Anaphylaxis 101 and Ready2Go campaigns, and to improve access to epinephrine auto-injectors through its EpiPen4Schools and $0 Co-Pay programs. And, as makers of the EpiPen, they are a daily presence in the lives of millions of Americans who are prepared to respond to anaphylactic emergencies.

Vision Award for Outstanding Community Citizen
Presented to an individual volunteer who has gone above and beyond to support FARE and its mission, dedicating herself to educating others and advocating for the cause.

Presented to Anne Thompson

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Anne has been a passionate advocate and volunteer for FARE and the food allergy community for nearly two decades. When her son Andrew was diagnosed with life-threatening food allergies two decades ago, very little information was available. In 1997, Anne co-founded one of the first food allergy support groups in the country–Mothers of Children Having Allergies, better known as MOCHA, here in Chicago. Since then, Anne has mentored, counseled and taught hundreds, if not thousands, of other families who are struggling with the daily challenges and anxiety of living with food allergies. In fact, families across the country have benefitted from Anne and Andrew’s story through their participation in the 2013 documentary “An Emerging Epidemic: Food Allergies in America,” which was produced by the Discovery Channel in partnership with FARE.

As an advocate, Anne was instrumental in getting District 39, in Wilmette, Illinois, to be among the first school districts in the nation to adopt progressive policies in food allergy safety and inclusion. This policy served as a model for statewide guidelines and later national guidelines. She was also active in advocacy efforts that led to Illinois allowing all emergency response personnel to carry epinephrine auto-injectors, and played an important role in the passage of legislation allowing higher education institutions in Indiana to stock epinephrine.

Anne, along with her MOCHA co-founder Denise Bunning, also helped to launch the first Walk for Food Allergy, which was held in Chicago in 2004. Most recently, Anne’s experiences in helping Andrew navigate his first two years at Purdue University have made Anne a leading authority in the management of food allergies in higher education. Anne has dedicated countless hours and her expertise in this arena to helping FARE develop its new FARE College Food Allergy Program, which was launched in January, and she continues to be involved in its implementation. Anne’s service on behalf of FARE and the food allergy community also includes her current positions on FARE’s Support Group Leader Executive Council as well as on our Advocacy Leadership Council.

Vision Award for Outstanding Fundraising Achievement
Presented to an individual or a group of individuals who have gone above and beyond to raise
critical funds to support FARE and its mission.

Presented to Abbey Braverman, Roxanne Palin and Stephanie Winston Wolkoff

fundraising award

The co-chairs of the FARE New York Spring Luncheon, Abbey Braverman, Roxanne Palin, and Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, are dedicated mothers of children with food allergies. Thanks to their commitment and hard work, the luncheon, which was first held 15 years ago with just over 100 attendees, has become a high-profile event in New York City that attracts more than 700 guests each year and raised $1 million in 2014.

The luncheon’s goals are to raise funds to advance FARE’s mission and to educate and engage supporters. The co-chairs have brought great spirit and energy to helping FARE exceed these goals each year, while creating a fun and festive environment that inspires attendees to become more involved in our cause.

In addition to building a strong base of loyal supporters who return – and bring new supporters – year after year, the luncheon has helped raise awareness of the seriousness of food allergies and anaphylaxis, and highlights FARE’s work through features and interviews in the tri-state media. It has also helped FARE build mutually beneficial relationships with allergy friendly companies.

Founder’s Award
Presented to a public figure or group of public figures who have greatly advanced the vision of a safer world for individuals with food allergies through significant public action.

Presented to U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL), U.S. Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN)
and U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), original sponsors of the School Access to Emergency
Epinephrine Act, which was signed into law on November 13, 2013.

In this – the inaugural year of the Founder’s Award– we are pleased to present it to four of our nation’s legislative leaders who are also champions of the food allergy community.

Last year, Senators Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk and Representatives Phil Roe and Steny Hoyer sponsored and successfully passed the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act – which was signed into law by President Obama on November 13, 2013. That law incentivizes states to require the stocking of emergency epinephrine in their schools.

Because of their dedication and dogged commitment to the cause of safety and inclusion for children with food allergies, more states have adopted stock epinephrine laws and more lives will be saved because of their leadership.

Congratulations and thank you to all of our 2014 Vision Award winners!

