The Kitchen Think: The Seriousness (and Tragedy) of Food Allergies


This is one of my nightmares: My daughter, Sistie, who has always been so conscious of her nut allergy, will accidentally eat the wrong thing and die.

I read with a heavy heart about 13-year old Natalie Giorgi, who died last week after biting into (and spitting out) a Rice Krispies treat on the final night of family camp in California.


Natalie Giorgi

Natalie and her parents knew her peanut allergy could kill her. They were always extremely cautious about what she ate. They all read labels and asked the right questions in restaurants.

But last Friday, after a camp gathering, she went to the lodge for a treat. The lights were dim and three varieties of Rice Krispies treats, prepared by the camp cook, were on the table.

Natalie bit into a treat and immediately spit it out. Her father gave her a dose of Benadryl to lessen any allergic reaction. She seemed okay, she had had “scares” before. But 20-minutes later, she couldn’t breathe.

Her dad gave her THREE EpiPen injections. Usually ONE EpiPen helps during a severe allergic reaction. But, Natalie couldn’t be saved. She died a few hours later.

About 3-million American children under the age of 18 have food allergies of some kind. Most are allergic to eggs, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, shellfish and fish. Egg allergies are the most common. And the number of people afflicted is increasing.

Real food allergies are serious and should be taken seriously. If your child has a food allergy, or has a friend with a food allergy, always be aware of what they are eating.

A previous low-key allergic reaction IS NOT an indication of what the next reaction will be like. The truth is you don’t know what the next reaction could be like… it might be deadly.

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4 thoughts on “The Kitchen Think: The Seriousness (and Tragedy) of Food Allergies

  1. Sarah Almond

    This makes me so sad-her parents were so careful and yet it still wasn’t enough. Poor little girl! I worked in childcare for many years and had kids that had quite severe food allergies. I had a little girl with celiac disease who couldn’t even handle things with certain types of glue in it because it might have gluten and make her sick. I also had a little girl who would smell peanuts and her eyes would swell shut. It’s so scary when you have a child with food allergies! 🙁

    1. Mama Post author

      It is absolutely terrifying. My daughter has had several scares… which is why I sat her down and told her she has to be extra diligent. The last reaction may not be like the next one! Thanks for your thoughtful comment.

  2. Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom

    This is so upsetting.

    My oldest daughter is anaphylactic to dairy. We are homeschooling her because we really don’t think she understands the severity of her allergies yet.

    It’s so stressful and then you hear stories like this and it just makes you want to put your child in a bubble.

    So sad.

    1. Mama Post author

      How old is she? Do you think you’ll let her go to school when she has a grasp of her allergies? Dairy… like wheat… is in so many products. I’ll keep you and your family in my thoughts! Thanks for your comment.


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I’m Christina Chavez

I was a TV journalist for many years, but with a house full of kids I decided to come off the road, go to culinary school and follow my passion for cooking. Mama’s High Strung is all about food… everything from creative recipe ideas to some really cool kitchen gadgets and cooking tips. I live in Chicago, but I love to travel and write about my food discoveries! You can reach me by email: