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How store-bought baby food may be contributing to Australia’s high rate of food allergies

One-in-10 babies in Australia have food allergies and new research has revealed store-bought baby food could be part of the reason why.

A new study reviewed 251 baby food products and found none contained key allergens such as peanuts, sesame and shellfish.

Only one per cent of baby food tested contained egg.

Paediatric research dietician from the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, Dr Merryn Netting, says evidence shows that’s likely to have contributed to Victoria’s high allergy rate.

“There is a good amount of evidence now showing that if we feed babies, before they turn one, the common allergy causing foods, that will reduce their risk of developing food allergies as they grow older,” she told Ross and Russel.

“Your body needs to get used to eating a wide variety of foods.”

Dr Netting said previous advice to delay the introduction of common allergens to diets may also have contributed to rising allergy rates among children.

“We think that may have actually inadvertently caused a blip in the allergy numbers,” she said.

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