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a challenge test for determining food allergens. A small amount of a lyophilized preparation of the suspected allergen is administered orally, and the patient is monitored for reactions such as rash, rhinorrhea, or diarrhea. Also called food challenge test.
Exposing a patient to a substance to which the patient is thought to react adversely. Ethically, the test cannot be performed without the patient's permission, but for accuracy the test foods should be disguised during the test. Typically, food challenges are performed after the patient has eliminated the suspected food from his or her diet for 1 or 2 weeks. To eliminate bias, the patient should agree to ingest several disguised foods that he or she is known to tolerate, in addition to the suspected food. See: elimination diet
See also: challenge
n a process of testing for food allergies in which the patient is given, often in double-blind conditions, a sample of a different, potentially allergenic, food once a day and reactions are noted. In some forms the challenge is preceded by a diet from which all common allergens have been eliminated for several weeks, after which foods are introduced as above.