Allergy

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J&O Mixed Veggie Dip Cups Recalled Over Egg Allergy Concerns

KEY POINTS

  • The product was distributed in Colorado, Kansas, South Dakota, Wyoming and New Mexico
  • FDA said egg was listed as one of the ingredients of the ranch dressing but it was not mentioned on its label
  • No adverse reactions related to the recalled product have been reported

Minnesota-based Russ Davis Wholesale is recalling its Mixed Veggie Cup with Dip due to “undeclared egg” content in it. People with egg allergy may experience an allergic reaction if they consume the product, the company warns.

The issue was reportedly discovered during a routine label audit when the company’s quality control team noted that egg was listed as one of the ingredients of the ranch dressing but it was not mentioned on the label.

“The Mixed Veggie Cup with Dip was distributed in Colorado, Kansas, South Dakota, Wyoming, New Mexico in higher education, health care and corporate campus’ in grab ‘n go coolers,” the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced Thursday.

The affected products are labeled as J&O Mixed Veggie Cup with Dip in 5.o-ounce plastic containers with a sell-by date from Sept. 30 to Nov. 2, 2020.

No adverse reactions related to the recalled products have been reported so far but the company warns of possible “serious” or “life-threatening” allergic reactions in people who are sensitive to eggs if they consume the product. It has asked those who have purchased the product to dispose of it. 

Customers who have any questions related to the recall can contact the company at 877-433-2173.

According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI), egg allergy is actually one of the most  common allergies, especially in children. People who are allergic to chicken eggs may also be allergic to other types of eggs including quail and turkey.

“Experts estimate that as many as 2% of children are allergic to eggs,” the ACAAI noted. “Fortunately, studies show that about 70% of children with an egg allergy will outgrow the condition by age 16.”

Common symptoms of egg allergy include skin reactions such as hives, difficulty in breathing, sneezing or runny nose, watery eyes, or stomach pain after eating or even just by touching eggs. A less common but life-threatening reaction is anaphylaxis, which requires immediate medical treatment.

Although egg allergy is quite common, it is an ingredient that usually remains hidden in products. This is why the FDA lists it as one of the eight allergens to be included on the ingredients label of packaged food products “in clear language”. 

Salad Pictured: A salad with fresh baby gem lettuce, heirloom tomato, toasted walnuts, and miso yaki tofu dressing Photo: Getty Images/Guillem Sartorio

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health

Food Allergy Testing for Eczema in Kids Varies By Specialty

Specialists vary on their opinion about the ordering of food allergy tests for children with eczema, a recent survey reveals.

A child with eczema will more likely be given food allergy tests if seen by an allergist or a pediatrician and less likely if seen by a general practitioner or dermatologist.



Dr Matthew Ridd

“In our survey, we found evidence of variation in practice and a spectrum of opinion on what to do to treat eczema in children,” Matthew Ridd, MD, University of Bristol, United Kingdom, told Medscape.

His clinician survey was sent to 155 healthcare providers. Findings were presented at FAAM-EUROBAT Digital this week. They revealed big differences in the way physicians follow up on eczema. For a child with eczema with reported reactions to food, 20 of 22 (91%) allergists and 22 of 30 (73%) pediatricians always order food allergy tests.

But only 16 of 65 (25%) general practitioners and 3 of 12 (25%) dermatologists always order tests in the same situation.

A total of 155 healthcare practitioners responded to the survey, sent by a UK research team. Of those, 26 were unable to order allergy tests. Of the remaining 129, 65 (50%) specialized in general practice, 30 (23%) in pediatrics, 22 (17%) in the treatment of allergies, and 12 (9%) in dermatology.

Their opinions varied on when to order food allergy tests. For children with severe eczema who had no prior reaction to food, 8 of 22 (36%) practitioners specializing in allergy said they would order food allergy tests, as did 9 of 30 (30%) in pediatrics.

Of those surveyed, only 6 of 65 in general practice (9%) said they would request an allergy test for severe eczema for a patient with no allergy history, and no dermatologists (0%) would order the tests.

Only if a parent specifically requested a food allergy test would practitioners respond in a similar way. About two thirds of all respondents said they would sometimes order the test if a parent asked (general practice, 75%; pediatrics, 63%; allergy, 68%; dermatology, 75%).

Ridd told Medscape that it’s not surprising there’s a wide variation in practice, inasmuch as the guidelines are quite convoluted and complex. “Eczema is a common problem, but we don’t have any good evidence to guide clinicians on when to consider food allergy as a possible cause.”

Current guidelines advise calling for allergy tests only when eczema is difficult to treat. “But this is a complex decision. We know that a third of children with eczema are at higher risk for food allergy,” Ridd said. A 2014 study published in Clinical and Experimental Allergy showed that infants with eczema are six times more likely to have egg allergy and 11 times more likely to have peanut allergy by 12 months than infants without eczema (Clin Exp Allergy. 2014;45:255-64).

Food allergy is a sticky subject, he said. “So we have to wonder, are general practitioners frightened to raise the question?…

“We definitely see uncertainty around it.”

He suspects that parents may also

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EMA Panel Backs Peanut Allergy Desensitizing Powder Palforzia

The European Medicines Agency’s (EMA’s) Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) recommended on October 15 that marketing authorization be granted for Palforzia (Aimmune Therapeutics). The product is intended for desensitizing children and adolescents to peanut allergy.

Palforzia will be available as an oral powder in capsules (0.5, 1, 10, 20, and 100 mg) and as oral powder in sachet (300 mg). The active substance is defatted powder of Arachis hypogaea.

Through use of the product, children with a peanut allergy receive controlled exposure to precise, increasing amounts of peanut protein, mixed with soft food, every day. Over time, this may help to decrease their sensitivity to small amounts of peanuts.

According to the press release from the EMA, Palforzia can mitigate accidental exposure to small amounts of peanut protein. “[A] single dose of a least 1 gram of peanut protein would cause no more than mild allergy symptoms,” the EMA said.

The treatment is indicated for patients aged 4 to 17 years who have received a confirmed diagnosis of peanut allergy. Treatment may be continued for patients aged 18 years or older, according to the press release.

It should be administered under the supervision of a healthcare provider qualified in the diagnosis and treatment of allergic diseases and should be used in conjunction with a peanut-avoidant diet, the EMA notes.

The most common side effects that have been reported are abdominal pain, throat irritation, itch, nausea, vomiting, urticaria, and upper abdominal discomfort.

The next step in the approval process is to obtain market authorization from the European Commission. Detailed recommendations for use will be described in the summary of product characteristics, which will be published in the European public assessment report and will be made available throughout Europe.

“We are encouraged by the CHMP opinion, which recommends Palforzia as the first and only treatment option in the European Union for patients with peanut allergy and their families,” Andrew Oxtoby, president and chief executive officer of Aimmune Therapeutics, said in a statement. “Today’s decision underscores the strong and compelling data from our Palforzia clinical trials and follows the US FDA approval of Palforzia earlier this year. We look forward to the European Commission’s final decision for the marketing approval of Palforzia, which we expect later this year.”

The FDA said in granting its approval that patients, parents, or caregivers must be counseled on the need for always-available injectable epinephrine, the need for continued peanut avoidance, and on how to recognize signs of anaphylaxis.

Marcia Frellick is a freelance journalist based in Chicago. She has previously written for the Chicago Tribune and Nurse.com and was an editor at the Chicago Sun-Times, the Cincinnati Enquirer, and the St. Cloud (Minnesota) Times. Follow her on Twitter at @mfrellick.

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