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Food allergies call for fast action

Not using an EpiPen correctly almost cost James Brabenec his life.

Brabenec, 55-year-old editor for the Fort Sill Tribune, had a devastating allergic reaction to a food product recently. He had an EpiPen, but did not use it properly. That added to the seriousness of the situation.

Brabenec, who lives in the Oklahoma City area, had gone out to dinner with family at the Museum Cafe at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art on Nov. 19, 2016. They were planning to go to the Oklahoma symphony afterward.

"It's nice to dress up to go to the symphony, so I was wearing a suit and tie," Brabenec said. "We sat down to order dinner and had been there a bunch of times. I made the mistake of ordering something off the menu without looking at it. I had it in my head that I'd had this salad before. Ordinarily, because I'm allergic to sesame, I know if I order a salad and it has tahini in it, that is made with sesame. In fact, it's laced with sesame."

Tahini is usually made with Middle Eastern sesame paste, water, fresh lemon juice, garlic gloves, salt and sometimes sugar.

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