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Food allergy week in full swing

May 20, 2015

This year’s Australian Food Allergy Week is well underway and the NSW Food Authority has used the opportunity to remind all those in the food industry that they are responsible for taking all necessary precautions when it comes to food allergies.

Polly Bennett, CEO of the NSW Food Authority, explains that Food Allergy Week is an important event that highlights the vital role the food manufactures play in food safety especially in managing food allergies.

‘Above and beyond caring, it’s also the law for those who sell or manufacture food to provide accurate information and labelling about food allergens that may be contained in their product,’ said Ms Bennett.

The theme of the event, which runs from 17 May to 23 May, is ‘Be Aware. Show You Care’ and supporters are encouraged to paint one fingernail to symbolise the fact that 1 out of every 10 babies in Australia is born with a food allergy. Food allergies are likely never cured so being able to properly managing them is a big focus of the event.

Why is it so important?

Australia has one of the highest rates of food allergies across the globe, according to Allergy and Anaphylaxis Australia – which means that chances are, you know somebody who suffers from a food allergy. The seriousness of food allergies is also highlighted this week because in many cases food allergies are life threatening.

‘While those people living with food allergies are generally keenly aware of their condition they need the support of the wider community, both consumers and food businesses alike, in managing it safely,’ added Ms Bennett.

A strong show of support

There are many recognisable faces that support the event – including comedian Peter Helliar; Neighbours stars Calen Mackenzie and Morgan Baker; Federal Member for Chisholm Anna Burke; Anthony Field of the Wiggles; Dr Mukesh Haikerwal AO, former President of the Australian Medical Association and Chair of Council World Medical Association.

The NSW Food Authority, the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA), the Australian Food and Grocery Council, the Australian Medical Association, Link Healthcare and Global Standards One (GS1) are also listed as proud supporters of Food Allergy Week. While corporate sponsor include Coles, Nestlé, Alphapharm, Kinnerton, Freeddom Foods and Nutricia.

Australians are encouraged to get involved and are invited to check out the free resources and campaign materials on the Food Allergy Aware website!