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Safe Composting Tips for People With Food Allergies

SATURDAY, July 14 (HealthDay News) -- Composting food waste is safe for people with food allergies if they take some basic precautions, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI).

In order to compost food safely, people with food allergies must prevent allergen particles from somehow getting inside their body, such as through an open wound or by inhaling fine particles in the air or fumes.

To reduce the risk of exposure to food allergens, AAAAI experts advised that people with food allergies take the following steps while composting:

  • Wear a pollen mask to prevent inhaling any particles.
  • Cover scratches or open wounds with goggles, gloves or long sleeve shirts and pants.
  • Keep in mind the possible effects of heat on food.

Like boiling or roasting foods, the heat from composting could have an unforeseen effect on the allergic properties of foods. As a result, the AAAAI recommended that people with food allergies take these safety precautions when handling materials after the composting process as well.

Anyone with food allergies who comes into contact with people who have been composting food waste should also be sure they wore gloves or thoroughly washed their hands when they were finished to prevent exposure to allergen particles, the AAAAI noted.

More information

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has more about composting.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, news release, June 21, 2012

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