If you think you have a food allergy you should go to your doctor for testing. The term "food allergy" has long been misused to describe a wide variety of adverse reactions to food. Food intolerances, foodborne illnesses, and food aversions have somehow all gotten lumped under food allergy in the public's minds. A fairly recent survey of American households found that 16% of respondents believed they have a food allergy. The truth is that only 1 to 2 percent of adults and 5 percent of children actually have a food allergy. Food allergies can be very serious, even fatal, so they are not to be taken lightly. But most people who think they have a food allergy actually have other problems that need to be diagnosed and often treated.
If your doctor diagnoses you with a food allergy be sure to follow his/her instructions and avoid that food in any form. The American Dietetic Association, the largest organization of food and nutrition professionals in the world, has a book that can be quite helpful for those with actual food allergies. The book is pictured below.