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Food Color Reaction??

35 replies [Last post]
By DavisGal on Tue, 03-21-00, 22:03

My six year old PA son had ended up covered in hives in the ER last night. Benadryl given at home had not worked when the first hives started, thus the ER visit. He's fine and did not go into shock. The docs aren't sure what caused it, as he had no exposure to peanuts that we know of. He did have a burrito from a restaurant that we've been eating at for years. The only thing in the burrito was chicken and cheese. I will be calling them though to see if I can find the source of the incident. My question for you all is this.... has anyone had experience with allergic reactions from the coloring in foods? My mom had given him "Hot Color" fruit rollups yesturday afternoon. The ER doc said the coloring might have been the cause.


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By pzunick on Tue, 03-21-00, 22:22

my pa son has not had a reaction, however, the doc said that we should be very careful with colors. kids with food allergies are more prone to having this reaction. don't know if that helps, but we have been on the lookout for this reaction.

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By DavisGal on Tue, 03-21-00, 22:29

Thank you.... that does help! I'll have to do some research so I know exactly what I need to look for. Any ideas about where to start?

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By Tammy James on Wed, 03-22-00, 14:39

Hi. We are currently looking into coloring issues with our son. He's the one who had an anaphylactic reaction to Pull Ups, and has since had skin reactions to colored underwear. His allergist has requested the labels from certain brightly colored cereals, as they don't agree with his system. The Dr. said this will take a lot of "detective work." I am awaiting a call from Fruit of the Loom to discuss their coloring procedure. Good luck in your search!! BTW, our allergist said that if he is allergic to colorings, there is no way to test him accurately. I don't quite understand that. If you learn differently, I'd love to hear about it. Thanks!

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By DavisGal on Wed, 03-22-00, 15:38

Well, yesturday he ended up at the hospital again. They gave him more adrenaline and while he was there one of the hospital staff was walking by and said, "oh, he got peanut butter". I'm starting to think that while he was out and about yesturday, he had a skin exposure to a peanut product.

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By Tina H. on Wed, 03-22-00, 17:13

I'm wondering if there was some sort of peanut protein in the burrito. I keep my daughter away from Mexican food because I've always thought that they use peanut butter in their sauces. Perhaps it was re-fried beans that caused it? Beans are a legume.
Anyone else have thoughts on this?

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By DavisGal on Wed, 03-22-00, 17:53

The resaurant is one that we've eaten at many times. Kenneth does react to all legumes and the burrito he had only had chicken and cheese in it. I did call them last night to see if they had changed their ingrediants and they haven't. Our rule for him is "no beans, no nuts". I'm just so frustrated... he's done so well and now this. =(

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By dmh on Wed, 03-22-00, 20:23

Hi - My son is 4-1/2 and pa. He was diagnosed at age 2. On his first birthday we had a small red, white and blue cake for him to play in. He did not eat the cake but played in it. Wherever the cake touched his skin he broke out in hives. He had no other reaction and it cleared up on its own. We did not know he was pa at the time but I feel that food allergic children could react to food coloring. He does eat food with coloring in it now but I try to give him mostly white cake and white icing just to be cautious.

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By Donna on Sat, 03-25-00, 07:07

My son has had anaphylactic reactions to food colors we THINK. It is hard to know since there is no allergy test for colors and those food items had several ingredients or could have been contaminated. We stick to foods with few ingredients now. Our allergist said to stay away from all colors for us.

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By T.J. & P.J. on Sun, 03-26-00, 19:40

There can definitely be an allergic reaction to food dyes. I was allergic to regular Benedryl, but could easily take dye-free Benedryl.
I know there is skepticism about NAET, but my son and I were both tested and allergic to both food dyes and food additives. Since being cleared for both of these items there is no longer any reaction to foods containing them!
I wonder how allergists, and/or other doctors take into consideration just how many food dyes, food additives, chemicals, in our food, air, and water are now being used. If so, when will someone get the correlation between these and asthma & allergy sufferers? The numbers continue to rise! Coincidence???

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By Donnamarie on Mon, 03-27-00, 02:39

We have a lot of experience with multiple food allergies (it's SO-O-O hard trying to track down the cause of reactions). So my heart goes out to you. Just a thought: I agree that it MAY have been the beans. Perhaps there was some sort of cross-contamination at the restaurant? Or maybe a bean fell into the chicken mixture? Or an employee accidently used the same spoon for two different sauces? Of course, it could have been anything else. Have you thought about keeping a food diary of absolutely everything he eats? Sometimes that helps.

