The forensic implications of food hypersensitivity – a review of cases in United Kingdom courts: January 2014–February 2020
Professor Michael Walker of Queen’s University Belfast and I have collected, analysed and published details of UK court cases relating to food allergy and other food hypersensitivities. These include preventing future deaths reports from coroners’ inquests, and details of the law used and penalties.
Food Manufacture webinar on Ingredient substitution and reformulation
Two new and exciting FSA / UKRI Citizen Science projects looking into the experiences of food hypersensitive people and those responsible for their food are underway. Takeaway and delivered meals are the focus of a study at Queen’s University, Belfast and meals served in pubs, restaurants and other outlets are the focus of a parallel project at the University of Bath.
FSA Consultation on ‘May contain’ (Precautionary Allergen Labelling)
Three main considerations:
Thresholds – how to decide them? For which food allergens? How to allow for differences in severity of reactions and impact of extrinsic factors eg exercise, stress and infection? What proportion of the population at risk should be protected?
Analytical methods – have we got affordable, accessible and practical methods to assess the presence of any relevant allergens in food to support supply chain scrutiny, allergen management, best practice, possible regulation and labelling?
Presentation – is ‘May contain’ labelling actually effective? Even if it is voluntary, it needs to be clearly legible, easily visible and conspicuous. Manufacturers and retailers need to demonstrate that such critical safety information is easily found and understood – including young people and those with limited reading skills.
Successful projects with the Institute of Food Science and Technology on materials for the Food Allergens Knowledge Hub – Includes Food Allergy Fact Sheet, Food Allergy Information Statement and Fact Sheet on the UK Food Labelling Amendment (Natasha’s Law).
Starting the term training new presenters for the REHIS Joint Award in Allergy Awareness
Discussions with food businesses and regulators about the practical implementation of the new labelling amendment ‘Natasha’s Law’
Excellent panel discussions at Food Integrity 2021
Horizon-scanning is very much on the agenda – not least the impact of current and future food innovation and climate change on the diets of people with food hypersensitivity.
UK food anaphylaxis data 1998-2018 – Food anaphylaxis in the United Kingdom: analysis of national data, 1998-2018
New year, new publication: Time to act to solve gaps in practice: the BSACI National Allergy Education Strategy
The Food Standards Agency Board will be discussing their work on Food Hypersensitivity at the meeting on December 2nd. The paper includes ways for food businesses to indicate allergen management competence (whether within or outside the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS), ‘May contain’ Precautionary Allergen Labelling (PAL), Prepacked for Direct Sale Food (PPDS) and the new requirements from October 2021 (Natasha’s Law), allergen communication campaigns for businesses and consumers, updated E-training, reaction reporting, and stakeholder engagement.
FSA Research: There is also a summary of evidence collection and research which includes adult food allergy, monitoring NHS data about reactions to foods, developing a food recall platform, the effectiveness of different methods of allergen information provision, understanding quality of life, behavioural and financial aspects of life with food hypersensitivity.
EAACI Guidelines on the effective transition of adolescents and young adults with allergy and asthma – Editor’s pick for Allergy journal
Discussions in the media about hospital food – a particular challenge for people with food hypersensitivity – some thoughts here
New research studies underway to understand quality of life and additional costs associated with food hypersensitivity, improved recording and understanding of episodes of anaphylaxis, presentation for the British Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology meeting – Changing pressures on the food industry, webinar on Milk Hypersensitivity for safefood, and guest speaker for patient / consumers on the island of Ireland
Shaping the Food Standard’s future research into food hypersensitivity, recording and delivering MSc Allergy lectures, online workshops and presentations for regulators including trading standards and food industry lawyers.
Further work to improve the lives of adolescents and young adults living with allergy and asthma with the EAACI Task Force team – new short videos about the project available here
Learning and teaching new skills for remote workshop delivery for the REHIS Joint Award in Allergy Awareness
Blog for the Royal Society of Public Health
Interview in Environmental Health News
New publications from the EAACI Task Force for adolescents and young adults with asthma and allergies
Useful resources from the Food Standards Agency in Wales and local authority teams
Allergen management guidance for caterers
Local authority workshops around the UK continue to support both Environmental Health and Trading Standards Officers controlling allergen risks and advising and supporting food business operators.
Natasha’s family establish the new Research Foundation to support those at risk from allergies everywhere
Work to ensure that ‘Natasha’s Law’ requiring caterers preparing and packing foods on site for consumers to pick up ‘Prepacked for Direct Sale’ to display full ingredients and allergens is ‘practical, effective and enforceable’
New workshop formats for new clients incorporating issues raised in recent court cases and inquests, and lessons learned
Honoured to be one of the guest speakers at St John’s College, Cambridge fundraising dinner for the Anaphylaxis Campaign
Co-delivering further workshops to local authority Environmental Health and Trading Standards professionals around the UK on food allergen management and recent cases
Further work to improve the lives of teenagers and young adults with allergies and related conditions – asthma, eczema, allergic rhinitis through the EAACI Task Force
Honoured and delighted to receive the Award for Meritorious Endeavours in Environmental Health at the REHIS Conference in New Lanark
What an honour to be chosen as Freefrom Hero 2019 at the Freefrom Awards this week – thank you
FSA and DEFRA Consultation Meetings are underway to understand how people with food allergies, intolerances and coeliac disease may be protected when buying foods prepacked for direct sale – such as sandwiches, cakes made in cafés, shops and other outlets.
