Other factors than the allergen itself may be of importance in the development of food allergy. This report describes the influence of the immunosuppressive compound bis(tributyltin)oxide (TBTO), present in the food chain, on the development of food allergy to peanut or ovalbumin in Brown Norway (BN) rats. To study these effects BN rats were sensitized to either 1 or 10 mg peanut or ovalbumin by daily oral gavage and the TBTO-groups were fed a diet containing 80 mg TBTO per kg diet. Co-exposure to TBTO not only resulted in decreased general immunologic parameters such as weights of mesenteric lymph nodes and Peyer's patches, lymphocyte proliferation rates in splenocytes, but also on allergic parameters. In the peanut allergen-model TBTO decreased allergen-specific Th2 cytokine production by spleen cells, number of eosinophilic and basophilic granulocytes in the blood and production of mast cell protease II after oral food challenge. In the ovalbumin allergen-model TBTO decreased the number of eosinophilic and basophilic granulocytes, allergen-specific IgE and production of mast cell protease II after oral food challenge. The data imply that in the process of risk assessment of food allergy attention should be given to immunomodulating compounds present in the diet. © 2007 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.