Maybe because Valentine's Day is coming up, the color red is on my mind. Red Food Dye No. 2 (also known as carmine) is made from dried insects found in South America. Red Dye No. 2 is the most widely recognized food dye allergy. Reactions to food dyes are not IgE (true allergic) reactions, they are sometimes categorized as food intolerances instead of allergies. Red Dye No. 40 has been reported in many allergic reactions as well as other food-coloring agents such as Sudan 1 and Yellow No. 6.
Food products like gummy bears, hard candies, medications, popsicles, ice creams, dry mixes, beverages, artificial cheeses, processed breads and crackers often contain food dyes that may cause allergic reactions such as: rashes, lip swelling, and breathing problems. For some eating these foods may trigger asthma. Dyes can also be found in cosmetics and beauty products. Wearing lipstick made with carmine and then kissing the cheek of an allergic child could trigger a reaction.