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Anyone heard of a tomato allergy

(38 Posts)
Wills Fri 04-Jun-04 13:08:45


I think my 9 month old dd reacted to a raw tomato the other day (first day of holiday!). All areas around her mouth went bright red and she spent the next few days being very sick. She's had cooked tomato and has never had a reaction so I'm really baffled by this reaction. Has anyone else had a similar experience? I'd be very grateful to know that I'm not imagining this.

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Hulababy Fri 04-Jun-04 13:13:23

I have wondered whether my Dd may also have (in our case very mild) reaction to tomatoes too. If she eats them her face, especially near her mouth, goes red and blotchy. In our case she isn't sick or ill at all - and she does actually like tomatoes. But both my parents, and my in laws ahve noticed this too with her. And it only seems to happen with fresh tomatoes from what we can gather so far.

As our DD's reaction appears to be mild - at least at the moment - we haven't done anything about it, but in answer to your query - yes I do think it is possible to have a tomato allergy.

There are some MNetters on here who are great with allergies so I am sure you'll get lots of advice

zebra Fri 04-Jun-04 13:14:35

I thought tomato allergy was fairly common!
I have this theory that people who are Blood type B can't eat tomatoes, esp. not raw.

Toothache Fri 04-Jun-04 13:16:09

WOW! Never thought I'd see a thread with that title.

YES YES YES!! I developed a tomato (raw or cooked)allergy when I was 17yrs old. I love them.

I'm not sick though, the reaction I get is mainly hives and burning sensations on my hands. It also effects my Asthma. I still eat them as I couldn't see a way of avoiding them entirely, but take an antihistamine every couple of days.

Are you sure it was the tomato? What else did she have with it?? Could it have been something on the tomato?

Toothache Fri 04-Jun-04 13:16:55

I'm blood type O+ if that makes a difference?

Lisa78 Fri 04-Jun-04 17:11:50

Hi! Its nothing to do with blood group really - there is a vague, tenuous link that suggests your blood type could predict how likely you were to have allergies, but this would be based on a more detail breakdown than A, B, AB and O. Even so, it can't determine what you are allergic to. Broadly speaking, allergies are determined by your environment and early eating habits.
Allergies to raw tomato is more common than to cooked tomato for some reason that I probably knew once but can't remember now. Its not an especially rare allergy, bearing in mind you can be allergic to anything. My sister for example, can eat plum tomatoes but not cherry...? She can eat any cooked tomato though. She can eat banana too, but if it touches her hands or lips, she has an allergic reaction - that said, she is odd . The response to an allergy can vary also, the redness and sickness are not uncommon for a food allergy though. All you can do is avoid raw tomato and wait!
Good luck

JuA Fri 04-Jun-04 17:36:26

My nephew has had reactions to raw tomatoes - but only when he got the juice and seeds on his face - his face goes red and blotchy. It wasn't a problem when he ate cherry tomatoes whole! I think he must have grown out of it now - I am sure he eats them now (he is 5).

Wills Fri 04-Jun-04 19:21:03

Its a relief to know that a tomato allergy is unheard of and also the fact that she had been eating cooked tomato with no problems. I was adament that it was the tomato although she'd also had some bread and I know that this could have contained some common allergens. The thing is that she'd been eating the bread for a while and the reaction was distinctly around the time of the tomato. All that could have been on the tomato was olive oil and this is what I use in all my cooking so again I've ruled this out.

Having experienced the reaction I promptly avoided all tomatos, cooked and raw. However the day after I returned home I automatically reached into the freezer to get her food and got out a bolonaise mix with tinned tomatos in it. I didn't remember until we were half way through it ! There was no outward signs but she was sick again the following day. Now I'm not sure if I'm "reading" into this especially as I have a nut allergy myself and having experienced anaphylaxitic shock am a little paranoid about my kids. So I don't know whether to avoid all tomatos even though I used to be able to give her cooked tomatos all the time. Any thoughts??

OP’s posts: |
Wills Fri 04-Jun-04 19:21:23

sorry I meant not unheard of.

