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The problem of having an abnormal sensitivity to a specific food. These are called allergen's.
Peanuts are a common problem, particularly where cross-contamination is concerned. It should be remembered that these are legumes, and not nuts at all - so anyone having such an allergy would probably react to other legumes, such as pulses (beans, lentils and peas).
Restaurants, cafes and take-aways are coming under pressure to provide better labelling for the growing number of people who suffer from serious food allergies.
At least six people die each year in Britain from extreme reactions to foods such peanuts (not actually nuts, but a legume), other nuts, eggs, kiwi fruit, milk and sesame seeds. But specialists believe the true figure could be twice that number and that 75% of the food involved is prepared outside the home.
Cross contamination is a big problem. People with nut allergies have died after eating the likes of a Coronation Chicken Sandwich, Lemon Meringue Pie, Italian Ice Cream or shortbread-type dessert.