Back-to-School Allergy Planning - What You Need to Know
Food allergies are a very stressful issue for children and families. Given how diverse our food supply is, and the potential for foods to be ingredients or potential exposure to allergens in kitchens and prep areas means every mouthful is meaningful.
There are nine food allergens identified as having significant prevalence that must be clearly labeled by law. The Food Allergen Labeling and Protection Act was rolled out in 2004 and has been an important tool for those navigating these issues. The original eight allergens are: milk, soy, peanut, fish, shellfish, wheat, (tree) nuts, and eggs, and sesame was added to the federal list in the Spring of 2021.
One of the most common and most concerning is peanut allergy. Sensitivity can range from slight to life-threatening, and the issue may not be on the radar until a frightening health episode. For many with peanut and other severe allergies, it is critical to maintain and carry an epinephrine auto-injector in case of accidental exposure. Family, childcare providers, friends, school nurses and teachers should all be trained to read food labels to avoid allergenic foods, understand signs of exposure and have an emergency response plan. To ease this process, Food Allergy Research and Education, a non-profit supporting those with allergies, has an emergency plan resource document.
The Price Chopper/Market 32 Pharmacy Team is conducting an awareness campaign about epinephrine auto-injector management, ask your pharmacist to assist with keeping these vital devices ready if they are needed. Work with your healthcare provider to ensure an emergency plan is in place.
There is some good news – strong research has shown it is possible to avoid developing a peanut allergy. Infants that show early signs of possible allergy issues, including family history, eczema and egg allergy may be on the road to a peanut allergy as well. If identified early, and coordinated/supervised by an allergist, pediatrician and registered dietitian-nutritionist, it has been shown that peanut allergy development can be mitigated/reduced with very controlled micro-doses (6-7 grams) of peanuts over time, and timing of that intervention is key. Ideally, the process should start when the baby is just starting on foods, at about the 6-month mark. It should NOT be attempted without coordination and supervision of experienced healthcare providers. It is a recent development in allergy prevention and care, discussion of any concerns should occur at one of the first pediatrician visits, so risks can be assessed as soon as possible. Early and medically supervised intervention could offer significant health and quality of life benefits if peanut allergy can be avoided.
 Togias A, Cooper SF, Acebal ML, et al. Addendum Guidelines for the Prevention of Peanut Allergy in the United States: Summary of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases-Sponsored Expert Panel. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2017;117(5):788-793.
Come Pay Your Due Against The Flu!
Did you know that the single best way to avoid getting the flu is to get a yearly flu shot? During the 2017-2018 flu season, the flu vaccine prevented 7.1 million cases of the flu, 109,000 hospitalizations, and 8000 deaths.1 That’s with only about 42% of adults getting a flu shot! Flu season typically begins around October and can extend well into May but these are just the most common months. You can get the flu any time of year so it is always recommended to get your flu shot early!
For a healthy adult the flu may not seem to be that big of a deal but, the flu can greatly increase the chance of heart attack or stroke. Adults over 35 with a confirmed case of the flu are 6-10 times more likely to suffer their first heart attack and are about 8 times more likely to suffer their first stroke.2,3 Those of high risk stand to benefit from flu vaccines as well. People with type II diabetes who also receive yearly flu vaccines are 30% less likely to have a stroke, 22% less likely to suffer from heart failure, and 19% less likely to have a heart attack.4
Getting a flu vaccine not only helps the recipient but everyone around the recipient. This is especially important for infants under 6 months and those with conditions preventing them from getting a flu shot. Those unable to be vaccinated depend on the rest of us for protection from the flu. The more flu shots that are received, the less flu will spread, and the safer we’ll all be. So head over to your local Price Chopper or Market 32 pharmacy and get your shot!
- Can the flu shot give me the flu?
- No! Flu vaccines are made using dead viruses or pieces of the virus’s genetic code that don’t have the capability to cause illness. It takes 1-2 weeks for your body to develop immunity after receiving the flu shot, another good reason to get your shot early this season!
