People who are allergic to corn need to avoid more than corn on the cob. However it is difficult to avoid corn, in part because it is an uncommon allergy, so it is often not clearly labelled on ingredient lists. Another reason corn is hard to avoid is that it is in so many foods. It is also in many non-food products.
Another challenge is the increase in corn products contained in environmentally friendly products such biodegradable cups and plates replacing disposable products. The problem with this for people with severe corn allergy is that some of the corn, from plates can transmit into food or drinks.
Plastic bags that pollute and fill landfills and cause all sorts of environmental problems are being replaced with biodegradable bags. The problem is that these environmentally friendly biodegradable bags are often made with corn or soy. Again cross contamination reactions can happen, especially if these grocery shopping bags are used to carry foods that sweat or spill. Hopefully these products will be clearly marked; they are not always currently, what allergens these biodegradable products contain.
Ontario Corn Producers claims “a zillion uses for corn”. In food corn can be a vegetable in vegetable oil, even if not listed. Even bottles of corn syrup don’t list corn as corn, rather other names. For health reasons manufacturers are using less high fructose corn syrup, also good news for people with corn allergies.
Some non food uses of corn include microwave heating pads, menstrual pads and talcum powder.
Another challenging source of corn, for those allergic, is in vehicle airbags. When the airbag goes off, the powder containing corn based talcum powder is released from the airbag into the vehicle. With the passengers breathing and their clothes and skin covered in this powder reaction can be most unfriendly. The reaction is also ill timed, especially immediately after a car accident when people are distracted.