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Issue Number: Council III 029


Public Release of Food Allergy Resource Document

Issue you would like the Conference to consider

Public release in 2012 of the eagerly anticipated food allergen management guidelines, being reviewed by the CFP Food Allergen Committee as directed in Issue 2010 III-001, and in accordance with the Food Allergen Labeling Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) "Section 209. Food Allergens in the Food Code" which states: the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall, in the Conference for Food Protection, as part of its efforts to encourage cooperative activities between the States under section 311 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 243), pursue revision of the Food Code to provide guidelines for preparing allergen-free foods in food establishments, including in restaurants, grocery store delicatessens and bakeries, and elementary and secondary school cafeterias. The Secretary shall consider guidelines and recommendations developed by public and private entities for public and private food establishments for preparing allergen-free foods in pursuing this revision.

Public Health Significance

A significant number of food allergy reactions occur in restaurants/food service establishments.i ii iii In fact, in two published studies on fatal food allergy reactions, almost half were triggered by food served in or provided by restaurants / food service. Studies also show significant gaps in restaurants' understanding of food allergies. iv Restaurant employees generally receive little or no training on the serious nature of food allergy; reading ingredient labels; the importance of strict allergen avoidance; and avoiding cross-contact during food preparation.v

The intent of any guidelines should be allergen management.

i Vierk KA, Koehler KM, Fein SB, Street DA. Prevalence of self-reported food allergy in American adults and the use of food labels. J Allergy Clin Immunology 2007;119:1504-10.

ii Furlong TJ, DeSimone J, Sicherer SH. Peanut and tree nut allergic reactions in restaurants and other food establishments. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2001;108(5):867-70.

iii Greenhawt MJ, McMorris MS, Furlong TJ. Self-Reported Allergic Reactions to Peanuts and Tree Nuts Occurring at Restaurants and Food Service Establishments. Poster presented at the 2008 annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, March 14-18, 2008, Philadelphia, PA.

iv Aline R. Ajalaa, Adriano G. Cruza, Jose A.F. Fariaa, Eduardo H.M. Waltera, Daniel Granatob and Anderson S. Sant? Anab. Food allergens: Knowledge and practices of food handlers in restaurants. Food Control, Volume 21, Issue 10, October 2010, Pages 1318-1321.

v Ahuja R, Sicherer SH. Food-allergy management from the perspective of restaurant and food establishment personnel. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 2007;98:344-48.

Recommended Solution: The Conference recommends...

public release in 2012 of the food allergen guidelines and recommendations developed by the 2010-12 CFP Food Allergen Committee for use by the CFP membership, and the food preparation and inspection communities.

The Conference further recommends that these documents:

  • be posted to the CFP web site, and
  • that a letter be sent to the FDA requesting dissemination on the FDA website.

Submitter Information

Name Nona Narvaez
Organization Anaphylaxis and Food Allergy Association of MN (AFAA)
Address 2200 Hendon Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55108-1421
Telephone 651 644-5937
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