17 Responses

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  1. Marty
    Marty at |

    I have heard that some coffees have cornstarch blown into the bag before they add the beans to prevent the beans from sticking to the bag. Has your son had any experience with corn allergy?

  2. Noha Elkar
    Noha Elkar at |

    Elizabeth.. I’ve seen the machines that grind coffee and sometimes they are used to grind hazelnut or other nut infused coffee. I am not sure if your non allergic son has consumed nuts previously but the cross contamination is one possibility. Did the manufacturer change something maybe? I would be more inclined to believe that it’s an issue of cross contamination (possibly a new allergy to a food he’s never had before) as opposed to a caffeine allergy given that he’d had caffeine in small amounts before without symptoms. That’s just my opinion though, I’m no medical expert. However, looking at the picture, I would say that it looks very much like an allergic reaction to food. The hives/rash looks very similar to the kind my daughter gets if she just touches milk without ingesting it. So yeah, your instinct is right on there. I hope your son is okay and I hope he feels better.

  3. Andrea Graham
    Andrea Graham at |

    I would be willing to BET it is not the caffeine, but rather a cross-contamination issue. I would send him for the full scope of allergy testing asap. New allergies can develop and with his brother having issues and seeing this reaction, I would not horse around. So, so happy he is okay. last spring I had a sip of a non-nut coffee and almost did not make it…cross contamination. Please have it checked out.

  4. Colette
    Colette at |

    Well, it does look like hives to me, and yes — food allergies can cause hives. Because the reaction seems so tightly linked to the coffee house, and because it was everywhere, like you I would suspect the food. (For the record, I once had a rash just like that after I had tried on a t-shirt at Disneyworld — I suspect that whoever tried it on before was using a sunscreen that I was allergic to, so think also about contact allergies… new soap? detergent? sunscreen? moisturizer? etc.) I’ve never heard of anyone being allergic to caffeine (can he have tea?) I think I’d be suspicious of other ingredients first, even if he’s never been allergic to them before. Also, if my son had never had a rash from eating peanuts, we may have never diagnosed his EE.

  5. Tammy
    Tammy at |

    I’ll believe anything. Last winter my non-allergic son broke out in hives a few times after taking a looong hot shower, the second time he used no shampoo or anything. He’s either allergic to the hot water (yep it’s possible, I googled) or a chemical in the water but it never happened at all in the summer. Wierd.

  6. liseetsa
    liseetsa at |

    Wow, it looks like a strange episode I had a few years ago. Not allergic to any foods. The only thing I can imagine was that it was a reaction to a bug bite? My friend, who is a doctor, broke out in hives the week before. She said there was a virus going around and we both could have been exposed? Since he had been at a play exposed to countless amounts of germs, viruses, bacterias, PEOPLE in general, you have no idea. I would certainly test him every year for sudden onset of allergies since his brother has life-threatening anaphylaxis/reactions. I would blame food before coffee/espresso UNLESS he was the child with the nut allergy–WHICH IS AN EYE-OPENER because I would have never thought of the BEANS processed with nut-flavored coffee. Even if you are only allergic to peanuts, the tree-nuts could have been processed with peanuts at some point… Another reason for us to be grateful for desensitization as we are espresso drinkers and share with the children. We have our own machine by not grinder–YET!!! THANK YOU!

  7. Colleen
    Colleen at |

    I’d also suggest the allergy testing. Another thing to consider (especially if allergy tests come back negative), My son had an unexplained reaction quite similar and when we saw the doctor they said it’s possible for a virus or infection to cause hives. Has your son been sick lately? Also my husband gets hives if he’s exposed to the cold (temperature not virus).

  8. Thanita
    Thanita at |

    Take it from me, allergies can develop at any age. My son is 15 and we JUST found out about his life threatening environmental allergies and exercise induced asthma last November. I’ve seen this same rash on my son’s body from contact reaction. Honestly, I’d run test to be sure. Good luck!

  9. Ruth
    Ruth at |

    Cross contamination from nuts in coffee – that’s a new one on me and very frightening. I used to think that sometimes I reacted to coffee, but it could have been my nut allergy all along, as I can have coffee that I’ve made myself at home without any problems. Thanks for the information, and yes get your son tested. Reactions can get worse each time so you want to be prepared.

  10. liseetsa
    liseetsa at |


    I was perfectly fine when I broke out in hives (most probably due to a virus). I had done nothing different in our routine. Did not have any typical bug bite site? Never got sick. Just the hives–which were controlled by Benedryl overnight.

    My friend, on the other hand, ended up being diagnosed with breast cancer. So her immunity might have been suffering overall.

    Here’s the other thing–CHOCOLATE!!! A housekeeper in our “desensitization” hotel in NC has a daughter, who, in her 30’s, suddenly became deathly allergic to chocolate. The owner of our “desensitization” townhouse, his mother-in-law, in her 50’s, suddenly became deathly allergic to chocolate. Perhaps it is the “mocha?”

    I hope it is nothing but a fleeting virus. But if not, he’s in the right family to help him either manage it or get rid of it! Though I’m not 100% sure you can “desensitize” a chocolate allergy?

  11. Marty
    Marty at |

    The nut thing has me intrigued. I don’t have a problem with my home-ground coffee, but sometimes do at the coffee shops. I’d bet money that nut coffees are ground on the same equipment and the grinder is not cleaned. I am allergic to both peanuts and tree nuts. Hmmmm-I think I might have a chat with the lady that owns my favorite coffee shop!

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