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Food Allergy

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Photos of eggs, milk, peanuts, mixed nuts, edamame pods, wheat and shrimp
© istockphoto

Common Food Allergies in Infants, Children, and Adults

In infants and children, the most common foods that cause allergic reactions are the following:

  • Egg
  • Milk
  • Peanut
  • Tree nuts such as walnuts
  • Soy (primarily in infants)
  • Wheat

In adults, the most common foods that cause allergic reactions are the following:

  • Shellfish such as shrimp, crayfish, lobster, and crab
  • Peanut
  • Tree nuts
  • Fish such as salmon

Food allergies generally develop early in life but can develop at any age. Children usually outgrow their egg, milk, and soy allergies, but people who develop allergies as adults usually have their allergies for life. Children generally do not outgrow their allergy to peanut.

Foods that are eaten routinely increase the likelihood that a person will develop allergies to that food. In Japan, for example, rice allergy is more frequent than in the United States, and in Scandinavia, codfish allergy is more common than in the United States.

Last Updated March 06, 2012

Last Reviewed November 01, 2010