January 2020

2019 was an eventful year in the field of food allergy with workshops around the UK for environmental health and trading standards officers and new work to improve food safety and reduce allergy risks on the island of Ireland with safefood. 

2020 brings new and exciting research recording and understanding food allergic reactions and their impact, as well as strategies for improved management of children and adults with multiple food allergies in nursery, school, college and the workplace.  

December 2019

The Food Standards Agency and local authorities in Wales have made available four translation documents to help caterers using Bengali, Chinese, Turkish and Urdu in the workplace. Download pdfs here:





November 2019

Two thirds of the way through a very busy term – very successful and well received workshops throughout the UK for food environmental health and trading standards teams, a new appointment to the safefood Knowledge Network Expert Group, and work with the EAACI Task Force to support adolescents and young adults with allergic disease.

Risk assessment and training projects for a wide range of food business operators

October 2019

The British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology conference in October brought together allergy clinicians and leading representatives from the food industry and analytical scientists to discuss the perennial challenge of ‘may contain’ labelling. Most moving were the plenary talks by Tanya and Nadim Ednan-Laperouse about their daughter Natasha – see https://www.narf.org.uk/

September 2019

A busy term ahead:

  • New training workshop formats incorporating lessons learned from recent cases
  • Planning new conferences and in-house presentations
  • Further work to improve the lives of teenagers and young adults with allergies and related conditions – asthma, eczema, allergic rhinitis through the EAACI Adolescent and Young Adult Task Force
  • Work to ensure that ‘Natasha’s Law’ works in practice to protect those at risk

June 2019

Honoured to be one of the guest speakers at St John’s College, Cambridge fundraising dinner for the Anaphylaxis Campaign

May 2019

Co-delivering further workshops to local authority Environmental Health and Trading Standards professionals around the UK on food allergen management and recent cases

April 2019

Honoured and delighted to receive the Award for Meritorious Endeavours in Environmental Health at the REHIS Conference in New Lanark

March 2019

What an honour to be chosen as Freefrom Hero 2019 at the Freefrom Awards this week – thank you

February 2019

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.

January 2019

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  

November 2018

Publication:  Comparing the eating out experiences of consumers seeking to avoid different food allergens

October 2018

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.

May 2018

Honoured to have been made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Public Health

March 2018

New CPD course for EHOs and TSOs supporting food businesses and investigating suspected reactions to foods

January 2018

New papers How does dose impact on the severity of food-induced allergic reactions, and can this improve risk assessment for allergenic foods? Allergy, 2018

Managing Food Allergens in the U.K. Retail Supply Chain. Journal of AOAC International



Update briefings in Scotland for new trainers delivering the REHIS Joint Award in Allergy Awareness – wonderfully enthusiastic reception sharing innovative accessible learning methods

New paper Eating out with a food allergy in the UK: Change in the eating out practices of consumers with food allergy following introduction of allergen information legislation 

November 2017

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.

July 2017 

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

June 2017

Food Allergens: Joint presentation with Dr Michael Walker, Association of Public Analysts Educational Trust – Analysis and Examination of Foods

May 2017

Encouraging to see so many leading restaurants and workplaces reviewing and updating their allergen policies and practice – focus on both safety and enhanced service.

January 2017

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.

October 2016

Presentation at REHIS Training update in Glasgow 

September 2016

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

BHA 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…..

Publication Consumer Preferences for Written and Oral Information about Allergens When Eating Out

On the sofa – BBC Breakfast discussing the tragic death of Paul Wilson from peanut in curry, and manslaughter conviction of the caterer

MHG TV small



Study looking at severity of allergic reactions

Can we identify patients at risk of life-threatening allergic reactions to food

Our successful Allergy Essentials E-learning course provides 35-45 minutes of effective learning – knowledge and skills to help protect your customers providing correct information and controlling risks. Or train a small group with our Award-winning and newly updated allergytraining.com  DVD Pack: Allergy Awareness £20

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. 

July 2015  – Adviser for RSPH survey #14allergens RSPH logo

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)

New Film about resources for the new food law here http://vimeo.com/114715790

Guardian piece  http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/dec/12/eu-allergy-rules-life-death

November 2014: Publications

Increase in anaphylaxis-related hospitalizations but no increase in fatalities: An analysis of United Kingdom national anaphylaxis data, 1992-2012 

Food Allergy, a summary of 8 cases in the UK criminal and civil courts: effective last resort for vulnerable consumers?

October 2014: I am honoured to be awarded fellowship of the Institute of Food Science and Technology. 

Dr Chun-Han Chan of the FSA Allergy Branch and I continue to work together to make the allergen aspects of the FIR come alive for catering and facilities managers, chefs and supervisors. The FSA recently published new practical guidance leaflets and a poster:

FSA Loose foods leaflet June 2014 Think Allergy poster June 2014 FSA Prepacked labelling June 2014