Some foods can induce diarrhoea or vomiting within hours of ingestion, symptoms that are often mistaken for an intra-abdominal surgical emergency or sepsis.
Researchers analysed incidents of severe gut inflammation (food protein induced enterocolitis syndrome) in 31 infants under 12 months at an Australian children’s hospital.
Rice accounted for 26 episodes in 14 children, and was the sole trigger of enterocolitis in nine children. Cow’s milk and soy protein – more commonly reported triggers - accounted for 30 episodes in ten and seven children respectively.
Cases triggered by rice were more severe, requiring resuscitation with intravenous fluids in four children.