Transcript / متن فایل صوتی
Richard: As we approach the festive season, food is a big priority but for many people it’s another occasion where they have to be extra careful about what they eat.
Jackie: we’re talking about food allergies.
Richard: Yes, food allergies. So Jackie what is an allergic reaction, then, to food?
Jackie: I suppose it’s when your immune system inappropriately recognises something foreign. Um........................ it thinks it’s a bug, right, and it mounts an attack against it.
Richard: Yes, you can either just get a rash or something like that which is not too serious...
Jackie:.......... or it could be fatal.
Richard: It could be fatal, yes. Now are there any cures? Jackie: No
Richard: And is there a rise in food allergies in recent times?
Jackie: There are certainly a lot more stories in the press about it but yes in fact the number of children in the UK with, for example, peanut allergies has increased significantly over the last several decades. We’re talking here trebled, the number of cases has trebled.
Richard: Wow, that is a lot. So... so why is that then? Why is there a rise in allergies?
Jackie: Nobody really knows Richard um... there are a lot of ideas but um... nobody knows.
Richard: And is it a serious problem? Presumably increasingly serious.
Jackie: Yeah, but, in the UK about ten people die every year from an acute allergic reaction.
Richard: Yes but there are very stringent laws now, aren’t there? With food packaging. They really do have to put down exactly what’s in their product.
Jackie: There are over 160 foods which can cause allergic reactions to people, right, but there are, as far as the US are concerned, there are eight common ones and for the UK, fourteen. And these must be legally put on the food labels.
Richard: So they’ve got to have warnings, in the UK, if they have these fourteen food items.
Jackie: Can you guess what those are?
Richard: [laughs] I was expecting you to ask me that. Well, we’ve just, we’ve talked about peanuts, haven’t we [Jackie: Right] um... and I think there are other seeds and things like that.
Jackie: Sesame seeds in the UK but not in the US.
Richard: Okay that’s interesting. Well, people... people get affected by eggs don’t they?
Jackie: Yes, that’s one.
Richard: Um... I’m not going to get fourteen.
Jackie: Okay I’ll tell you what they are: milk, eggs, fish. Richard: Yes, ah yes, oh seafood is a common one, isn’t it?
Jackie: Exactly, crustaceans. Tree nuts and peanuts because there is a difference.
Richard: Right, yes, peanuts are groundnuts, aren’t they?
Jackie: Exactly. Wheat and soya beans. Plus in the UK, Richard, celery.
Jackie: Mustard er... sulphur dioxide, sulphites. Richard: Sulphites, right.
Jackie: Used... used as a preservative. Richard: Okay
Jackie: Lupin seeds and lupin flour. Never heard of it. Richard: Right, okay.
Jackie: Molluscs. We’ve mentioned fish and crustaceans [Richard: Right] but also molluscs. [Richard: Snails...] ...and mussels and oysters.
Richard: Yes, of course.
Jackie: Things like that. Okay, so what you have to say, you can’t just put lactose, you have to put lactose, in brackets, milk. And you can’t just write flour, you have to put flour, in brackets, wheat or barley, or whatever.
Jackie: Or, you have to say um... have a ‘contain statement’: “Contains milk, wheat and peanuts”.
Richard: Yes, you always see that don’t you, “May contain”, well “May contain peanuts”.
Jackie: Or the ‘may contain’ one, yes, exactly. So they’re very, very strict with all of those things.
Richard: But it’s in very small writing though often.
Jackie: Now luckily neither of us are allergic to anything, are we? Richard: We eat everything.
Jackie: But we do have to keep our dogs away from the Christmas cake.
Richard: Yes. Because it’s raisins, isn’t it? [Jackie: Yeah] And chocolate’s not good for dogs, lots of things aren’t good for dogs.
Jackie: So it’s not a bad time for us but we really have to keep an eye on our... on our four-legged friends.