Daily BulletinDaily Bulletin

The Conversation

  • Written by Katie Allen, Paediatric Allergist and Gastroenterologist, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute

Our new study has found packaged foods can contain allergens even when there is no listed ingredient or even warning on the label (such as “may contain traces of nuts”).

Paediatricians, allergy/immunology specialists, nurses and dietitians from the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy reported there were 14 cases of anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction causing skin rash, vomiting, difficulty breathing or even death) to packaged foods over a nine-month period. Of those reactions, 50% were reported from foods that didn’t have a warning statement.

The reports of anaphylactic episodes to products both with and without a warning is of concern, as it suggests there is no reliable labelling system that can inform people with allergies if their food choice is a safe one.

Read more: Can I prevent food allergies in my kids?

Modern manufacturing processes

Modern manufacturing processes often share facilities and equipment for the processing of different foods, meaning there’s a risk of cross-contamination.

At the point of consumption, food products may have become cross-contaminated with residues of allergens due to shared farming practices, harvesting equipment, storage facilities, transportation vehicles, processing facilities and processing equipment.

This cross-contamination can leave an allergic patient vulnerable to any of the symptoms that can occur in a patient exposed to hidden allergens, ranging from hives to life-threatening anaphylaxis.

Consumers with food allergy are often advised to avoid products with precautionary statements, even though the exact risks are unknown.

Packaged products may contain more than the label states, including allergens Allergens can contaminate other foods where manufacturing processes are shared, but it’s not always on the label. from www.shutterstock.com

Read more: What are allergies and why are we getting more of them?

Advice to parents

A more scientific approach to cross-contamination of foods has been developed in Australia, where manufacturers undergo a more intensive investigation into the possible presence of allergens in foods prior to their release to consumers.

Foods, and the environments they’re manufactured in, are tested for possible sources of allergen such as egg and peanut. If the level of cross-contamination is equal to or above a certain level that’s considered unsafe, a statement of “may be present” is used. If it’s below this level, no precautionary labelling is required.

Some international manufacturers have now implemented the use of this risk assessment tool. But a major limitation of this process is there’s nothing on the package to say these tests have been done.

Read more: Introduce eggs and peanuts early in infants’ diets to reduce the risk of allergies

This means allergic people have no way of telling which packaged foods are truly safe to eat.

Our results add significant concern to this dilemma. Those foods without a label may be safe because they have been risk assessed or they may be very unsafe because they have not been risk assessed at all.

Governments and regulatory bodies need to intervene to help resolve this dilemma. Food allergic consumers deserve to feel safe about eating packaged foods and they need to have clear guidelines. Manufacturers should clearly state not just which foods should be avoided, but which have been tested and which are safe to eat.

Authors: Katie Allen, Paediatric Allergist and Gastroenterologist, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute

Read more http://theconversation.com/packaged-products-may-contain-more-than-the-label-states-including-allergens-90389

Why degree cost increases will hit women hardest

arrow_forward

Curious Kids: how did the first person evolve?

arrow_forward

New Home Checklist – First-time Moving Into a House

arrow_forward

The Conversation
INTERWEBS DIGITAL AGENCY

Politics

Did BLM Really Change the US Police Work?

The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement has proven that the power of the state rests in the hands of the people it governs. Following the death of 46-year-old black American George Floyd in a case of ...

a Guest Writer - avatar a Guest Writer

Scott Morrison: the right man at the right time

Australia is not at war with another nation or ideology in August 2020 but the nation is in conflict. There are serious threats from China and there are many challenges flowing from the pandemic tha...

Greg Rogers - avatar Greg Rogers

Prime Minister National Cabinet Statement

The National Cabinet met today to discuss Australia’s COVID-19 response, the Victoria outbreak, easing restrictions, helping Australians prepare to go back to work in a COVID-safe environment an...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Business News

Reinventing The Outside Of Your Office

Efficient work is a priority in most offices. You need a comfortable interior that is functional too. The exterior also affects morale. Big companies have an amazing exterior like university ca...

News Company - avatar News Company

Kaspersky and Ferrari partnership: tailoring cybersecurity for an iconic brand

Kaspersky is commemorating the 10 year anniversary of its strategic partnership with iconic, global brand - Ferrari. The cybersecurity company is a sponsor of the brand’s Formula One racing team...

News Company - avatar News Company

Instant Steel Solutions Review

Are you keen on having the right guidance, knowledge and information about the right kind of steel purchases for your industries? If yes, then you are in the right place. There is no doubt that ...

a Guest Writer - avatar a Guest Writer



News Company Media Core

Content & Technology Connecting Global Audiences

More Information - Less Opinion