Welcome to Allergy Insight

Allergy Insight takes an analytical look at topical issues concerning allergy — in particular food allergy — as well as coeliac disease / gluten-related disorders, food intolerance, restricted diets, ‘free from’ food, veganism / vegetarianism, gut disorders such as IBS, and other food hypersensitivities.


There was a lot of anger recently when Starbucks announced it was introducing oat milk into its branches. Vegans already have dairy-free options, cried some coeliacs, concerned about cross-contamination. Were they right to complain? Read more.



The food allergens considered ‘big’ or ‘major’ differ between UK / EU and the US — and in some cases discrepancies can potentially be a risk to those with food sensitivities who cross the Atlantic, from either direction. This post examines the issue.



If you’re susceptible to excess FODMAPs in your diet and have IBS, can digestive enzymes help? Some might be able to, but the evidence for others is modest. Here are some which may be able to ease symptoms.




Hotel Chocolat’s ‘No Gluten Recipe’ chocolate hamper ‘may contain traces’ of wheat (and other allergens) — yet Free From Heaven magazine have been promoting it as first a gluten free, and then a wheat free product. Why? Click here for some answers.



Do you always conduct a hair dye allergy test when you’re about to colour your hair – even when it’s a product you’ve safely used before? You should, but is the great variation in guidance and instruction causing apathy among women? Read more here.



Gluten free oats should still be highlighted as an allergen on all ingredients labels, but huge brands such as Genius Foods, Nairn’s and Nature’s Path have yet to fall in line. Click here for more about this ongoing problem.



Are oats really good for eczema? The answer is probably yes – but caution is advised in the very young, and where there is broken skin, as this could potentially increase the risk of allergy. Read on …




Marks & Spencer’s allergy and intolerance information online is very good – and they offer a bespoke allergen list service, where you can request safe products free from up to five allergens out of a choice of seven. Read more here.



Announcing a new spin-off project — a Twitter account dedicated to brands and products free from the 14 EU food allergens, and other ’14 allergens’ news. Have some to share? Let me know at @14AllergensFree or using the hashtag #14free. More here.




Many with coeliac are confused by the occasional presence of ‘wheat’ or ‘barley’ on their gluten-free food and drink labels, but there is likely to be an innocent explanation, and it’s all to do with the 14 declarable allergens in the EU. Read more here.



Is there a difference in meaning, or interpretation, between ‘dairy free‘ and ‘milk free‘? And is it acceptable or misleading for a brand to claim its products are ‘dairy free’ while on the same label issuing a ‘made in a factory where milk is used’ warning? A new opinion piece.




Introducing the new release of The Beginner’s Guide to Histamine Intolerance, by Dr Janice Joneja – one of the world’s foremost experts on this curious, little-known food intolerance. Might you be effected by excess histamine in the diet. If so, how can you find out – and what can you do about it? This book explores what you need to know. Review here.



Gluten free liquorice is not always easy to find, but there are brands which use rice or corn rather than wheat in their confectionary. Here we round up some of the best on the market, in the UK, Europe and US.



PPD is a potentially dangerous allergen, found in many hair dyes, which can cause extremely serious reactions. This article looks at the problem, and lists some PPD-free hair colour recommendations for you to try.




For more articles / blog posts, click here.

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