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By Colleen on Mon, 03-27-00, 05:03

I have heard of places using peanut butter to "seal" burritos, egg rolls etc. Any chance of that?


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By redtruck on Mon, 03-27-00, 06:38

My niece (8yrs) is allergic to Red dye. Not sure on all the details, but we avoid anything with red dye when she's around. Red popsicles, cake icing etc. Not life threatening since she doesnt carry an epi, however she did react to it.
Check into it.

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By DavisGal on Mon, 05-15-00, 19:35

My son went to a birthday party yesterday. All went well, there were no peanut products at all. There was however blue punch, blue jello and heavily colored frosting on the cake. Last night my son had the same reaction he had before... but not as severe. I am pretty much convinced that he is allergic to Blue Dye #1! Will be discussing this at the allergist appt next week.

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By Heather on Mon, 05-15-00, 20:05

A woman I work with has an anaphylactic allergy to food coloring - I forget which one, though.

I'm confused, I thought hives was considered anaphylactic shock as it was still an immune response.

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By Tammy James on Mon, 05-15-00, 21:49

Hi,All!! Funny, my son seems to have a 'reaction' to blue #1 also. Of course, this is just our thought, not scientifically proven. His digestive system does not do well with blue #1. No external symptoms so far, but we try to keep his intake limited - no more neon breakfast cereals! Take care.

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By DavisGal on Mon, 05-15-00, 21:53

Hi Tammy! Any new word about the Huggies??

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By BCouch on Tue, 05-16-00, 10:17

This is interesting...how do you find out about being allergic to food colorings or additives? I don't think our allergist's office feels that this is a viable possiblity. Recently, our son had an anaphylactic rection and we can't find the peanut anywhere. He did eat Mac and cheese and bbq sauce and both would have colorants in them. He has since eaten many items with colorants such as popsicles and fruit snacks etc. Would love more info as I'm truly frustrated about the detective work I have dont that cam up negative!


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By stimpsjd on Tue, 05-16-00, 16:44

I am PA and am 22 years old. I have had only one reaction to food dye. It was when I was about 8.5 years old and I had some Cherry kool-aid. Kool-aid has changed the coloring agent since then but it was one of the Red No.'s.

Colorants aren't good for you any way, so naturally colored food may be okay...but I still love my Jello.

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By Tammy James on Tue, 05-16-00, 17:40

I just posted under Reactions/Stories regarding the Huggies. Thanks for asking!

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By rilira on Tue, 05-16-00, 19:41

My neighbors daughter is allergic to strawberries and she reacts to a combo. of red#3 and red#40. Her allergist ( Dr. Zeiger) told her that combo closely mimics strawberry flavor and can cause a reaction in severely allergic individuals.

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By michelle on Tue, 05-16-00, 21:03

My son reacts to red 40 never anaphylactic but it makes him so hyper and mean. We took him to a birthday party at the age of 2 and he had red punch and candy big mistake he bit two kids and myself he had never acted like that before. He was out of control. It took one more episode before we figured it out 2 weeks later we gave him a red popcicle and he just got the same way this time. I new it was something that was in both and called the Dr. It felt really strange saying some thing in these foods do something really bad to our child and she said red 40. We were told that that food colorings cause reactions of all types including anaphylactic and acting out. Hope you can figure it out! Good luck!

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By Lisa M on Tue, 05-16-00, 21:57

We no longer allow our older son (no food allergies that we know of) to have red Powerade. He drank it one day while playing baseball and he was literally bouncing off the fences in the dug out. I remember my younger brother doing that with marischino cherries.

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By BCouch on Tue, 05-16-00, 22:55

Can you actually be tested for this??? It's one thing to assume, another to be tested. Can someone shed some light on this? I'd like to find a Dr. who would be knowledgeable. From what I've been told allergists will only test for FOOD allergies. I look forward to your responses.


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By Tammy James on Wed, 05-17-00, 11:53

I was told by our allergist that there are no tests for dyes or colorings. I personally don't see how there CAN'T be... but I'm not the specialist.

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By Hope on Wed, 05-17-00, 14:01

Hi Everyone....

