A food allergy happens when the body’s immune system mistakingly sees a food protein as a foreign substance and begins the cascade of events to attack it. This allergy cascade includes releasing histamine and other chemicals. This type of food allergy is mediated by antibodies called IgE.
A true IgE mediated allergy to foods is different from food sensitivities or intolerance to certain food.
Symptoms can be very mild such as a rash or itchiness, or more severe which may lead to dangerous swelling and trouble breathing. The severe reactions are an emergency and must be treated immediately with medication and most likely a visit to the emergency room. Mild reactions can usually be controlled with antihistamines and observation.