Occupational contact urticaria caused by food - a systematic clinical review.
Food industry workers are at increased risk for occupational contact urticaria (CU). There are many foodstuffs that have been reported to cause occupational CU, including seafood, meat, vegetables, and fruits. The aim of this review is to summarize all reported occupational cases of CU in the food industry. This is a systematic review based on a MEDLINE search of articles in English and German and a manual search, between 1990 and 2014, to summarize the case reports and case series of occupational CU in the food industry. Many different foodstuffs have been implicated in CU. Occupational CU has been reported in many different occupations, mostly in individuals dealing with seafood, meat, vegetables, and fruits, such as chefs, cooks, bakers, butchers, slaughterhouse workers, and fish-factory workers. Foodstuffs that commonly induce occupational protein contact dermatitis include fish, seafood, meats, vegetables, and fruits. Food handlers may acquire CU resulting from occupational exposures. The prognosis varies widely. The diagnosis of immunological CU is based on the clinical history and on a positive prick test with the suspected substance and/or measurement of specific IgE.
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