The following is a media release from the New South Wales Food Authority and is included here with permission.
The NSW Food Authority is urging people to be aware of their responsibility when it comes to managing the growing increase of food allergies in our community ahead of this year’s national Food Allergy Week, Sunday 17 – 23 May 2015.CEO Polly Bennett said the NSW Food Authority supports the Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia awareness initiative because it is an important reminder, to food business and consumers, of the important role they play when it comes to managing food allergies.”This years Food Allergy Week theme is “Be aware. Show you Care” and 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,” Ms Bennett 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 that nine foods are responsible for 90 per cent of food allergy reactions, these foods must be declared:
- tree nuts (such as almonds and cashews)
- crustaceans (shellfish such as prawns and lobsters)
Ms Bennett 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.”One of those resources is for retail food businesses, in cooperation with Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia, the Food Authority developed an 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 who live with food allergies, or parents seeking information to help a child diagnosed with food allergies, the Food Authority has produced a brochure Food Allergy and Intolerance that outlines various tips and hints for food shopping or eating out, and how the NSW Food Authority works to help people safely manage their condition.”Australia has one of the highest rates of food allergies in the world and statistics provided by Allergy and Anaphylaxis Australia show that one in ten babies born in Australia today will develop a food allergy.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.
Rachelle Williams, The Green Food Safety Coach.