Sulfite Allergy | Allergy

Foods That Contain Sulfites

by Allergy Guy

Here is a partial list of foods that can contain sulfites.

Note that all fermented products, such as beer and wine, contain natural sulfites. They can also contain added sulfites.

According to Quality Attibutes and Their Measurement in Meat, Poultry and Fish Products By Albert Marchant Pearson, sulfites are excellent at preserving the colour of fresh meat.  It is supposedly illegal to use for this purpose in the US, but still happens.  It is legal to add sulfites to pork sausages in the UK.  Apparently, sulfites can also reduce the incidents of salmonella growth in meat.

  • Apple cider
  • Apples (dried, glazed, dehydrated, canned or frozen)
  • Apricots (dried, glazed or dehydrated)
  • Baked goods
  • Beer (Alcoholic or non-alcoholic)
  • Breads
  • Candy
  • Canned fruits and vegetables
  • Cereal
  • Cheese, blue *
  • Cheese, soft (some types)*
  • Chocolate bars
  • Cider (Alcoholic or non-alcoholic)
  • Coconut (dried or dehydrated)
  • Coleslaw
  • Condiments
  • Cookies
  • Cornmeal
  • Cornstarch
  • Crackers
  • Deli meat
  • Dextrose syrup
  • Dressings
  • Dried fruit
  • Fish
  • Frozen fruits and vegetables
  • Fruit bars
  • Fruit filling
  • Fruit juice
  • Fruit syrup
  • Gelatin
  • Glazed fruits
  • Glucose solids
  • Glucose syrup
  • Grape juice (regular or sparkling)
  • Grapes (fresh) – safe in some countries
  • Grapes (glazed)
  • Gravies
  • Guacamole
  • Herbs (dried)
  • Horseradish
  • Hot Dogs
  • Jams
  • Jellies
  • Ketchup
  • Lemon juice/concentrate
  • Lettuce (fresh) – safe in some countries
  • Lime juice/concentrate
  • Maraschino cherries
  • Marmalade
  • Meat (even fresh meat, depending on preparation)
  • Mincemeat (dried or dehydrated)
  • Molasses
  • Muesli
  • Mushrooms (canned or frozen)
  • Mustard
  • Noodles
  • Olives (canned)
  • Onions (pickled)
  • Papaya (dried or dehydrated)
  • Pastries
  • Peaches (dried or dehydrated)
  • Pears (dried or dehydrated)
  • Peas (canned or frozen)
  • Pectin
  • Peppers (canned or frozen)
  • Perfume*
  • Pickled foods
  • Pickles
  • Pineapple (dried or dehydrated)
  • Potato chips
  • Potato starch
  • Potatoes (dehydrated, frozen french fries, dehydrated, mashed, peeled, pre-cut)
  • Raisins (dried or dehydrated)
  • Relish
  • Rice mixes
  • Sauces
  • Sauerkraut
  • Sausages
  • Shellfish
  • Shrimp (fresh/frozen)
  • Snack foods
  • Soft drinks
  • Soup mixes
  • Soups
  • Soy products
  • Spices
  • Starches
  • Sugar beet starch
  • Sugar syrups
  • Tea
  • Tomatoes (dried, sun dried, dehydrated, canned, frozen or paste/pulp/puree)
  • Tortilla chips
  • Trail mix
  • Vegetable juices
  • Vinegar, wine vinegar
  • Waffles
  • Water (bottled)
  • White grape juice
  • Wine (Alcoholic or non-alcoholic)

Foods with Naturally Occurring Sulfites

According to one of our readers, here is a partial list of foods with naturally occurring sulfites.  I have not verified this list.

*

  • Grapes and all related products
  • Peanuts and all related products
  • Cabbage and all related products
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Pork
  • All Soy
  • Molasses
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Peppers

Note that it seems odd that pork would have naturally occurring sulfites, however the reader that suggested this reports that she reacts to all pork, even when cooked at home.  It could be that it contains sulfites, or that she is sensitive to pork.  Please share your own experience with pork: does it cause you problems or not?

Personal Care Products

The following may contain sulfites.  Check each item/brand that you use with the manufacturer before using.

(Note: not a complete list.  You should check all your personal care products, including soap, makeup etc.)

  • Shampoo
  • Toothpaste

Please leave a comment if you notice anything that is missing

* Items marked with and asterisk have been suggested by readers by I have not personally verified them.

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Leave a Comment

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Chris February 12, 2018 at 07:55

Hi there!
Two very nasty things that make me sick for days and contain high levels of sulphites are yellow dye number 5 and caramel colour.

Reply

2 Sally January 4, 2018 at 10:48

Hi Please can you clarify if the “peppers” you refer to as naturally containing sulphites are the red green and yellow peppers (capsicum or if its the black and white pepper that you are referring to) Many thanks if you can take the time to clarify this for me please xxx

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3 Tina February 11, 2018 at 23:07

Green, yellow and red peppers. I have found that Natural Grocers and Super One Organic peppers do not bother me at all!

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4 Joni September 1, 2017 at 18:56

This is so very enlightening! On the list of Foods with Naturally Occurring Sulphites, I have a problem with ALL of them. Also finally found a toothpaste I can use. Now am going to doctor with what appears to be very significant info. Thank you!

