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FSA Explains food hypersensitivity - video transcript

Animated title screen: Food Standards Agency explains

On-screen text: Food hypersensitivity - what you need to know.

Chun-Han Chan, FSA Expert: Have you ever suffered a reaction to something you have eaten? If you have, you probably have a condition called food hypersensitivity. Let’s look into why this happens.

On-screen text: What you need to know, number 1. Types of food hypersensitivity.

Chun-Han Chan: There are different types of food hypersensitivity. Food allergy, coeliac disease and food intolerance are three examples.

Image: Crossed out peanut, wheat and milk carton with corresponding captions saying: food allergy, coealiac disease, food intolerance.

On-screen text: What you need to know, number 2. What is a food allergy?

Chun-Han Chan: Food allergy is when your immune system which helps your body fight infections mistakes the proteins in food as a threat.

Animation: Proteins in stomach turning red as they’re being mistaken for a threat.

Chun-Han Chan: Allergic reactions can range from mild to very serious, such as itchiness, hives, vomiting, swelling of the eyes, lips, and airways which makes it difficult to breathe.

Animation: Icons representing symptoms of an allergic reaction to food with corresponding captions saying: itchiness, hives, vomiting, swelling.

Chun-Han Chan: The most severe allergic reaction is called anaphylaxis, which can even lead to death.

On-screen text: What you need to know, number 3. What foods cause food allergies?

Chun-Han Chan: You can be allergic to any food, but certain foods are responsible for most food allergies. In the UK, food businesses must tell you if they use any of 14 key allergens in the food and drink they produce. The 14 include common allergens like nuts, peanuts, eggs and milk as well as unusual ones such as lupin, celery, mustard and sulphites!

Image: Icons representing the main 14 allergens with corresponding captions: milk, crustaceans, eggs, fish, lupin, celery, soya, cereals containing gluten, peanuts, nuts, sesame seeds, mustard, molluscs, sulphites.

On-screen text: What you need to know, number 4. What is coeliac disease?

Chun-Han Chan: Coeliac disease is an autoimmune condition caused by a reaction to gluten found in grains such as wheat. The immune system attacks the small intestines and reduces its ability to absorb nutrients from food.

Animation: Intestines with the caption saying: Coeliac disease reduces the small intestines ability to absorb nutrients from food.

Chun-Han Chan: Following a gluten free diet can prevent long term health problems.

On-screen text: What you need to know, number 5. What is food intolerance?

Chun-Han Chan: Food intolerance doesn't involve your immune system and is never life-threatening. The symptoms of a food intolerance can occur hours after eating the offending food. People with food intolerance tend to experience symptoms like diarrhoea, skin rashes or itching.

Animation: Images representing three symptoms of a food intolerance with corresponding captions saying: diarrhoea, skin rashes, itching.

Chun-Han Chan: So, there you have it, the FSA explains food hypersensitivity. You can find more information at

'FSA Explains food hypersensitivity' video