OP’s posts: |
Piffleoffagus Fri 04-Jun-04 19:25:16

very sommon, both my brother and DD react to raw tomato with a bright sudden rash around the mouth, my bro now gets hives instead...
DD gets same thing from egg and we were told to avoid egg, citrus and raw tomato
cooked tomato = fine! Bizarre
Now at 19 mths she grabbed a raw cheery tomato the other day and ate the thing whole = now reaction..

Piffleoffagus Fri 04-Jun-04 19:25:23

now= no

tamum Fri 04-Jun-04 19:27:58

I feel a bit sorry for the raw "cheery" tomato!

Lisa78 Fri 04-Jun-04 19:28:26

Problem is Wills, an allergy can develop in no time at all, which makes it very difficult to determine which food, or part of food, has caused the problem.
Given that allergies are in the family, I should start by avoiding any foods with tomato in at all, whether cooked or raw for 2-4 weeks, to ensure its completely out of her system (its just possible that the tomato in the bolognaise was enuf to trigger a residual reaction from the tomato she had on holiday, if that makes sense!)
Then, introduce some tomato a little at a time. Start with a very small amount of cooked tomato, such as in the bolognaise, and wait a few days. If there is no discernable reaction you can try some raw tomato. If she does react to that, you have a partial answer; you can then determine if its a particular part of the tomato - flesh, skin or seeds in the same way.
Lots of luck!

workout Fri 04-Jun-04 20:56:00

Anyone heard of the same allergen in tomatoes as strawberries,avocados and underripe bananas?!! My DH has a noticeable latex and Strawberry allergy (throat itchiness and eventual swelling!!!) and was told that all this lot seem to be in the same grouping. Heard of lots of others adults and children alike who have tomato allergies, especially cherry tomatoes for some reason!

robinw Sat 05-Jun-04 06:27:43

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Wills Sat 05-Jun-04 08:23:50

cheers robin. I've also got your other links - thanks, I've only just returned from holiday otherwise would have responded.

Went to my gp first day back and asked for a referral. Whilst she didn't actually refuse it was 99% of the way to a refusal. Basically told me to avoid tomato if I really was certain that was the allergen but that she doubted it cos she'd never heard of it. Rather than fight her there and then I decided to do my "research" first. I agree that I want a referal I just want to go back to her sure of my facts so that I can "tell her" what I want rather than get her advise iyswim.

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ginababe Mon 07-Jun-04 00:12:48

A bad reaction to tomatoes is one of the foods that keeps coming up in the food diary's that parents send me. I am not sure whether it is a true allergy or just a reaction when given too early to some babies. I believe that it is a food tha parents should introduce with caution.

robinw Mon 07-Jun-04 04:25:47

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robinw Mon 07-Jun-04 04:32:20

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marz Mon 07-Jun-04 19:49:52

Hi all........Strawberries and tomatoes have "live" histamine in them, which is likely to cause reactions in "allergy" babes....
If you cook them, it is not the same, the histamine does not work anymore. (not very technical explanation, sorry, can't remember the exact details but was told this in an allergy clinic.) My dd1 would get hives with tomatoes, and also, not sure if any of you have noticed, but whenever dd1 (when under a year) and dd2 have tomato sauce(pasta) they get nappy rash......I suspect that it is too acidic for them or something. I avoided tomatoes (cooked and raw) for dd1 till about 2 yrs, (and citrus too) as I suspected it made her eczema worse too. )
Hope this is helpful!

SamN Tue 08-Jun-04 11:48:03


Have read in a book that allergies to tomatoes, strawberries etc are not 'true' allergies, which basically means the allergy doesn't follow the same process as other ones - although you see the same results at the end! This may be a (small) reason why your GP has not heard of them. Sorry, but I have lent the book to my sister so I can't check the details now.

However, wanted to say in a more positive vein that my dad reacted to raw tomatoes for absolutely ages but he did grow out of this eventually - and cooked tomatoes were always fine. (He has a favourite story from his schooldays when a horrible dinner lady forced him to eat raw tomatoes even though he told her it would make him sick - served her right when he vomited all over her.)

lisa's approach to reintroducing stuff sounds a good one, especially if you have no joy with being referred to an allergy clinic.

best of luck


SoupDragon Tue 08-Jun-04 11:51:01

When deseeding/skinning them for DS1 when weaning, I found they made my fingers itch. I have no problems eating them, raw or cooked, although I don't really like them.

debmcalister Sun 31-Dec-06 16:55:58

Tomato allergies are NOT unheard of, and are one of the few food allergies that can and do kill. They are, thankfully, rare. I have one that has put me into intensive care more than 20 times in my lifetime -- luckily, my children and grandchildren did not inherit it.

If you have a child who seems to be allergic to tomatoes, get them checked by a competent allergist, and do it NOW. Tomatoes are part of the "deadly nightshade" family of plants (like eggplant, tobacco, foxglove, and even potatoes), and if your child has a severe form of the allergy, they can be affected by other foods as well. For instance, I can eat (but not peel) potatoes if all the skin is removed. But chips fried with the skin on will send me into a severe reaction. Tobacco smoke doesn’t bother me if I’m outdoors, but if I handle clothing or paper products that have been in a smoke-filled room, I get quite sick.

Tomato seeds, skin, and fresh tomato juice are the worst offenders for those with tomato allergies. And, yes, it is possible to eat processed foods made with tomato (canned soups, frozen pizza, etc., which are often made with tomato paste instead of fresh tomatoes) with a minimal reaction, but have a severe, life-threatening reaction to fresh tomatoes.

People with severe reactions to tomatoes may also have fatal reactions to drugs (even synthetic drugs) that are commonly used to treat heart disease and heart attacks, including digitalis, digoxin, and some other drugs that may be given in trauma centers. Again, get your child tested if you suspect a tomato allergy, and have them wear a medic alert bracelet if they test positive for this allergy.

The good news is that, by reading labels carefully and avoiding fresh produce, it’s possible to live a full and complete life while avoiding the potentially deadly effects of a tomato allergy.

All except three of the reactions I’ve had in my lifetime were due to careless accidents – a child who dropped a pizza slice made with fresh veggies onto my arm in an airport, a fast-food restaurant where a careless worker put a tomato down on top of a sandwich before remembering the order “no tomatoes”, then pulled it off leaving behind several seeds and a small amount of juice, etc. The other three reactions were the first (my mother fed me fresh tomatoes when I was an infant, before they knew about my allergy), and two accidents in which my infant granddaughter (who took the drug digoxin for a congenital heart defect) did what babies do and spit her medicine in my face.

Most of the time I get along fine without tomatoes, but I was horrified to read this thread of messages which basically said that a tomato allergy is nothing to worry about. It is definitely one of the most deadly allergies possible, and while rare, is a serious medical condition that should be tested for anytime a parent suspects a problem.

Note that this allergy can get worse over time – what appears to be a mild allergy (skin rash, tingling in the tongue, etc.) can become more series as the sensitivity to the allergens in tomatoes (and eggplant, and potato skins, and all the other relatives of the tomato family) gets worse. For a rundown on nightshade family plants, visit:

leya Thu 01-Nov-07 21:06:41

Hi Wills, It's not that uncommon, for people to have a reaction I am told to tomatos. I have eaten tomatos all my life (i'm now 31) Raw, cooked, tinned, and I have been fine. but recentley noticed that when eating a tomato on it's own fresh from the greenhouse, I had a reaction. My lips swole and my face went red and I was quite sick. I have also many years ago had the same reaction to strawberries, when I was 5. I have eaten strawberries since and found that I didnt have the same reaction, but I did feel quezzy. As for tomatos, I have not tried them since, and don't want to! There is something available from health shops called "nomato" it's a sauce that is supposed to look and taste like tomato but dosent contain tomato. I havent tried it yet my self, but will let you know if I do.

ExplosiveScienceT Thu 01-Nov-07 21:07:18

I know a family with tomato allergies.

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