Assumptions by a sufferer that they'll be okay and won't need their life saving medication, local restaurant staff assuming there are no nuts in a menu item, or doctors assuming that patients with a food allergy understand the full extent of their condition, can all have tragic consequences, said AA President Maria Said.

Ms Said said food allergens such as peanuts, shellfish, soy or milk were often not obvious in menu items or packaged foods even after a visual inspection.

Food allergies should be disclosed to waiting staff when eating out, while food labels should be checked when eating at home.

There were reports of nuts being used where you'd least expect to find them, in mashed potato, rissoles and spaghetti bolognaise, she said.

With no known cure, vigilance by allergy sufferers along with a broader awareness by the food industry was the key.

Ms Said also said people with the allergy should ensure they always carried their emergency adrenaline injection - or EpiPen.

Most of all, we urge all suffers to never assume they will be safe ... (which is) just as dangerous as not checking your parachute before skydiving.

Anaphylaxis Australia has developed an information kit for the food industry, which can be ordered online at