Departmental (media releases)
13 May 2016
The NSW Food Authority is urging people to be aware of their responsibility when it comes to managing food allergies in our community ahead of this year’s national Food Allergy Week, Sunday 15 – Saturday 21 May 2016.
Australia has one of the highest incidences of food allergy in the world, with one in 10* babies born in Australia developing a food allergy.
CEO Dr Lisa Szabo said the NSW Food Authority supports the Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia awareness initiative because it is an important reminder, to food businesses and consumers, of the important role they play when it comes to managing food allergies.
"The Food Allergy Week theme this year is "Be aware. Show you Care." and while those people living with food allergies are generally keenly aware of their condition, they also need the support of the wider community so that both consumers and food businesses can manage it safely," Dr Szabo said.
"Above and beyond caring, it’s also the law for those who sell or manufacture food to provide accurate information and labeling about food allergens that may be contained in their product."
Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia reports the top nine foods responsible for 90 per cent of food allergy reactions which must be declared:
- tree nuts (such as almonds and cashews)
- crustaceans (shellfish such as prawns and lobsters)
*statistics provided by Allergy and Anaphylaxis Australia
Dr Szabo said the NSW Food Authority has a number of programs and initiatives in place to help educate and inform people and businesses about their responsibilities when it comes to food allergies.
"In cooperation with Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia, the Food Authority has developed resources for retail food businesses like our information booklet Be prepared, be allergy aware, it’s worth the effort which is available online and distributed to food businesses through local councils, advising them of their responsibilities when it comes to declaring and managing allergens," she said.
"For those individuals living with food allergies, or parents seeking information to help a child diagnosed with food allergies, the Food Authority has a brochure, Food Allergy and Intolerance, which outlines various tips and hints for food shopping or eating out, and how the NSW Food Authority assists to help people safely manage their condition."
Further information about food allergies for food service businesses and consumers are available from the NSW Food Authority website www.foodauthority.nsw.gov.au or by calling the NSW Food Authority Helpline on 1300 552 406.