Food Allergens & Intolerances

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1 Food Allergens & Intolerances Presented by Shirley J. Brown, Ed.D, SNS Objectives Identify the differences: Food Allergens versus Food Intolerances Discover the 8 major food allergens Learn how to protect affected students Identify the most venerable individuals Recognize the symptoms of a reaction Outline reasons for concern Develop plans to reduce contamination 1

2 Who is affected with food allergies? Up to 15 million people in the U.S. have a food allergy A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that the number of children with food allergies has grown by more than 50 percent since the late 1990s. What are Allergens? A food allergen is a product or ingredient containing certain proteins that can potentially cause a severe (occasionally fatal) reaction in a food allergic person 2

3 Food Allergy vs. Intolerance Food allergy causes an immune system response, causing symptoms that range from uncomfortable to life-threatening. Food intolerance does not affect the immune system, although some symptoms may be the same as in food allergy. Food Intolerance & Sensitivity Defined as a food induced illness in certain susceptible individuals that is not a true allergic reaction (immunological response to protein), but may be severe nonetheless. People with compromised or weak immune systems are the most likely to react Food Sensitivity may cause similar symptoms and discomfort gluten caused celiac disease 3

4 Facts Estimated 5 % (15 million Americans) of the general population suffers from food allergy*. Up to 3 million suffer from peanut or tree nut allergy*. Estimated people die each year from food allergy related reactions*. These are naturally occurring proteins in food *Source: Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network Allergen Facts All food allergens are proteins, BUT not all proteins are allergens. Over 170 foods cause allergic reactions. 8 Foods account for 90% of Allergic reactions. No known limit to the amount of allergenic protein there must be in a food to elicit an allergic reaction. 4

5 The Big Eight Allergens Peanuts Tree nuts (walnuts, almonds, pecans, hazelnuts/filberts, pistachios, cashews, pine nuts, macadamia nuts, Brazil nuts Fish Eggs Milk Soy Wheat Shellfish (crab, crawfish, lobster, shrimp, clams, mussels, oysters) Why an Increasing Concern? Increased Awareness Increased Media attention Increased # of products available Concern for liability Availability of detection methods Children are commonly involved The amount of protein present to elicit a reaction is unknown. 5

6 Allergic Reaction Signs Nausea Wheezing or shortness of breath Hives or itchy rashes Swelling of various parts of the body Face, eyes, hands or feet Vomiting and/or diarrhea Abdominal pain Anaphylaxis Signs More Serious Signs Quickly intensifying of mild symptoms Anaphylaxis- most severe reaction that can lead to death If this occurs, apply epipen to the thigh of the person and call 911 immediately 6

7 Recognizing Symptoms Reaction may be instantaneous or several hours after the food is consumed Symptoms may be singular or multiple Young children often are frightened and don t notify anyone, so adults must be alert The School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act Nov. 13, 2013 President Obama signed into law Incentivizes states to adopt laws requiring schools to have stocked epinephrine autoinjectors by giving these states preference in eligibility for federal asthma education grants. Thirty states now have laws or guidelines in place allowing schools to stock undesignated epinephrine auto-injectors (epi pens) Only four states (Maryland, Nebraska, Nevada and Virginia) currently require it. 7

8 Epipen procedures Who can administer? The nearest trained adult Important Safety Information EpiPen Auto-Injectors contain a single dose of epinephrine, which you inject into the outer thigh. DO NOT INJECT INTO A VEIN, BUTTOCK, FINGERS, TOES, HANDS OR FEET. In case of accidental injection, seek immediate medical treatment. Epinephrine should be used with caution if the person has heart disease or is taking certain medicines that can cause heartrelated (cardiac) symptoms. EpiPen 66lbs or more (Yellow) EprPen JR 33-66lbs (Green) Can Anaphylaxis Be Predicted? It is highly unpredictable Reactions will vary depending on several factors: Your sensitivity to the food How much of the food you are exposed to How the food entered your body 8

