Sulfite sensitivity can be deadly and scary, until you know what you’re dealing with. Most of the information you will discover on your own and through your own research. The statistics show only 3% has this condition. Sulfites are common preservatives used by restaurants, grocers, and the drug industry to prolong the life of a product. Sulfites slow the production of bacteria in food, slows the browning of fruit, vegetables and seafood. It conditions the dough in frozen bread and pizza products. And to my surprise bleaches maraschino cherries. Salad bars were especially vulnerable to the allergy prone. Restaurants use to spray fresh salad at salad bars until 1986 when the FDA banned it. The FDA now requires a label on any product containing more than 10 parts per million ppm. Foods are now rated by ppm. Those prone to extreme allergy should stay away from foods containing more than 100pm of sulfites. Some of the products that would fall under this category would be.
Considered high levels 100ppm of sulfites
Bottled lemon juice
Bottled lime juice
Considered moderate 50 and 99.9ppm of sulfites
Considered low 10 and 49.9 ppm of sulfites
Imported products, jellies, sausage, meat, fruit juice, soft drinks
Less than 10 ppm of sulfites
Frozen pie dough
Fresh fruit salad
Dry soup mix
Don’t let the low ppm fool you into thinking its ok. My husband’s worst attack has been from these items. Just recently an organic pear, baked potato at a national chain restaurant, yeast bread rolls, frozen lemonade, mushroom burger, rotisserie chicken from the deli, ready made deli salads, canned green beans. You have to take responsibility for your own health. Its time consuming but you need to read every ingredient on every food label, medications, over the counter plus prescribed, and eye drops. Any substance that goes in the body. You need to notify every health care provider, in your employee and wear a bracelet to signify your allergy. Also carry a card in your wallet that would also notify health providers of your condition.
The sulfite agent can take on many names, sodium sulfite, sodium bisulfite, sodium metabisulfite, potassium, and potassium metabisulfite. The way I remember this is any term with (ite) on the end is cause for concern, if you have this allergy. Sulfite allergy is serious for the person with this allergy. Sulfites can increase asthma symptoms in approx. 5% of persons whom have asthma. The road to diagnosis is difficult, many people have found through self diagnose, how much their bodies can tolerate, this can be a very serious condition.Symptoms will differ for everyone with this allergy, (warning of vivid account!) My husbands first clue of and impending attack is coming on, will be a hiccup with the first bite of food with the sulfite in it. Watering eyes, build up of mucus in the nose and throat, and eventually throwing up the mucus, that leaves the throat swollen and sore. we have found putting a meltable clariton on the tongue stops the hiccups (consult your own Dr.) Even though the epi pen has a small amount of sulfites, it can be a lifesaver also. (consult your Dr) Never leave a sulfite allergy person alone while having an attack; they could choke very easily with their throat closing off. Stay diligent and read labels.