- Why do I need to get a flu shot every year?
- Each year the flu virus changes, undergoing mutations that can make the previous vaccinations ineffective. Getting a flu shot yearly ensures you have immunity from the latest strain of the flu.
- Is getting a flu shot the only thing I can do to prevent catching the flu?
- While the flu vaccine is the single best way to avoid the flu, there are many things you can do to protect yourself. Frequent hand washing and avoiding those with the flu can go a long way to prevent it from spreading. If you do fall ill it is important to stay home, cover all coughs/sneezes, and limit contact with those around you.
Written by Eugene Kupiec Pharmacy Intern
- “2017-2018 Estimated Influenza Illnesses, Medical Visits, and Hospitalizations Averted by Vaccination in the United States | CDC.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed August 14, 2019. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/vaccines-work/averted-estimates.htm.
- Warren-Gash C, Blackburn R, Whitaker H, McMenamin J, Hayward AC. Laboratory-confirmed respiratory infections as triggers for acute myocardial infarction and stroke: a self-controlled case series analysis of national linked datasets from Scotland. Eur Respir J. 2018;51. doi:10.1183/13993003.01794-2017
- Kwong JC, Schwartz KL, Campitelli MA, et al. Acute myocardial infarction after laboratory-confirmed influenza infection. N Engl J Med. 2018;378:345-353.
- Vamos EP, Pape UJ, Curcin V, et al. Effectiveness of the influenza vaccine in preventing admission to hospital and death in people with type 2 diabetes. CMAJ. 2016;188:E342-E351.
Ellie Wilson, MS, RDN Senior NutritionistApples are amazing – sweet, tart, crunchy and crave-worthy! This is apple season, and we have the benefit of enjoying local apples and apple cider, especially the super crunchy, super juicy Snapdragon® born and raised in New York! Sweet and spicy, with hints of vanilla, it is a variety that has the bonus of being the product of a cross with the super popular Honey Crisp – YUM! Fun fact – New York ranks second in the U.S. for apple production, with more than 1 billion pounds grown each year! Apples are an important part of New York agriculture: Learn more at applesfromny.com. Apples bring a lot of health benefits to your family – high in soluble and insoluble fiber, they support weight loss, heart and digestive health. Science is uncovering more about their antioxidant powers, too – quercetin, catechin and chlorogenic acid add to the health properties of apples. Check out all of the great varieties we have at your local store, and don’t forget to try the Washington State star, the Piñata from Stemilt! This is a cross of 3 heirloom varieties that resulted in a classic crunchy, juicy apple, with a surprisingly tropical flavor twist! Great in salads, sandwiches, baking and snacking – learn more and find delicious recipes at https://www.stemilt.com/fruits/apples/pinata-apples/. #eatmoreapples!
Activate Wellness: November is National Diabetes Month
Ellie Wilson, MS, RDN Senior NutritionistDiabetes is a rising concern for many – almost 10% of Americans have diabetes, and another 30% are at risk. The good news is, eating well to prevent or manage diabetes is the same for everyone. Some quick tips:
- Make half your plate veggies and fruit for most meals, and you have taken a giant step in the right direction. Fresh, frozen and canned fruits and veggies can all be part of your solution.
- Watch quantities on starchy foods – a small serving of potatoes is fine, whole grain sides like rice and quinoa in smaller servings, and whole grain breads are all okay.
- Lean proteins in moderate portions, including seafood twice per week, dairy, beans and legumes, lean chicken, pork or beef – all fit.
- Good fats, like olive oil, avocados and olives, are important to ensuring food tastes good and enhances absorption of key nutrients.
- Even dessert – small servings, or low/no calorie treats, are a good way to make delicious and carb-conscious choices.
- Milk or water round out your meals and snacks, and offer vital nutrients and hydration.
- Our Pharmacy team is also a wonderful resource and has a free medication and supplies program. https://www.pricechopper.com/pharmacy#/
Keep Your Food and Family Safe This Summer!After a long winter and cool spring, temperatures are finally warming up making everyone eager for outdoor picnics and barbecues. While these temperatures are ideal for that, they also provide a perfect environment for bacteria and other pathogens in food to multiply rapidly and cause foodborne illness. You can help prevent harmful bacteria from making your family sick by avoiding the “Danger Zone” and following the “Core Four”. The Danger Zone: temperature range between 40°F and 140°F
- Keep food out of this range as foodborne bacteria can grow rapidly to dangerous levels that can result in illness
- Always keep cold food COLD, at or below 40°F, in coolers or in containers with ice or frozen gel packs
- Keep hot foods HOT, at or above 140°F, on the grill or in insulated containers, heated chafing dishes, warming trays or slow cookers
- Reheat foods to 165°F
- Wash hands with warm water and soap for 20 seconds before and after handling food
- Clean kitchen surfaces, dishes and utensils with hot water and soap
- Have one cutting board for produce and another one for meat, poultry and seafood
- Use separate plates and utensils for raw and cooked foods
- Wash plates, utensils, and cutting boards that held raw meat, poultry, seafood, or eggs before reusing
- Marinate in the refrigerator and not on the counter keeping raw meat/poultry separate from any veggies you might be using
- If you plan to reuse the marinade as a sauce be sure to boil it first to destroy any harmful bacteria or make extra to set aside before adding raw meat/poultry
- Cook: Cook to safe internal temperatures
- Use a food thermometer to ensure food is thoroughly cooked
- Whole cuts of meat (steaks, chops and roasts) – 145°F with a 3 minute rest time
- Ground beef, pork, lamb and veal- 160°F
- Poultry, including ground poultry- 165°F
- Fish – 145°F
- Leftovers – 165°F
- Refrigerate perishable food within one hour in hot weather (above 90°F) and within two hours if temperatures are below 90°F
- Place leftover foods in shallow containers for quick cooling
Raise a Glass to Dairy Month!
Ellie Wilson, MS, RDN Senior Nutritionist
June 1st is a holiday for our dairy farmers – it is World Milk Day, and kicks off the annual celebration of Dairy Month and all that dairy brings us! Full of flavor and nutrients, packed with protein, familiar and affordable, wholesome dairy brings richness to so many foods. Across the Northeast, dairy is considered a unique “natural resource”, which supports healthy people, healthy communities and a substantial and sustainable positive impact on local economies. We use milk, yogurt, butter, and cheese to bake, batch, sip, and savor our way through delicious and nutritious meals and snacks. Welcome to Dairy Month, an annual national celebration of all that dairy brings us. There would be no dairy without dairy farming, which encompasses time-honored heritage and forward-thinking scholarship – this industry keeps innovating, and is full of hard working, passionate people that ensure animals have the best care, and milk is the highest quality. About 97% of dairy farms are family-owned, generation after generation that have moved the industry forward and treat animals, land and the future with reverence and respect. Dairy also delivers crucial nutrients – milk, yogurt and cheese contribute 51% of calcium and 58% of Vitamin D for just 10% of the calories in the overall American diet. The Great American Milk Drive also kicks off in our stores today – with a $1 or $5 donation at the register, you can join in and get milk to children and families that are less food secure. Check out our Facebook Live visit with our friends at Ivey Lakes Dairy in Stanley, NY, follow the blog, Twitter, Youtube and Instagram learn more about how fresh, nourishing dairy foods make their way from the farm to your table, and the delicious ways you can enjoy them. In case you couldn’t tell, we love dairy – Price Chopper and Market 32 are highlighting dairy and dairy case items all month – you will love the selection and the savings. Celebrate with us!