Years before I even had children I was at a conference and remember a guy reading the label on a can of coke...we asked him about what he was looking for and he said red food coloring because he was severly allergic to it. I remeber being stunned by his explanation of his reaction, because at that time I knew nothing of food allergies!

But what caught my eye on this thread is the Hot Colors fruit rollup. Back when my daughter was diagnosed with PA and I started reading labels, we found the 'may contain...' on fruit rollups (we are in Canada). We buy 'Fruit by the Foot' and Safeway brand fruit snacks now. I haven't even checked the lableling on the fruit roll ups in about a year since it is one of the products we stay away from.

Do the Fruit roll up labels in the States carry the 'may contain...' label? I will check when I go shopping to see where ours are manufactured.

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By jdickson6 on Wed, 05-17-00, 14:13

Davisgal: (and all)

I've had reactions to red dye....popsicles, kool-aid, m&m's (they took the red ones away and then brought them back). Any fruits and nuts send me straight to shock, but the dyes only caused hives. I'm sorry your son has had so many encounters recently....I'm thinking of all your guys as parents! I know how much my family still worries about me!

BTW....I am flying cross country today, and on Monday....they have promised not to serve nuts....please say a prayer for a safe flight. I wish there were alternate ways to travel!


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By Hope on Fri, 05-19-00, 16:16

I checked the label on the fruit roll ups when I was shopping and there is no warning and no peanut products or such listed in the ingredients.!! So I guess this means I am losing my mind [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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By Jenny M on Sun, 05-21-00, 03:19

I have 6 year old tree nut and PA son and he is also on the Feingold diet which eliminates artificial colors, artificial flavors, TBHQ, BHT and BHA preservatives. While he did not have allergic reactions, he did have behavioral. Which from what I am reading in replies is not uncommon and is a big reason why families will choose to do this.
I just wanted to mention that following the diet has come in very handy in avoiding hidden peanuts in food. There is a list of acceptable foods (pretty comprehensive) but if it is something that he is not sure is "on the list" he doesn't eat it and we just swap it out later with something okay. It saved the day, yesterday with a treat bag from a birthday party that had a candy that had peanut in it. He fed to his little sister because it wasn't "on the list". He didn't even know that it had peanut in it. I had just put them in the car and ran back to grab something and hadn't checked the treat bag. Hadn't checked in part because this mother knows about the peanut allergy. Just goes to show that you can never be to sure. I was just very grateful that he stays true to the Feingold diet. It saved him yesterday.

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By Codyman on Mon, 05-12-03, 22:48


[This message has been edited by Codyman (edited October 27, 2005).]

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By MeCash on Tue, 05-13-03, 15:30


Depends on what you mean by allergic. From the looks of this post, many people believe that behavioral issues ARE an allergic reaction of sorts.

Similar to one post from 3 years ago up there, my son goes absolutely bonkers if he has anything with red dyes. Since I have eliminated them, his behavior has improved TEN fold. Never got hives, never got asthma, but if a child going so crazy he pokes over 200 holes in a wall without even knowing he did it after drinking soda with red dye isn't a clue he's got a problem with it, I don't know what is.

Red dyes make my son absolutely crazy. Bonkers. Whoop. Nuts, I tell you.


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By Kay B on Tue, 05-13-03, 21:23

Our PA/TNA daughter apparently had a reaction to cereal containing annatto (yellow) coloring -- I looked it up, and it's derived from seeds.


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By lisakmb on Wed, 02-18-15, 07:06

Hi Kay!

I just ran across your post from years ago. Are you still dealing with an annatto allergy? What symptoms occur? My 7 year old was just diagnosed with an annatto allergy (she has several other allergies as well). Thank you! Lisa

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By Codyman on Tue, 05-13-03, 23:13

I am now thinking my daughter isn't allergic to red food dye, as she has never had a reaction to various food that have red colouring. At times, my daughter tends to be 'hyper' but I have never noticed a relationship to the foods she eats. When she is over tired, she gets soooooo hyper ---- not food related!!

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By caryn on Wed, 05-14-03, 18:42

HI I posted this somehwere else too. My sone who is pa/tna and 2 1/2 can not tolerate blue no. 1 it makes his behavior go crazy -- very disobedient and almost defiant plus blues clues applesauce made him throw up after eating it then he was fine. we try to steer clear of this dye.

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By Codyman on Wed, 04-04-07, 18:30

wrong post

[This message has been edited by Codyman (edited April 04, 2007).]

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