Potatoes added to school's allergy list

Jan. 17, 2012 at 8:14 AM
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HALIFAX, Nova Scotia, Jan. 17 (UPI) -- Along with nuts and eggs, a Canadian school has asked parents to keep all potato products out of lunches and snacks because one student is allergic to them.

Sir Charles Tupper Elementary School in Halifax, Nova Scotia, sent a letter to parents after learning one student had been diagnosed with an allergy to potatoes.

The letter said it wasn't a ban, but rather a request for parents to cooperate in avoiding a potentially fatal medical emergency. The letter requested no French fries, potato chips, hash browns or egg salad, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

Pediatrician Dr. Sandy Kapur told the broadcaster while potato allergies in children are uncommon so far, raw potatoes in particular have similar elements to a common allergy.

"Potatoes are actually related, in some ways, to outdoor grass pollen and many patients who are grass pollen allergic will have problems with potatoes," the doctor said.

He said broad research shows allergies in children to flax, kiwi, mustard seed and sesame are also increasing although it's not clear why.

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