Tag Archives: Valentine

Allergist Wishes on Valentine’s Day!

Dr. Clifford Bassett, leading NYC allergist wishes everyone a Happy Valentine’s Day!

Candy can often be colored by artificial dyes so make sure to read the labels carefully. In rare instances foods with certain red colored dyes (i.e. laden with red dye # 40) can cause an allergic reaction.  Try naturally colored and flavored to be safe.

  • Other candies that are colored red may be composed of carmine, a red dye from crushed beetles and has been shown rarely in some studies to cause a variety of allergic reactions.  You want to try to avoid seeing this name on your labels.
  • Chewy candies may contain gelatin that makes the texture we taste in many gummy candies.  Gelatin is actually sourced from various body parts of cows and pigs, so those with meat allergies need to be aware.
  • Certain sweets, candies and snacks may be labeled food glaze or confectioner’s glaze, which provide a shiny consistency seen in jelly beans and even candy corn.  This can be made from certain insects (when it is labeled as “shellac”) as well as beeswax.
  • Cookies, pies, and cakes may often contain milk, flour, nuts, egg and chewing gum base.  Chewing gum may also at times contain casein, a cow’s milk protein.  Egg coating often imparts a shiny appearance on many bakery or dessert items. Always ask for a list of ingredients if you are sensitive to milk, wheat, egg, soy and nuts before your next bite.

Lastly if you have had unpleasant, possibly allergic reactions to wine, you may be sulfite-sensitive so look for sulfite-free variety wine!