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5 theresa August 2, 2017 at 09:54

Hi,
Love that I found this website. I’ve been looking at websites for 4 years now. Want to find out exactly how sulfites are in cheese. Could it be that the mold/bacteria in cheese produce sulfites through fermentation like yeasts such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae (bakers yeast)? Or wondered if it had anything to do with lactic acid as this needs to be processed through the liver, wondered if it uses molybdenum cofactor which is what the sulfur oxidase enzyme also needs to process sulfites in our body? Check out:
http://www.alamoasthma.com/sulfite.shtml
http://www.beatcfsandfms.org/html/Sulfides.html
Also if anyone has any info of how peanuts contain sulfites? I know they are high in arginine which is involved in biosynethesis nitric oxide. And human Marc1 and Marc2 are capable of catalyzing reduction of nitrite to nitric oxide through a reaction with it’s molybdenum cofactor. (So nitrites, alcohol, tea, coffee, chocolate use molybdenum cofactor aswell). When my son has a reaction I stick to a low sulfur containing amino acid diet (lowest food is apples). Plenty of water (not bottled) Support metabolism by giving more folate (fresh pawpaw is great it is low in methionine (a sulfur containing amino acid but also a good source of folate).

Please add baking powder to list, sulfites in the cream of tar tar (baking powder = bi-carb + cream of tar tar) Cream of tar tar is a by product of wine making.

Do not ferment/soak wheat grains before using them. the natural yeasts on the grains ferment and produce sulfites through fermentation my son reacted to this and to spelt leaven which uses the natural yeasts on the grains aswell.

I have not heard much about an infection causing an allergic reaction to sulfites. Could it be something to do with sulfur consuming bacteria (i think i read somewhere that they could cause a sulfite allergy but don’t know how or why?)

Cheers
Theresa

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6 kaley March 30, 2017 at 19:58

I feel so ‘ill if i eat sun dried tomatoes some tortilla crisps sauces beer and lots of other stuff you wouldn’t think it could make anyone so poorly

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7 Trena February 28, 2017 at 21:40

Had a uti infectiln, unbeknown to me I had an allergy to the antibiotic, bactrim, how can that happen later in life, have been in and out of e.r. wish it would get out of my system

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8 A Davis January 20, 2016 at 15:40

I itch with peanut butter, chicken, grapes and others. Not break out but if I scratch I can’t stop, so I press in on the spot it stops and sometimes moves to another…Anybody have this problem.

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9 Barbara January 17, 2016 at 05:04

Hi
I had the same problem and found out that I was allergic to NSAIDs and Advil and alcohol
You need to heal your gut and stop dairy and gluten
But you need to take a board septum anti biotic like cipro
because you might have an infection ?sinus in your body causing your allergic reaction to sulphites.
I felt 100 percent better after taking cipro it was amazing
I think that the bacteria infection is causing an imbalance in your body and it causes an reaction when you come into contact with sulphites

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10 Bobbi LeFevre August 25, 2015 at 01:18

My acute allergy solved??…Been to urgi care and the er twice this week with anaphylaxis reactions. Still looking for a cause but its likely its from the sulfites in everything I eat. I’m reacting to every food. I’ve been cleaning my house with vinegar(sulfites) (pinterest cleaning tips i liked )and I’m allergic to sulfa. I think I’ve created a toxic reaction. Waiting to see the allergy Dr Mon. Till then I got another cortisone shot and prednisone 40 daily. I have to reclean e everything in my house, even the carpeys

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11 mary Johns February 13, 2016 at 22:42

I thought sulfa and sulfites were not the same thing. I have determined on my own that I have a sensitivity to sulfites, for example in wine. (I get terrible leg cramps in my upper legs). I had a cortisone shot for a problem with my shoulder and almost immediately got cramps in my feet. Did some research and found some cortisone shots have sulfites. I am now taking 5 days of prednisone for another problem and I am having leg cramps. Don’t know if that is another sulfite connection.

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12 Lisa Alderson October 30, 2014 at 10:35

Hi,
Advice please. A couple of months ago I had 2 episodes of angioedema ( lips and eyes) I thought it might be sulphites as I was drinking a lot of red wine. So I cut it out. Last night I had swelling of the right eye (not as serious as the last two times) I also got itchy all over and have had a runny nose for a few days. afew days ago I had 3 blue moon beers and I have also had 3 Italian sausages over 2 days. Could this be a sulfite allergy? TIA

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13 Chitown October 31, 2014 at 10:23

You can get tested for potassium meta-bisulfite. It’s a blood test and only some labs offer it. I had one done in New Jersey when I had an allergic reaction to antibiotics and it came out positive for sulfites. I moved to IL and just had one done again by my new allergist and the result was negative. I was told my body healed by the doctor here who is a lot more knowledgeable than the fool in NJ. I guess you can be intolerant to sulfites but knowing that I am no longer “allergic” puts my mind at ease since I stopped eating anything with preservatives for months and had a limited diet since I am a vegetarian. This helps. I advise if you have a good doctor to ask for it.

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14 Christine October 20, 2014 at 07:58

Caramel Colour is a bad one. Also yellow dye #5 is high in sulphites.

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15 Cheryl Walter February 9, 2018 at 13:18

Yes, these two are on my no no list. Agreed.

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16 KP August 5, 2014 at 21:46

I experience a nasal reaction, sometimes severe enough to cause heart palpatations, when I consume wine and, to a lesser extent, beer. The last few times I’ve eaten pork (pork chops and pork loin) I’ve noticed that my nose has become stuffed up and later runs or drips down my through causing a cough. I found this website when I started doing web searches to see if pork contains sulfites. I’ve never drawn a correlation to pork but these last two times were only a couple days apart so it was fresher in my mind.

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