Risk assessment behaviour when eating out in adults with food hypersensitivity

Rebecca Knibb, Lily Hawkins, Cassandra Screti, M Hazel Gowland, Mamidipudi Thirumala Krishna, George Du Toit, Christina J. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background
Food hypersensitivity (FHS) management requires daily risk assessments of all food and drink consumed to prevent unpleasant and potentially fatal adverse reactions. Most research has focused on food allergy in children and families. Little is known about the impact on adults or those with other FHS such as food intolerance or coeliac disease. This study assessed differences in practices and risk assessment behaviours when eating out for adults with FHS.
Methods
Adult UK residents (N= 930; 820 females, 90 males; 95% White; mean age 50 yrs [±16.6SD]), with food allergy (18%), food intolerance (23%) coeliac disease (44%) or multiple FHS (15%) completed an online survey.
Results
Adults checked information to identify foods causing a reaction always or most of the time when eating out. However, adults with food intolerance reporting checking significantly less often than adults with other FHS (all ps<0.001). Adults reporting more severe FHS, a medical rather than self-diagnosis of FHS, previous anaphylaxis, had called an ambulance or been in hospital due to a reaction checked information significantly more often (all ps<0.001), but were also less confident in the information provided (all ps<0.05). Adults with allergy, coeliac disease or multiple FHS were also less confident in written and verbal information provided than those with food intolerance (p<0.01). Type of FHS, greater perceived severity of FHS and having a medical diagnosis consistently predicted risk assessment behaviours when eating out (all ps<0.001).
Conclusion
Clinicians, patients and the food industry should be aware that type of FHS, patient perceived severity and past experience of reactions affect risk assessment behaviours when eating out. This should be considered when providing clinical advice and emergency plans.
Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical and Translational Allergy
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 18 Jan 2024

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