Confusion Between Food Allergies and Celiac Disease

HomeFree makers of organic and allergy friendly cookies partnered with Harris Interactive on a nationwide survey. The results found that gluten is commonly mistaken as a food allergen.

The survey was conducted by telephone by Harris Interactive from January 28-31, 2010. 1,013 U.S. adults were interviewed.

Survey Results
Three out of four Americans can correctly identify at least one food allergen from a list of foods.

65 percent can correctly identify nuts and 60 percent can correctly identify dairy.

46 percent can identify eggs and 44 percent can identify wheat as common food allergens.

43 percent incorrectly identify gluten as an allergen.

"We commissioned this survey out of concern for what appeared to be widespread confusion between food allergies and celiac disease, given the potentially serious health implications of such confusion," said Jill Robbins, president and founder of HomeFree.  "People want to be able to serve food safely to other people.  To do so, it helps to know that people with celiac disease - a disorder in which people have sensitivity to gluten, found in foods such as wheat, rye, and barley - can get sick sometimes even
from traces of gluten.  It also is important to know which foods are actually common food allergens. That is because if someone with food allergies eats even a trace of a food to which he or she is allergic, it can quickly lead to a life threatening condition called anaphylaxis."

The top 8 allergens in the United States are peanuts, tree nuts, egg, dairy, soy wheat, shellfish and fish.

To see the complete survey results and press release visit

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