Food Allergy Awareness Week
May 14-20 is Food Allergy Awareness Week in the US. The aim of this week is to give people the opportunity to learn more about the seriousness of food allergies.
With an estimated 150-200 Americans dying annually from anaphylactic shock caused by food allergies, it is vital that knowledge of these life threatening allergies is provided through better education.
The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN), the largest international non-profit, patient advocacy group for food allergy will kick off this year's Food Allergy Awareness Week (FAAW) on May 14. Activities to educate and spread awareness on food allergies are planned for the week with the theme, "New Tools, New Laws, New Hope."
The new labelling law that came into effect on January 1, 2006 (FALCPA 2004) marked the beginning of a new more allergy aware era, however continuing to increase public awareness of this growing health concern is crucial.
It is estimated that currently 12 million Americans suffer from a food allergy with wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, milk, soy, fish and shellfish making up the major eight food allergens and accounting for 90% of all reactions in the US.
With sufferers relying on accurate labelling to ensure that they avoid potentially dangerous ingredients, FALCPA 2004 will ensure that this task is made easier and more reliable. Coupled with Food Allergy Awareness Week it is hoped that more food allergy education and better labelling will increase the safety of food allergy sufferers, and decrease the number of emergency room visits.