An Oral Food Challenge (OFC) procedure involves eating a serving size of an allergic food in a slow, graded fashion under medical supervision. It is considered the “gold standard” of allergy testing. It can help confirm that a food allergy exists or determines if a previously diagnosed food allergy has resolved. The decision to proceed with an Oral Food Challenge is complex and is influenced by medical history, age of the patient, skin prick testing, lab testing and assessment by an allergist.
While the benefit of an Oral Food Challenge has the potential to liberate you or your child’s diet, there is always the risk of an allergic reaction. Reactions range from itching of the mouth and throat, hives, abdominal pain, vomiting and, in rare cases, anaphylaxis. In the last 40 years in the United States, Oral Food Challenges have been conducted with minimal symptoms. At Palos Verdes Medical Group, we are committed to adhering to very strict safety standards including graded exposures, careful observation and appropriate post-exposure office stay.
Alternatives to an Oral Food Challenge are to continue strict avoidance of the food.
If you have any questions about the Oral Food Challenge procedure or to see if you or your child would be a good candidate, please contact us!
For more information on Oral Food Challenges, check out the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology as well as the Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) page.