Doctors give tips on holiday food safety

One of the best parts of the holiday season is all of the delicious food, but it’s important to remember not everyone can eat every food.
Published: Nov. 30, 2021 at 10:51 PM CST
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - One of the best parts of the holiday season is all of the delicious food, but it’s important to remember not everyone can eat every food.

Pediatric Gastroenterologist Jeremy Screws, M.D., with Hattiesburg Clinic is sharing tips to help avoid any issues.

He says creating a recipe book listing all of the ingredients in a dish can help prevent allergic reactions. Another tip is to know what each food is cooked in, such as peanut oil.

If there are any foods you’ve been wary of letting your child have in case of an allergy or intolerance, Screws says the holiday season is not the time to change your mind.

“This is not the time of year to try a new food,” Screws said. “So if they have withheld a food because they’re worried about reactions or they’re on a trial where they’ve taken the food out... this would not be a great time to introduce the food back during a family gathering. So, if you had a reaction to a food that may be missed or may have been poorly treated... so that would be one tip is to stay on the same food plan prior to the holiday as you go through the holiday.”

Screws says there are some symptoms to look out for that may indicate your child could have a food allergy.

“Nausea, vomiting, some abdominal pain that was kind of mild, looser stools... that can happen with any person when celebrating a holiday,” Screws said. “The stress all the sweet food. But, itching of the mouth, swelling of the face, shortness of breath and then patients that are having anaphylaxis, they have what’s called impending doom. And so, when I’ve talked with patients that have this, they feel like the world is ending. So, a panicky feeling, that’s kind of concerning.”

Doctors add if an Epi-Pen is used after an allergic reaction, the child should immediately go to the emergency room even if they appear to be fine.

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