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Potato and Cauliflower Allergy or Mold???

I need some advice.

Yesterday I peeled potatoes and shortly after I started I had the following symptoms – sneezing, nose running, nose congested, nose itching, some face swelling and coughing. I'm trying to figure out if it's the potatoes or the mold (not visible) on the peel. I washed them after I peeled the potatoes. Sometimes I can peel them with no problems. 

Today I removed the leaves, stems and cut up cauliflower. I washed the cauliflower and ate one piece. I had the following symptoms – nose running, nose congested, eyes watering, some face swelling and chest tight. The cauliflower had a few brown spots but otherwise it looked fresh. I cut the brown spots off before I washed the cauliflower. Sometimes I can cut it up and eat it. 

I'm trying to figure out if it's mold???  I have a severe mold allergy. It's hard to eat healthy when the healthy items causes me health issues.

Does anyone else have problems with potatoes or cauliflower?

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  • Melissa G

    My oldest has issues with washing and peeling potatoes. Her hands turn red and she sneezes constantly. I am not sure if it is what is on the potato or what, she is fine eating them…she loves potatoes! 

    Have you had these issues before or just recently? Do you live in one of the  

  • MMKB

    Hi Melissa G,

    Yes, I have had problems with peeling potatoes before this problem. However the severity varies. This is the first time I have had problems with cauliflower. I also have allergy and asthma problems if I peel corn on the cob. In addition, sometimes I can cut watermelon from the rind and take the stems off strawberries without allergy/asthma problems. It seems like when my allergy bucket is too full, I can't do these tasks without having allergy/asthma problems.

    The closest largest city is a yellow triangle on the Fall Allergy Capitals.

  • Melissa G
    MMKB posted:

    It seems like when my allergy bucket is too full, I can't do these tasks without having allergy/asthma problems.

    Have you tried using gloves or wearing a mask when washing or cutting the offending foods during the time your allergy bucket is full?

  • MMKB

    Hi Melissa G,

    Thanks for asking. I have been avoiding peeling/washing any potatoes and I have not purchased any cauliflower. I've been having my family help out more in the kitchen. It has also helped that the ragweed pollen is finished. Now, I'm having more problems with the fall leaves and mold. 

  • Melissa G

    Uughh MMKB, this is a very bad time of year. The weather has been crazy and the pollen count has been horrendous. I hope you get some relief soon! 

  • Brenda Silvia-Torma

    Hi MMKB, I've had trouble with peeling potatoes too…doing so makes my hands itch and get red. Wearing cooking gloves has definitely helped. I can eat the potato without any problem though.  Since you've mentioned having difficulty with the fall leaves, have you been doing any yard work? I have trouble with mold too and I plan to use my mask when out in the yard…once the rain stops, that is! 

  • MMKB

    Hi Brenda,

    Thanks for your message. No, I can't rake any leaves because of my allergies and asthma. I have a mask but I leave the raking for my children and husband. I have allergy and asthma problems just walking to my vehicle from the leaves. 

  • Melissa G

    MMKB, I bet that makes it difficult leaving your house! Do you wear a mask when you head to your car?

  • MMKB

    I usually park in the garage. If not, I wear my mask or cover my face with my shirt collar and hurry to the vehicle.

  • Brenda Silvia-Torma

    MMKB, good for you!! I find it easier to remember to wear my mask if its hanging around my neck…this way, when I leave a store, I'll remember to pull it back up. Otherwise, it's easy for me to forget and only realize when I'm having a problem as to why I can't breathe.

    Will your symptoms ease up when the leaves are all gone and the air is colder? 

  • K8sMom2002

    MMKB, are you allergic to mugwort as well, by any chance? Mugwort can cross-react with fruits and vegetables in something called oral allergy syndrome (OAS). The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology website has a great article about .

    Could you talk to your allergist about this? Those symptoms sound kind of scary! Our action plan would have DD use epinephrine if we saw all those after contact with a food.

    And you're right … ragweed and potatoes can cross-react as well. I hope with the ragweed season gone, you're finding some relief.

    Do you take a daily antihistamine?