Childrens Allergy Unit

London, United Kingdom

Childrens Allergy Unit

London, United Kingdom
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Brough H.A.,Childrens Allergy Unit | Brough H.A.,King's College London | Turner P.J.,Imperial College London | Turner P.J.,NIHR Biomedical Research Unit | And 9 more authors.
Clinical and Experimental Allergy | Year: 2015

Peanut and tree nut allergies are the commonest cause of life-threatening food-allergic reactions and significantly affect quality of life in children and their families. Dietary nut avoidance and provision of emergency medication is currently the mainstay of treatment. Nut avoidance has consequences on both quality of life and nutrition. We review the terminology that may cause confusion and lead to unnecessary dietary restrictions. In peanut or tree nut-allergic children, introduction of specific nuts to which the child is not allergic may improve quality of life and should be considered in patients with multiple foods allergies, vegan or ethnic-specific diets, in whom nuts are an important source of protein. Nut-allergic consumers do not just need to avoid foods containing nuts as an ingredient, but also contend with pre-packed foods which frequently have precautionary allergen labelling (PAL) referring to possible nut contamination. Although the published rate of peanut contamination in 'snack' foods with PAL (see Box) ranges from 0.9-32.4%, peanut contamination in non-snack items with PAL is far less common. We propose that in some peanut-allergic patients (depending on history of reactivity to trace levels of peanut, reaction severity, other medical conditions, willingness to always carry adrenaline, etc.), consideration may be given to allow the consumption of non-snack foods containing PAL following discussion with the patient's (and their family's) specialist. More work is needed to provide consumers with clearer information on the risk of potential nut contamination in pre-packed food. We also draw attention to the change in legislation in December 2014 that require mandatory disclosure of allergens in non-pre-packed foods. © 2014 The Authors. Clinical & Experimental Allergy Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Allen K.J.,Murdoch Childrens Research Institute | Allen K.J.,Royal Childrens Hospital | Allen K.J.,University of Manchester | Turner P.J.,Imperial College London | And 13 more authors.
World Allergy Organization Journal | Year: 2014

Food allergy appears to be on the rise with the current mainstay of treatment centred on allergen avoidance. Mandatory allergen labelling has improved the safety of food for allergic consumers. However an additional form of voluntary labelling (termed precautionary allergen labelling) has evolved on a wide range of packaged goods, in a bid by manufacturers to minimise risk to customers, and the negative impact on business that might result from exposure to trace amounts of food allergen present during cross-contamination during production. This has resulted in near ubiquitous utilisation of a multitude of different precautionary allergen labels with subsequent confusion amongst many consumers as to their significance. The global nature of food production and manufacturing makes harmonisation of allergen labelling regulations across the world a matter of increasing importance. Addressing inconsistencies across countries with regards to labelling legislation, as well as improvement or even banning of precautionary allergy labelling are both likely to be significant steps forward in improved food safety for allergic families. This article outlines the current status of allergen labelling legislation around the world and reviews the value of current existing precautionary allergen labelling for the allergic consumer. We strongly urge for an international framework to be considered to help roadmap a solution to the weaknesses of the current systems, and discuss the role of legislation in facilitating this. © 2014 Allen et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Bird J.A.,University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center | Lack G.,King's College London | Lack G.,Childrens Allergy Unit | Perry T.T.,University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences | Perry T.T.,Arkansas Childrens Hospital
Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice | Year: 2015

Food allergies are commonly seen by the practitioner, and managing these patients is often challenging. Recent epidemiologic studies report that as many as 1 in 13 children in the United States may have a food allergy, which makes this an important disease process to appropriately diagnose and manage for primary care physicians and specialists alike. Having a understanding of the basic immunologic processes that underlie varying presentations of food-induced allergic diseases will guide the clinician in the initial workup. This review will cover the basic approach to understanding the immune response of an individual with food allergy after ingestion and will guide the clinician in applying appropriate testing modalities when needed by conducting food challenges if indicated and by educating the patient and his or her guardian to minimize the risk of accidental ingestion. © 2015 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

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