Food allergy symptoms

Fruit and nuts allergy photo

If you eat something and then experience one or more of the following:

  • itchyness inside the mouth, throat or ears (which sometimes happens alongside a tingly sensation in the mouth)
  • swelling (particularly in the face)
  • a rash (which may be raised and itchy (hives)
  • vomiting

Common food allergens

You may have a food allergy. Many people are allergic to different types of food but the most common are:

  • peanuts and other nuts, such as walnuts and hazelnuts
  • fruits (particularly apples and peaches)
  • mustard
  • seasame seeds
  • soya
  • fish (and shellfish, such as crab, lobster and prawns)

The most common type of food allergy in adults happens when people allergic to tree pollen eat raw fruits or vegetables. This is called oral allergy syndrome or pollen food syndrome. 

Milk and wheat rarely cause food allergy in adults, but are often thought to be a trigger of food intolerance.

Skin prick testing

Skin prick testing is a universal allergy test and often used to find out what is causing an allergy. 

Oral food challenge

Oral food challenges are tests that use suspected food allergens. The foods that we most commonly test are peanuts, tree nuts and shellfish.

Drug challenge testing

This form of testing comprises of a series of tests to see if you are allergic to certain drugs, all under close medical supervision. 

Molecular diagnosis

Molecular diagnosis covers tests which can assess whether someone has antibodies against a particular protein in a food which causes an allergic reaction.

Nose clinic tests

Patients coming to the nose clinic will have a number of tests, often including an examination using an endoscope, skin prick testing, chest peak expiratory flow and spirometry.

Nasal sprays

Corticosteroid nasal sprays or drops are the most effective standard treatment for hay fever and other nasal allergies.


Antihistamines prevent histamine causing the itching and swelling that occurs when you have allergies.


Allergen immunotherapy is a treatment in which the allergen that triggers an allergic reaction is given in order to suppress unnecessary reactions.

Allergy team contact details


Fulham wing/South block, Fulham Road

Tel:  +44 (0)20 7351 8892
Fax: +44 (0)20 7351 8949