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Specific Food Allergies > Seed Allergy

Vegetable oil and Sunflower oil

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I recently developed an allergy to sunflower seeds and sunflower oil (confirmed by skin test).  I have been trying to avoid sunflower oil for a few weeks, checking ingredients on everything.  I keep having reactions, though.  After eating grape nuts and raisin bran, cereals that don't use sunflower oil or vegetable oil, I get a few hives.  Someone from work brought in donuts from Dunkin Donuts and before eating one I checked online: palm oil, soy oil and cottonseed oil.  But it also gave me hives.  Subway turkey sandwich, supposedly sunflower oil free, hives again.  I had a more serious reaction to tortellini made with breadcrumbs.  Restaurants tell me they don't use sunflower oil, but I react anyway.

I am wondering:  could I also be dealing with another allergy?  Or is cross contamination common with sunflower oil?  If the label lists the ingredients in the vegetable oil, can I trust it?  How do others with sunflower allergy handle vegetable oil, restaurants and processed foods?  Are breakfast cereals a problem for you? 

I am trying to figure out how my life needs to change and it is making me sad.   I love my local restaurants and can't imagine giving them up, but everything seems to give me hives.  No more breakfast cereal ??? 

Hi Jillian,

Sunflower is a really tough one to avoid because it is in so many foods and does not have to be clearly labeled on food products.  For instance, it might "hide" under vague terms such as "natural flavor".  There are people on this board with that allergy so hopefully they'll have some good suggestions.

Since you are having so many reactions, I'd recommend taking a more conservative approach for a while until you get a better handle on things ... Cook most of your own meals using very basic ingredients.  It might help to keep a food diary of what you eat and when/how you react.  Try not to get upset ... This is just a place to start figuring things out.

Talk to your allergist about your concerns about possibly reacting to something else also.  Make sure to always carry a "Food Allergy Action Plan" and epinephrine.

Hope that helps a little  :grouphug:

it can also be in things like make-up.

also be sure to read this thread.

Sunflower by any other name.: Different names for sunflower in ingredients list


--- Quote from: SilverLining on May 10, 2013, 08:41:04 PM ---it can also be in things like make-up.

--- End quote ---


Also a lot of soaps and lotions--if someone's washing their hands with one and then preparing your food...

It can also be hidden in stuff like "natural flavoring," since it's a non-top-8 allergen.

I can't speak for the rest, but ANYTHING at Subway is going to be cross-contaminated. I'm really, really careful about foods from commercial bakeries in general (which is to say--I avoid almost all).


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