Like any food, wheat can cause an allergic reaction. These reactions may range from mild to severe. A severe allergic reaction is called anaphylaxis.
Slinky Brand and More! Fingerprint Science Kit (also labeled as Experiment #163)
A 9-year-old-boy allergic to wheat needed epinephrine after playing with this science kit, according to a recent article in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice.
The kit contains a bottle of unlabeled white powder. Lab testing showed the powder was positive for gluten, probably from wheat flour.
FDA laws do not require labeling for toys that may contain food protein. The authors of the article urged toy manufacturers to voluntarily label nonfood items if they contain food protein.
Play-Doh®, Paper Mache, Other Arts & Craft Supplies
If your child with a wheat allergy just started preschool or kindergarten, double-check the classroom art supplies. See our guide to Potential Food Allergens in Preschool, School, Camp Crafts & Activities for gluten-free playdough recipes - commercial brands are likely wheat-based.
Personal Care Products
FDA food allergen labeling laws do not apply to personal care items like hair products, cosmetics, etc. For instance, you might find wheat protein in shampoos, conditioners or hair gels.
Read more about food allergens and cosmetics.
Some brands of beans carry warnings that they may contain traces of wheat. If you are sensitive to trace amounts of wheat, look for brands that say they are gluten free.
Wheat "Processed" to be Gluten Free
Some companies label a product gluten free, but people with a severe wheat allergy may still be sensitive to the item. One example we have come across where this happens: candy with glucose syrup that comes from wheat.
Other Names for Wheat
Did you know that spelt indicates the presence wheat? How about seitan? Use our Wheat Allergy Avoidance List and remember to read every label, every time.
Biodegradable Food Packaging
Are there any disposable plates or take-out containers in your house? If they are brownish in color and labeled "biodegradable" or "sustainable," they might be made from wheat stalks. In general, the companies that make them say that the plates are gluten free. Check with your doctor to see if this type of packaging is suitable for your family.