Peanut Allergy - Fast Facts

This document has been developed by ASCIA, the peak professional body of clinical immunology/allergy specialists in Australia and New Zealand. ASCIA information is based on published literature and expert review, is not influenced by commercial organisations and is not intended to replace medical advice.         

For patient or carer support contact Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia or Allergy New Zealand.

pdfASCIA PC FAST FACTS Peanut Allergy 202372.40 KB

  1. Peanut allergy is common and affects around 3% of children. In some cases, even trace amounts of peanuts can trigger symptoms.
  2. A person who is allergic to peanut is not always allergic to tree nuts. This is because the proteins in peanut are very different to those in tree nuts, such as almonds, cashews, hazelnut, macadamia, pecans, pistachios, and walnuts.
  3. Allergic reactions to peanut (or other foods), range from mild to severe. Mild to moderate signs of food allergy include swelling of face, lips or eyes, hives or welts on the skin, tingling mouth, abdominal (stomach) pain, or vomiting.
  4. Peanuts are one of the most common foods that cause life threatening severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis). Signs of anaphylaxis include any one of the following; difficult or noisy breathing, swelling of tongue, swelling or tightness in throat, wheeze or persistent cough, difficulty talking or hoarse voice, persistent dizziness or collapse. Young children may be pale and floppy.
  5. Food labelling laws in Australia and New Zealand require that any product containing peanut must be clearly labelled. It is important to check the labels of all foods before purchase.
  6. When eating out with peanut allergy some precautions include; contacting the restaurant, café or home cook in advance to let them know of the food allergy, telling restaurant staff about the peanut allergy on arrival, and asking about peanut in the food that is ordered, rather than relying on menu descriptions as dips or sauces may have peanuts in them.
  7. If an adrenaline (epinephrine) injector has been prescribed, the person with allergy should always have it with them. Having adrenaline injectors offers reassurance, but it is not a substitute for strategies to minimise the risk of exposure to allergen triggers.
  8. Under the supervision of a clinical immunology/allergy specialist and supportive contacts, people can learn to manage their For more information go to

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Content updated June 2023

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