Multiple food allergy is a condition where a child is allergic to multiple foods. Most food allergies are acquired in the first years of life and disappear again over time. Children who suffer from one food allergy might be particularly hypersensitive to other foods as well and certain foods are more likely to cause allergic symptoms than others, in particular: Cow’s milk, Fish and shellfish, Hen’s eggs, Peanuts and tree nuts, Soya beans, Wheat.

Infants with multiple food allergy generally have delayed symptoms and react with breast milk (although this is very uncommon), infant formula and a range of solid foods.  Symptoms can include: Vomiting, Diarrhea, Poor growth and poor weight gain, Irritability, Severe skin reactions.

A food does not have to be eaten to cause a reaction, although eating it causes the more severe reactions. Hives can occur on skin contact with milk. If food gets into the body through a cut in the skin, or by contact on the lips or the eye reactions can occur. In some very sensitive patients, even the smell of a food, such as the cheese on a pizza, can cause symptoms. These are not normally severe unless the exposure involves extremely high concentrations. Generally reactions caused by smell tend to involve minor symptoms (e.g. itchy eyes, runny nose and sore throat.

Although the process for diagnosing will be specific to the individual and the circumstances, a correct diagnosis is important to ensure the best treatment and a nutritionally balanced diet.