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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Ahhhhhhhhhhh-Choooey! Texas Roadhouse is Food Allergy Un-friendly

Ahh ahh ahhhhhhhh-choooooooooey!

My dad always sneezes like that. It bugs me some days and others I find it funny. My mom rarely cusses, except for if she is having a sneezing fit. Sailor style.

Meanwhile, back at the blog post.

We are home to one of the newest Texas Roadhouse restaurants and it's been a hit in Manhattan! My father-in-law treated us to it the other day and I enjoyed the bread almost as much as the juicy, tender, well-prepared steak. Something I didn't enjoy? Peanuts.

Texas Roadhouse welcomes guests with a free buffet of peanuts. I obliged, because who doesn't love cracking open a good peanut? My nephew doesn't.

He is severely allergic to peanuts. So allergic, that he convinced my sister to let him just try one plain M&M for the first time in his 5-year-old life, and his face instantly turned about the shade of those delicious steaks Texas Roadhouse keeps in the display cooler! I can't even imagine what walking into that restaurant would do to him!

They have a sign. It says something like, "If you have a peanut allergy, get on down the road." The purpose of this post is not to raise awareness to the restauranteur's stance in a negative light. They offer peanuts and alert guests about the practice. What I do want to do is raise your awareness of the prevalence of food allergies in the US.

Top Food Allergens in the US

Eight foods account for 90% of all food-allergic reactions. They are called the Big Eight and include: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts (e.g., walnuts, almonds, cashews, pistachios, pecans), wheat, soy, fish, and shellfish. These are the ingredients that must be listed on food labels to alert people who might have an allergy. Estimated prevalence of these allergies among the U.S. population:
  • Peanut: 0.6-1.3%
  • Tree nuts: 0.4-0.6%
  • Fish: 0.4%
  • Crustacean shellfish (crab, crayfish, lobster, shrimp): 1.2%
  • All seafood: 0.6% in children and 2.8% in adults
  • Milk and egg: based on data within and obtained outside the United States, this rate is likely to be 1-2% for young children and 0.2-0.4% in the general population. 

Wait, what about gluten allergies? You know, like, five people with that, right?

Most adverse reactions to food are misclassified as a food allergy when it is actually a food intolerance. Allergies cause an immune system reaction, intolerance does not. With allergies you can not handle any amount of the food without having some sort of reaction. The severity is determined by your good old immune system.With an intolerance you can often handle small amounts of the food without having a reaction. 

Want more information?

Food Allergy
Food Intolerance




  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. My dad gets swelling of the tongue, neck, and lips quite often and he has been told he has a food allergy but now someone else has told him they think it's a food intolerance. To me they are both the same. You eat something, your body doesn't like it and you get a reaction. Can anyone tell me whats the difference is between them. Thanks.

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