Bob Gravani: Hi, I am Bob Gravani. I am a professor of Food Science at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. My area of interest is food safety, I have worked in this area for my entire professional career and today we are going to talk about a very interesting topic on food allergies. We are going to look at the symptoms, we are going to look at how food allergies are diagnosed?
Host: How are food allergies diagnosed?
Bob Gravani: Well I think if a person suspects they have a food allergy the first thing they need to do is go to medical provider, see a physician. The first thing that physician will do is conduct a physical exam of the individual to make sure that there are no underlying issues that might be around. The second thing they will probably do is have the suspected person with a food allergy keep a food diary, kind of log in the foods that they normally eat, determine whether there is pattern there. They would also then provide food elimination diet and they one by one would eliminate certain foods from the diet to see if again reaction could be avoided. They would probably also conduct a skin test where they would see if there were any specific reactions to certain allergens. They might even do a blood test to determine there were antibodies produced to certain food and then last but not least they might conduct a Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Food Challenge that is a very structured and supervised food challenge were they might address the offending foods and judge the reaction under medical supervision. 1