Advertisement
Skip navigation links
Allergy and Immunology Glossary
Ask the Allergist
Patient's Rights on Health Care Reform
Letters to the Editor
Patient Newsletter
FAQ
Photo Gallery
Patient Support Organizations
Research
Meetings & Events
Download Resources
Seasonal Allergy News
Find an Allergist
ACAAI > Patients & Public > Resources > Ask the Allergist

Food Allergies and Garden Soil

Q: I had a question regarding mushroom compost that I just purchased for our vegetable garden.  After adding many bags of mushroom compost to the top soil, I noticed that one of the components was peanut meal.  I have a daughter with peanut allergy.  I am assuming I need to shovel all the dirt out and not let her eat anything that we grow in that area.  I can't find any information on this topic, and also wonder about other produce/mushrooms that may be grown in this medium.  I don't think I've ever seen produce or mushrooms with a "may contain peanut" label.

A: The contaminiation of soils with food ingredients is not rare in agriculture, and fortunately no reports of food reactions from the inclusion of these allergens in compost media have thus far been published.  Direct contamination of the foods present in the area is, however, possible.  Washing foods does not ensure the elimination of contaminating food allergens in the soil.  Also boiling or roasting is not completely safe when considering heat-resistant contaminating allergens such as peanut allergens. Thus, in this case we suggest having your daughter avoid eating vegetable foods present in the field at the time of the fertilization.  However, it is not necessary to avoid foods grown in this medium.

Allergy and Asthma Relief Test

If you have allergies or asthma, use the Allergy and Asthma Relief Self-Test to review your symptoms and see if you need to find relief.

Learn More »

Find an Allergist

Allergists are specialists at treating both allergies and asthma. They can explain how your allergies can affect your asthma and steps you need to take to keep both conditions under control. Find an allergist in your zip code and find relief.

Learn More »