9 Being Prepared is Critical Being prepared means having a plan to: Avoid known allergens Know what symptoms to watch for Have an EpiPen (epinephrine) Auto-Injector in case a life-threatening (severe) allergic reaction occurs Have contact procedures in order to get emergency medical help right away Knowledge and practice can help you be prepared Anaphylaxis (pronounced "a-na-fi-lax-is") A potentially severe or life-threatening allergic reaction Can occur very quickly as fast as within a couple of minutes of exposure to the allergen. It can be triggered by an allergy to a particular food, biting or stinging insects (like bees), medication (penicillin is a common one), latex (the type of rubber many balloons are made from) or a variety of other allergic triggers. 9

10 Awareness Strategies Provide allergen awareness training to all foodservice personnel -identify allergens and their potential risks. The training should include a description of the responsibilities of each employee when dealing with allergenic materials. Training should be provided as part of employee orientation. Awareness Strategies Temporary or part-time employees should also be trained. Verification of training should be documented for each employee. Annual refresher training needed. Training material should be reviewed annually to incorporate new information or changes in strategy 10

11 Cross contamination danger All foodservice staff must be aware of the need to avoid using the same prep or service equipment and utensils when a food allergenic or intolerant item is on the menu Gluten-free menu items must have separate prep area Allergens can become airborne Food should be delivered separately to students with food allergies Cleaning for Allergens Thoroughly wash, rinse and sanitize before re-use (sanitizing alone doesn t eliminate allergens). Residue must be removed. Wash hands and change gloves before prepping food Use separate cooking utensils and equipment for students with food allergies Prep food in a separate area Label food with all major allergens Wipe surface with wet disposable cloths to avoid airborne allergens 11

12 What Can Manufacturers do? Assemble an Allergen Team to include: Regulatory & Compliance Corporate QA Legal Production Planning Operations Develop An Allergen Awareness Manual Develop An Allergen Training Program Allergen Prevention Program Allergen Awareness Team Training for awareness Raw Material Program Design plant equipment for ease of cleaning Scheduling of food production practices Packaging Control, store separately Labeling Control- use clear terminology 12

13 Awareness Team Charges Keeps abreast of developing issues/regulations/science/test kits Evaluate critical raw materials for allergens: Milk, Soy, Peanuts, Fish, Sesame seeds, Certified Colors, Eggs, Gluten, Shellfish, Tree nuts, Sulfites Provide the organization with direction Areas of Training Focus Check sources of raw materials Make Operations aware of allergens Production scheduling to avoid cross contamination Labeling that is easy to read Secure Packaging to avoid contamination Engineering/Design production lines Food Recycling Practices / re-mix policy Sanitation/Cleaning Practices 13

14 Labeling and Packaging Label the sources of ingredients when derived from common allergens (Flavors) Use supplementary labeling when cross contamination is documented Allergen statements should be obvious and clear to consumers Provide labeling in multi-languages if appropriate for staff personnel Summary Develop an Allergen Team Develop a Training Program Establish Allergen Best Practices Identify points of cross contamination Prioritize plans to eliminate/reduce cross contamination Develop and document cleaning practices Judiciously use supplemental labeling in addition to Good Manufacturing Practices 14

15 Resources on Allergens New on-line course available from NREF Visit FoodAllergens.com to learn more about the program, and watch a video overview. For resources on dining out with food allergies, visit FARE s website at Did we meet the Objectives? Identify the differences: Food Allergens versus Food Intolerances Discover the 8 major food allergens Learn how to protect affected students Identify the most venerable individuals Recognize the symptoms of a reaction Outline reasons for concern Develop plans to reduce contamination 15

16 The Discovery Channel Documentary Story of millions of Americans managing food allergies & anaphylaxis daily Available for viewing at: Available for download on itunes. The documentary and additional teacher and classroom materials will be made available through Discovery Education More information is available at Let s See How You Did On Your Quiz! 16

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