Source: American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.
include wheezing, diarrhea, stomach ache, hives, or swelling. Fortunately, side effects are mild for most people. However, reactions may become life-threatening for those who are very sensitive to sulfite. In rare cases these individuals may experience anaphylactic shock. As with other food intolerances and allergies, consult a doctor if you think you're sulfitesensitive. Don't self-diagnose.
Because sulfites can trigger intense reactions in sulfite-sensitive asthmatics, the U.S. FDA prohibits the use of sulfites on fruits and vegetables (except potatoes) intended to be served or sold raw. In the past, sulfites were sometimes used to keep fruits and vegetables fresh longer on restaurant salad bars, but that's no longer allowed.
Sulfites also can destroy the B vitamin called thi-amin. For that reason they're not allowed in foods such as enriched bread and flour. These foods are major sources of thiamin in the American diet.
People sensitive to sulfites can consume foods with sulfates. Sulfates don't cause the same adverse reaction in sulfite-sensitive people.
Coloring... by Any Other Name!
Although the incidence is rare, a very small number of people are sensitive to a coloring added to food. FD&C Yellow No. 5, also called tartrazine, is a dye used to color foods, beverages, and medications. Research indicates that FD&C Yellow No. 5 may trigger hives, itching, and nasal congestion but not
Was this article helpful?