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Pollen Food Syndrome/Oral Allergy Syndrome

Pollen Food Syndrome/Oral Allergy Syndrome

Have you noticed an itchy mouth when you eat a banana? A melon? Any fruit or vegetable? You may have a relatively common food reaction called Pollen-Food Syndrome (PFAS) or Oral Allergy Syndrome (OAS).

The proteins found in plant-based products such as fruits, vegetables, or uncooked tree nuts are very similar to those found in particular pollens. These proteins can confuse the immune system when you eat those particular foods. The pollen-related pollens cause contact reactions in the mouth and therefore cause the symptoms below.


  • Mouth itching
  • Face itching
  • Lip itching
  • Tongue itching
  • Mild swelling of mouth and throat

Generally, these reactions are limited to the mouth, but very rare anaphylaxis can occur. Symptoms typically appear immediately after ingestion of raw fruits and vegetables, but do not occur when the foods are cooked. This is because the proteins are broken down by cooking. Allergy shots for environmental allergies may help improve these symptoms.

Do you or your family members have symptoms when eating plant based foods? Allergy Associates of Utah is an allergy, asthma, and immunology specialty clinic serving the greater Salt Lake City, Utah area with 2 convenient locations in Murray and West Jordan. Led by specialists Andrew Smith, MD, MS, and Tara Sarin, MD, the practice strives to help people of all ages and background achieve success. Request an appointment by phone or online at either Allergy Associates of Utah location for expert allergy and immunology care today.

Phone: (801) 263-8700

Phone: (801) 282-8700