How Peanut Butter Met Jelly
Ellie Wilson, MS, RDN, CDNApril 2nd is National Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich Day! The peanut butter and jelly sandwich is a lunchbox icon, enjoyed by generations. Just as iconic are two of the brands America has grown up with – Skippy Peanut Butter, and Welch’s Concord Grape Jelly. How they got together went something like this…
- 1894 – Peanut butter was invented, but it is oily and hard to transport
- 1918 – Welch’s “Grapelade” (jam) is introduced, and added to U.S. soldiers rations
- 1922 – Joseph Rosefield invents processing to keep ground peanuts and peanut oil blended
- 1923 – Welch’s brings their famous Concord Grape Jelly to market
- 1932 – Joseph Rosefield starts his own company, Skippy Peanut Butter
- Taste and texture: sweet, salty, creamy, crunchy – something for everyone
- Thrifty and practical – budget friendly and quick to make
- Comfort food – PBJ sandwiches are easy to enjoy, every day or once in a while
- Food safety – no cooler required, PBJ sandwiches are good travelers
Mussel Magic in March
Ellie Wilson, MS, RDN, CDN Senior NutritionistMarch is warm and cold, sunny and snowy, cloudy and clear – every day is different. As schedules heat up, having something easy on hand for a warm lunch or dinner is always a good idea. Pier 33 Mussels are frozen fresh and go from freezer to skillet. Easy to season and savor, a glug of olive oil around the pan, a generous pinch of parsley, chopped garlic, and a splash of wine, and you can serve up a simple entrée over pasta or steamed veggie noodles in 10 minutes. They shine as a quick addition to a Manhattan clam chowder, and marry well with a bold curried coconut sauce – check out this Thai Red Curry Mussels recipe (https://www.pricechopper.com/recipes#/10969.) They also pack a nutrition punch as a good source of B12, selenium, zinc, and folate. Pier 33 mussels are a versatile and delicious way to add seafood to your day, and get you closer to the two servings per week recommended for good health. Check out other varieties in the frozen seafood case. Try today and save $1.00 off any TWO (2) Pier 33 Mussels with AdvantEdge e-Coupon through March 31st! Don’t forget their fresh frozen salmon – quick to cook and easy to enjoy, lean protein and omega 3s will get you energized for spring!
Shingrix, The New Shingles Vaccine is Here!Written by Kim DeMagistris, PharmD, RPh Pharmacy Clinical Coordinator, Price Chopper/Market 32 Supermarkets You may have heard about the shingles vaccine and wondered, “Should I get this new vaccine?” or “Do I need the new vaccine if I already received Zostavax?” Shingles is a painful rash that develops in about 30% of people. As we get older our immune systems don’t work as well and because we have been exposed to chickenpox as kids, the virus is already inside us waiting to erupt as Shingles! The shingles rash usually presents with blisters and can be painful and itchy. Sometimes the rash will go away after a couple of weeks but some patients have lingering pain known as post-herpetic neuralgia. Other complications of Shingles can include blindness1. Shingrix is now recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for patients 50 and older. Most patients born before 1968 will be eligible for this vaccine and if you have had Zostavax then you will need to be revaccinated with Shingrix! Shingrix is more effective than Zostavax and we now know that Zostavax boosts your immunity for only about five years. That means that after five years of receiving Zostavax, you may no longer be protected.2 It is easy to be vaccinated! Just speak with your local Price Chopper/Market 32 Pharmacist for more information. Shingrix is given as a two dose series, which means you will get a second shot about two months after the first. When patients receive both doses of Shingrix, the vaccine is about 97% effective.3 Get vaccinated today! Click to see where the vaccine is offered. You can also learn more about all our Pharmacy+ services here. For more information about shingles and the Shingrix vaccine, check out the information below from the CDC https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd/shingles/public/shingrix/index.html References:
- Immunization Action Coalition. Shingles (zoster): questions and answers. Information about the disease and vaccine. http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p4221.pdf. (Accessed October 29, 2017).
- Clinical Resource,Shingles Vaccine: FAQs. Pharmacist’s Letter/Prescriber’s Letter. December 2017.
- Product information for Shingrix. GlaxoSmithKline. Research Triangle Park, NC 27709. October 2017.