Alergenio Aipo - Fidu | Alimentos Inclusivos

Allergen: Celery

Celery (Apium graveolens) is a plant composed of a root or tuber and an aerial part, the stems. Celery (tubers and stems) can be eaten raw (eg in salads), cooked (eg in sauces and soups) and the dried seeds are used as a condiment, being a common ingredient in processed foods. (1, 2)
Celery is a significant food allergen in Europe that is on the EU's mandatory declaration list of ingredients. (1, 2, 3)

Symptoms of Celery Allergy
Celery allergy symptoms can come on quickly (usually within minutes). The most common symptoms of celery allergy are: tingling or itching in the mouth or throat, but they can also include a rash, such as hives, anywhere on the body.
More serious symptoms may include: swelling of the face, throat and/or mouth; difficulty breathing; severe asthma; abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting; drastic drop in blood pressure and anaphylaxis. (1, 4)
Celery is also associated with manifestations of exercise-induced anaphylaxis. (two)
Cooking celery appears to reduce some of its allergenicity, but it does not eliminate it completely, which can trigger reactions in more sensitive people. It is estimated that low doses (about 0.16g) may be sufficient to trigger systemic reactions. (1)

Cross-reaction in Celery Allergy
In food allergies, cross-reactivity phenomena can occur between different food groups and plants. This is because some proteins responsible for allergy are very similar to other food groups and also to pollens from certain plants, inducing the body to react in the same way. (two)
About 30% of patients with Oral Allergy Syndrome are allergic to celery. Celery sensitization is often associated with allergy to birch pollen and/or mugwort, hence the term "Birch-Murple-Celery Syndrome". (1)
Carrot and spice allergies, predominantly from the Umbelliferae family, are strongly associated with celery allergy, known as “Artemisia-Celery-Carrot-Spices Syndrome”. In this syndrome, individuals sensitized to mugwort pollen may develop symptoms after ingesting celery, carrots and various spices, the most frequently implicated being aniseed, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, cloves, fennel, ginger, nutmeg, pepper, parsley and thyme. (1, 2)

Once the allergy diagnosis is confirmed, the treatment of choice is avoidance, that is, not contacting the food in question. Celery is not an essential food in our diet, so you can do without it. The problem lies in the fact that it is an ingredient widely used by the food industry due to its aromatic taste, often appearing on the labeling of the possibility of cross-contamination with traces, which is why it is important to carefully read the labels. (1.2)

Find out which foods may contain celery in the table below: (1, 4, 5)
Foods that may contain celery - Fidu | Inclusive Foods

Although celery is an allergen that is not directly related to our products, it is part of Fidu's mission to inform and raise awareness of different food allergies and intolerances. Celery is one of the 14 allergens of mandatory declaration in the European Union, being therefore one of the 14 allergens that we control in our selection of raw materials and suppliers, so that there is no risk of cross contamination of our products, facilities and equipment.

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IMPORTANT NOTE : The content of this article is merely informative and should not replace medical advice. If you suspect that you suffer from this type of allergy, you should seek medical advice.

(1) NDA, 2016. Scientific Opinion on the evaluation of allergenic foods and food ingredients for labeling purposes. EFSA Journal, 12(11).
(2) SPAIC Food Allergy Interest Group, 2017. Food Allergy: Concepts, Advice and Precautions, 1st Edition. Lisbon: Portuguese Society of Allergology and Clinical Immunology with support from Thermo Fisher.
(3) Vieira, RJL da S., 2015. Food Allergens: A synoptic study (Universidade Nova de Lisboa).
(4) Anaphylaxis Campaign, 2018. Celery Allergy: The Facts. Available at:
(5) Pádua, I., Barros, R., Moreira, P., & Moreira, A., 2016. Food allergy in restaurants. Lisbon: National Program for the Promotion of Healthy Eating, Directorate-General for Health.