Is Kissing Dangerous for the Food Allergic?

Is there a danger or threat from kissing someone who has just eaten peanut butter if you are allergic? You might remember the story of the peanut allergic teen who supposedly died from kissing her boyfriend who had just eaten peanuts. It was later determined that she died from asthma.

Dr. Michael Pistiner discusses this in an interview with Sloane Miller titled “”Everyone’s Gone Nuts”–A doctor responds to the Harper’s Magazine article”. Dr. Pistiner states that allergens “can” be transferred through saliva.

In 2006, a study (Maloney et al. JACI. V 118, (3) 719-724) was conducted to measure the amount of peanut protein in 1 ml of saliva after eating a peanut butter sandwich. Saliva tested immediately after a peanut butter sandwich was eaten showed high enough levels of peanut protein to cause a reaction in some individuals. Saliva tested after an hour showed 13% of subjects had a detectable amount of peanut protein. What’s promising is that no one had detectable amounts of peanut protein in their saliva after several hours or after eating a peanut free meal.

The study proves that some individuals may experience a reaction from saliva contact through kissing or the sharing of eating utensils, but that it is completely preventable. If you are allergic, refrain from kissing or sharing eating utensils with someone who has just consumed peanuts or other foods you are allergic to.

We want to know, have you suffered an allergic reaction from kissing someone who had consumed foods you were allergic to? Share your story in our comments section or in our forums.