Tuesday, December 20, 2005

FDA requires possible allergens to be listed on foods

The fetching Mrs. Wookie will like this, especially after I accidentally tried to kill her Friday...

WASHINGTON - Food labels will soon have to disclose in plain language whether the products contain peanuts, shellfish, eggs or other ingredients that could sicken people with food allergies.

A federal law that takes effect Jan. 1 requires food labels to list ingredients made from proteins derived from any of the eight major allergenic foods: milk, eggs, fish, crustaceans, wheat, tree nuts, soybeans and peanuts. The Food and Drug Administration says they account for 90 percent of all food allergies.

But the big question in the Wookie household is will they list mushrooms?

Now Friday wasn't my fault. Seriously. I took the fetching Mrs. Wookie out to a nice Chinese Bistro for dinner then we were going to see the Chronicles of Narnia... unfortunately our night ended shortly after the main course with a quick trip to Longs Drugs for a bottle of Benadryl of which the fetching Mrs. Wookie quickly drank half.

When choosing an appetizer at dinner we were going to go for the lettuce wraps, but asked the waiter first if they had mushrooms, which he said they did and decided to go with wantons instead. For the entree we chose a shrimp chow mein, fried rice, house chicken. One bite into the chow mein and the fetching Mrs. Wookie says she tastes mushrooms, we quickly poke through the dish and sure enough, mushrooms. While we try to flag down the waiter she has couple bites of the fried rice and instantly starts to feel worse. She immediately starts to break out in hives, and starts to feel her throat tighten along with a build up of phlegm. We find out from the waiter that there are mushrooms in the fried rice too. We quickly finish the house chicken which was the only dish without mushrooms, and the new chow mein made without mushrooms, pay the adjusted bill and leave.

Once she determines she isn't feeling like we'll need that epinephrine pen to keep her from anaphylactic shock, we got home after stopping at Longs, where she promptly crashes after drugging herself with all that Benadryl. Fortunately, the fetching Mrs. Wookie is just fine, no ER trip necessary. Needless to say we never saw Narnia.

So FDA... please add mushrooms to that list. Thanks.