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Trace Amounts Of Peanut Is All It Takes

Food is such a huge part of our daily lives. And peanuts are commonly found in many food products, which makes managing peanut allergy a big concern. Avoiding peanuts is a constant, daily challenge. No matter how careful and prepared you are, the risk of accidental exposure to peanuts is always there. Ask your allergist about what you can do to help your child reduce the risk of accidental exposure.


A medical chart study of children with peanut allergy (n=140) revealed:

39% of children were accidently exposed to peanuts after their peanut allergy diagnosis within 12.5 months

Risk of trace amounts:

Diagram showing how trace amounts of peanut smaller than a grain of sand can cause a life threatening reaction Diagram showing how trace amounts of peanut smaller than a grain of sand can cause a life threatening reaction

You Can't Control The Rest of The World

As a parent, you do all you can to protect your
child. You read labels. You work closely with
teachers and school nurses. You're careful about
ingredients. And you help your child avoid peanuts
and you always carry an epinephrine auto-injector.

Despite your best efforts, you can never be fully
certain when and where they will come into
contact with trace amounts of peanuts.

Children can come into contact in everyday places, like:

  • home icon

    Homes of friends and relatives

  • restaurant icon


  • school icon


It’s no surprise that after diagnosis, peanut allergy reactions due to accidental exposure commonly occur outside the home—and can be more severe.

View transcript

"Avoidance is hard"

Tia talks about how challenging accidental exposure can be and how important it is for co-protectors to always be aware that it can happen anytime, anywhere.

View transcript

What is Cross-contact?

Cross-contact occurs when one food comes into contact with another food. When these proteins mix, each food contains trace amounts of the other, leading to the risk of accidental exposure. So, even if peanuts are nowhere in sight, there’s always a risk of cross-contact.

The potential cross-contact of foods can happen in restaurant kitchens, since cooking and preparation surfaces and utensils can come into contact with allergens. Avoidance is a real challenge and a constant source of stress and anxiety, especially when all it takes to trigger an allergic reaction is a trace amount of peanut protein—as little as a grain of sand.

About 80% of parents say their child’s allergy greatly impacts eating out in restaurants.

Survey conducted by the University of Maryland.

What Makes it so Tough to Eat Out?

  • Risk of accidental exposure due to lack of awareness or cross-contact
  • Menus don’t always list full ingredient information
  • Waitstaff may not be fully aware of all of the ingredients being used in any given dish
  • Not knowing the complete list of ingredients can put children at risk for accidental exposures
View transcript

"Peanuts are in so many products"

Tia and another Mom discuss the many challenges of managing peanut allergy, from cross contact to reading food labels.

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View transcript

"Dining out can be stressful"

Tia shares a story about a night out where a seemingly harmless meal could have turned into an accidental exposure for her son Cree.

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Food Labels

While there has been a lot of progress when it comes to allergy labeling, there’s still no standard or requirement for packaged foods to show an allergy warning, which makes avoiding trace amounts an even bigger challenge.

Tips for Preventing Cross-contact

Learn how to better prevent against cross-contact so you can keep your home safe and peanut-free.

View Tips from FAACT

FAACT=Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Connection Team

Food Labels Matter

It’s important to know which foods to avoid with peanut allergy. That’s why food labels matter. Check out these tips on the ingredients to look out for and how to become a label-reading expert.

View Tips from KFA

KFA=Kids With Food Allergies

What Factors Play a Role in Severe Reactions?

Learn about the multiple factors that can play a part in the severity of your child’s next allergic reaction.

Get The Facts