Sulfites are natural or added chemicals in some foods and drinks to enhance flavor. For some people, these chemicals can cause a mild or severe allergic reaction. Common symptoms include breathing problems, allergic rhinitis, hives and very rarely, anaphylaxis. Sulfites are mostly found in processed foods, but they can also occur naturally in the process of making beer and wine. Some people may just have a slight sensitivity to sulfites, which include digestive problems. Whether you have a true sulfite allergy or just a sensitivity, it’s important to know which foods to avoid. The allergists at NY Allergy & Sinus Centers have created a list of foods and drinks that you may need to stay away from. Foods/Drinks That May Contain Sulfites Dried fruits Molasses Potato chips Bottled lemon juice Sauerkraut Fresh mushrooms Bottled lime juice Gravies/sauces Imported fruit juices and soft drinks Wine Fruit toppings Processed Foods This is just a short list of the many items that may contain sulfites. It’s important to read the labels of all products you consume. There are also some ingredients to look for that contain sulfites. These ingredients include: Sulfur dioxide Potassium bisulfite or potassium metabisulfite Sodium bisulfite, sodium metabisulfite, or sodium sulfite Sulfite Allergy Diagnosis/Treatment Since there is not an accurate allergy test to diagnose a sulfite allergy, an allergy food challenge is necessary. In this case, a board certified allergist will feed you sulfites in small amounts to see if it evokes a reaction. If an allergic reaction is seen, your allergist will provide a treatment plan. Food challenges should only be done in a safe, clinical setting. You should never try to diagnose your own allergy. An allergist will have emergency equipment on hand in the event you experience a life threatening allergic reaction. Your allergist can also provide allergy medications to soothe any symptoms related to your sulfite allergy. If you believe you suffer from a sulfite allergy, contact the allergy specialists at NY Allergy & Sinus Centers. We offer allergy testing and treatment for most allergies and can diagnose your allergy today. Call (212) 686-4448 to book your appointment.