What, hot dog allergies? It seems that being allergic to peanuts is not so terrible in comparison. Imagine if hot dogs burn your mouth and make you vomit. I would really have to express my sympathy to those with hot dog allergies.


sweet, candy, nut, cereal, milk
Caitlin Shoemaker

While an estimated 90 percent of reported food allergies are caused by the same eight common foods, such as peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, soy, and wheat, the other unfortunate ten percent are due to foods like wine, meat, and even apples.

Hot dogs are actually considered rather safe under the category of proteins, where eggs and shellfish tend to cause many more problems.


hot dog, sausage
Forest Richardson

Hot dog allergies are often not due to the meat itself, although it's possible. Frankly speaking, these allergies could be caused by no one particular ingredient because there are often tons of additives to the meat.

Most people assume that the allergies are triggered by food preservatives, very likely sodium nitrate. This is a chemical frequently used to preserve foods, enhance flavors, and fix colors. Allergies to nitrates are often associated with symptoms like headaches, asthma, rashes, and irritable bowel.

The other major cause is from annatto seeds, also known as a natural food coloring. Some people advocate to avoid annatto seeds as a food additive because it's associated with irritable bowel syndrome. However, no one has done a comprehensive research on the subject, so whether annatto seeds are harmful to human health is still up for debate.

Food Dye Allergies

candy, jelly beans, sweet, gelatin
Christin Urso

Food dye allergies are quite rare, but probably more common than what you may think. In fact, two to seven percent of all people with allergies react to food dyes like annatto.

Other common allergens? Carmine, aka natural red 4, has been linked to allergic reactions. Coming from dried bugs, it has been used as a food dye for at least 500 years. Nowadays, you can still find it added in a variety of processed meat like burgers and sausages, drinks, candies, and fruit yogurt.

On the list right below carmine is a synthetic food dye called tartrazine, or FD&C yellow 5. A possible food carcinogen, it's also known to cause adverse reactions like asthma and urticaria. That being said, you can still easily locate it among other additives in the ingredient lists of candies, canned vegetables, cheese, drinks, ice cream, ketchup, salad dressings, and HOT DOGS. So yes, life would really be difficult if you happen to be allergic to tartrazine.

chicken, pepper, meat, pork
Jessi Jordan

What is the life like when you must eat hot dogs with extreme caution? Well, not fun. If you have friends who have hot dog allergies, be sure to act kind to them!