Food Allergens in Medications

A new clinical review provides useful information about the potential presence of food allergens in prescription medications. Although some medications and vaccines do contain substances derived from foods, researchers found that most medications do not contain enough of a food protein to cause an allergic reaction.

In the article published in the June 2014 issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Dr. John M. Kelso (Scripps Clinic, San Diego, CA) explains that all medications contain excipients, substances that are added to the active ingredient of a drug during the manufacturing process. Examples include flavoring agents, preservatives and binding materials. The article offers a thorough review of medications that contain food-derived excipients and discusses whether each is safe for patients with food allergies. For example, the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine contains negligible or no egg protein and can be given to anyone with egg allergy. The typically available influenza vaccine contains trace amounts of egg protein, but authoritative professional associations have issued statements recommending vaccination for those with egg allergy and declaring that it may be administered safely with some precautions.  On the other hand, some vaccines, including MMR, may trigger a reaction in people who are allergic to gelatin. Fortunately, this allergy is not common. People with fish allergy may safely consume fish oil, since it does not contain fish protein.

Dr. Kelso further notes that if a person does have a reaction to a medication, the drug may be from a specific lot that was accidentally contaminated with food protein. “In most circumstances these medications should not be routinely withheld from patients who have particular food allergies because most will tolerate the medications uneventfully,” he writes. “However, if a particular patient has had an allergic reaction to the medication… allergy to the food component should be investigated.”

Allergy-Friendly Father’s Day Barbeque Recipes

Let Dad spend time doing what he does best – man the grill at your Father’s Day barbeque! These food allergy-friendly recipes for steak marinade and potato salad are perfect for dads and guests alike and free of the top eight food allergens.

Milk-free, Egg-free, Wheat-free, Peanut-free, Tree nut-free, Soy-free, Fish-free, Shellfish-free (Free of the Top Eight food allergens)

Steak Marinade

  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar (for soy-free), or tamari/wheat-free soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 T. red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger, minced
  • 1 lb. steak (flank steak recommended)

In small bowl, whisk together soy sauce or balsamic vinegar, olive oil, honey, garlic, red wine vinegar, pepper, and ginger. Place steak in glass dish or large plastic bag; pour marinade over steak and cover or seal for several hours or overnight.

Spicy Potato Salad

  • 4 large red potatoes (about 2 lbs.)
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1 T. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 (8 3/4-oz.) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 small carrot, shredded
  • 6 green olives, sliced

Cook potatoes in boiling water 20 to 30 minutes or until tender. Drain. Set aside until cool to touch. Cut potatoes into cubes; place in large bowl. Set aside. In small bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, sugar, and salt; pour over potatoes. Toss gently. Cover and chill 1 hour. Stir in corn, carrots, and olives.

We hope you and your family have a great Father’s Day!

FARE Kids Who Care: Callie Milner

Callie FARE BlogCallie Milner wants everyone to be able to enjoy dessert together, which is why she started Callie’s Nut-Free Treats, a home-based bakery business that has been churning out nut-free baked goods and delighting customers in the Chicago area. At just nine years old, Callie and her mother Dara are donating all proceeds from their sales to FARE so they can help raise funds for food allergy research, education, advocacy and awareness. We asked Callie to tell us more about her successful fundraiser:

What are your food allergies? What’s it like having food allergies?

I am allergic to peanuts. When I go to a restaurant and I am ordering food, I have to be really careful that the server understands that my food cannot touch anything with peanuts. Cross-contact is the biggest thing about having food allergies. Having a food allergy makes you have to think in every situation about what you are eating and what others are eating around you. It is usually ok, but sometimes people don’t listen or understand and that is when it gets tiring. It is also tiring when there are really good treats around you that you can’t eat, and that is why I made Callie’s Nut-Free Treats!

Tell us about how you have been fundraising for FARE.

I have been making Callies’ Nut-Free Treats to raise money for FARE. I dance at All About Dance in Chicago and Ms. Jessica and Ms. Shannon (the owners) have let me have bake sales there for 3 years.  All of my treats are peanut, tree-nut and shellfish free and many are gluten-free and egg-free. I also have a website that people can order off of as part of the bake sale. I have raised over $9,000 so far and I don’t plan to stop!

Why did you want to do it? Why was it was important to you?

Callie’s Nut-Free Treats was really important to me because when I would see a good treat, I would really want to eat it, but I couldn’t because of my food allergy. So that’s why I made Callie’s Nut-Free Treats. I know how it feels for kids with food allergies and I want to make treats that a lot of people with food allergies and also without food allergies can eat. Now I don’t feel bad when I see great treats. I also wanted to teach people about food allergies and why they have to be really careful.

Which of your baked goods is your favorite? Which is the most popular seller?

My favorites are chocolate-covered chocolate sandwich cookies, chocolate sandwich cookie and potato chip milk chocolate bark, chocolate covered graham crackers with sprinkles and marshmallows. Our best sellers are the chocolate-covered chocolate sandwich cookies and solid chocolate pops.

How can you be a good friend to someone with food allergies?

You can be a good friend by not eating something they are allergic to when you are near them. You can also help protect someone with food allergies by telling your mom, dad or nanny to not serve foods they are allergic to and not allow foods to touch what you are allergic to when they come to your house. Like if a knife was used on peanut butter and then put in the jelly jar, I can’t eat that jelly.

What advice would you give a kid or a friend who was just diagnosed with food allergies?

Some tips I would give a friend that was just diagnosed with food allergies would be:

  • Be very very very very very very careful when you go to a restaurant. You have to say my food can’t be touched to what I am allergic to. You can ask the server to ask the chef what is safe for you to eat.  Make sure they understand cross-contact.
  • If someone is eating something you are allergic to, you have to speak up for yourself and say can you please not eat that and go wash your hands.
  • There are still a lot of great things you can eat. You can eat out and you can make lots of good things at home. I have traveled lots of places and I get to eat many yummy things.
  •  I have made lots of great friends and done special things because of my food allergies so don’t worry.

Thank you, Callie, for supporting FARE and providing safe treats for individuals with food allergies in the Chicago area. Callie’s treats are available for pick up to those in the Chicago area and can be ordered online at calliesnutfreetreats.com.

Food Allergy Action Month Highlights

For the first time,FARE expanded Food Allergy Awareness Week in 2014 by declaring the entire month of May as Food Allergy Action Month. We would like to thank all of you who contributed by taking action – whether it was educating others about food allergies and life-threatening anaphylaxis, making a donation, signing up for a FARE Walk for Food Allergy, advocating on behalf of the 15 million Americans with food allergies, or wearing teal. We were thrilled to see many wonderful photos of people and pets rocking their teal for our #TealTakeover – be sure to check out our photo album on Storify!

Highlights of our first Food Allergy Action Month included:

  1. Thirty-four states and the District of Columbia issued Food Allergy Awareness Week proclamations, and U.S. Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) introduced a resolution into Congress.
  2. The incredible mom-daughter duo of “Fashion by Mayhem” raised awareness and funds for FARE with their first dress auction. The dress sold for $355 – a generous donation for a dress made from paper and packaging tape!
  3. FARE’s Twitter chat (#FAREChat) provided answers to questions submitted by the community about food allergies and anaphylaxis from Drs. Ruchi Gupta and Wayne Shreffler.
  4. Terminal Tower in downtown Cleveland was lit teal on May 12 and the Duke Energy Center in Charlotte, NC was lit teal on May 18.
  5. Food allergy musician Kyle Dine joined in our #TealTakeover and sang at the Food Allergy Education Network’s annual Dance-A-Thon in Connecticut; his performance was sponsored by FARE as part of our Community Outreach Grants Program.
  6. Recipe Rehab, a competition cooking show, featured a family managing food allergies in an episode sponsored by FARE.
  7. Students in schools across the country dressed in teal and helped educate their peers about food allergies through presentations and by reading facts over the school public address systems.
  8. Numerous media outlets featured stories about Food Allergy Action Month and Food Allergy Awareness Week, including The Huffington PostCharlotte ObserverSalt Lake Tribune, and About.com.
  9. A 100-ft-long soy nut butter and jelly sandwich was constructed in the Chicago area to bring the community together and highlight the issue of food allergies.
  10. FARE’s “Give $15 on the 15th” campaign received great support from the food allergy community in honor of the 15 million Americans with food allergies.

It truly has been a tremendous month, but in order to make a real and lasting difference, we need each member of the food allergy community to continue taking action on behalf of those with food allergies beyond just the month of May. Check out our Action Challenge List for suggested actions you can take throughout the year to make an impact!