The RSPH Food Allergy conference in London on February 7th was a great success. Leading experts on the platform and in the audience enjoyed in-depth discussions on recent court cases, the impact of ‘disruptors’ and online marketplaces.
Many of the points discussed also feature in this blog.
Local authority environmental health and trading standards teams around the UK continue to arrange CPD workshops with a particular interest in law used in regulating food allergen management and labelling.
New year bringing lots of new courses – redeveloping half day and full day CPD workshops and providing support for our experienced trainers.
Appearance on BBC Panorama examining allergen information provision on food delivery platforms
Yesterday at Kingston University, I successfully defended my PhD thesis: Food allergy: innovation in advocacy, research and training to support and protect those at risk
Food allergy investigations following fatal asthma and anaphylaxis have taken place in the UK following the deaths of Alice Brooks in 2014 and Natasha Ednan-Laperouse in 2016. The investigations following the deaths of Owen Carey, Karanbir Cheema and Celia Marsh in 2017 continue. A trial is underway in Manchester following the death of Megan Lee in 2017. A food business operator has been convicted of food offences relating to managing allergen risks in Bath following the death of Chloe Gilbert in Bath in 2017.
Honoured to have been made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Public Health
New CPD course for EHOs and TSOs supporting food businesses and investigating suspected reactions to foods
Update briefings in Scotland for new trainers delivering the REHIS Joint Award in Allergy Awareness – wonderfully enthusiastic reception sharing innovative accessible learning methods
A busy few weeks: piloting a new CPD course ‘Following an allergic reaction’, presenting ‘Living with food allergy’ at #EAACI #PAAM, for the MSc in Allergy at Southampton University Medical School, updating the APA (public analysts) on food allergy cases and developments, and lots of update training and materials development.
New paper Parents’ and caregivers’ experiences and behaviours when eating out with children with a food hypersensitivity Begen F, Barnett J, Barber M, Payne R, Gowland MH, Lucas JS.
New book chapter – with Dr Michael Walker Development of management thresholds for allergenic foods, Analysis of Food Toxins and Toxicants
Food Allergens: Joint presentation with Dr Michael Walker, Association of Public Analysts Educational Trust – Analysis and Examination of Foods
Encouraging to see so many leading restaurants and workplaces reviewing and updating their allergen policies and practice – focus on both safety and enhanced service.
Over two years now since #14allergens came into force, new developments in course content. New allergens, new legal cases, new advice on early diet which may be protective and greater insight into what really happens in anaphylaxis all on the horizon.
Presentation at REHIS Training update in Glasgow
Member of expert panels at RSPH and Anaphylaxis Campaign conferences covering the Zaman case.
Member of Expert Group for Workshop How Far Can We Control the Severity of Food Allergic Reactions by Controlling Exposure to Allergenic Foods? Brussels
July 2016 Contributed to the Allergens section of the new Industry Guide to Good Hygiene Practice – Catering Guide
June 2016 New paper Precautionary Allergen Labelling – NO MORE TRACES
Many thanks to Dada for the new translations in Czech and Slovak
May 2016 – So how exactly do food allergic and intolerant consumers want food information when eating out? Results of an FSA-funded study…..
On the sofa – BBC Breakfast discussing the tragic death of Paul Wilson from peanut in curry, and manslaughter conviction of the caterer
Study looking at severity of allergic reactions
New publication Is food allergen analysis flawed?
New publication BBC #ripoffbritain covering the RSPH survey. Restaurants and takeaways in Manchester and London unable to provide #14allergens information.
information provision in takeaways
May 2015 Member of ILSI Expert Group on Allergen Thresholds
March 2015 Food Fear – new article http://www.soci.org/Chemistry-and-Industry/CnI-Data/2015/3/Article-Listing?at=Comment
January 2015 – an interesting year ahead. Thousands of newly-trained food handlers are now equipped to control food allergens and provide correct information. Research currently underway should help understand the impact of the new food information law. Key cohort studies may indicate changes in weaning practice which could reduce food allergy risks. We may also have a better understanding of reaction severity and be able to provide improved guidance and support to those at risk.
December 2014 – Honoured to become a Member of the Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland (MREHIS)
November 2014: Publications
October 2014: I am honoured to be awarded fellowship of the Institute of Food Science and Technology.
The FSA recently published new practical guidance leaflets and a poster: