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Food allergy is an immune system reaction that occurs soon after eating a certain food. Even a tiny amount of the allergy-causing food can trigger signs and symptoms such as digestive problems, hives or swollen airways. In some people, a food allergy can cause severe symptoms or even a life-threatening reaction known as anaphylaxis.
Approximately 6 to 8 percent of children under age 3 and 3 percent of adults are affected by food allergies. Luckily some children outgrow their allergies as they grow.
Food allergies are often confused with food intolerance. While irritating, food intolerance is a less serious condition and is not an immune system reaction. link
International Food Safety Authorities Network (INFOSAN) Information Note No. 3/2006 here