HomeAdvocacy and research – November 2021

Advocacy and research – November 2021

November 5, 2021

Find out what’s new in research, including a study which highlights some of the ongoing challenges faced by those impacted with food allergy and learn how we are advocating to #MakeFoodAllergyCount. Parents, participate in a study on introducing baked milk and/or egg. Plus, check out our mythbuster on whether the upper arm, thigh and hip are the recommended sites for epinephrine auto-injectors to be given.

Research: Food allergy findings from a new Dalhousie University report

Allergy food concept. Allergy food as almonds, milk, pistachios, tomato, lemon, kiwi, trout, strawberry, bread, sesame seeds, eggs, peanuts and bean on wooden table

new report from Dalhousie University highlights some of the ongoing challenges faced by individuals and parents of children living with food allergy. The report indicates a need for greater access to an allergist/specialist in order to receive a proper diagnosis; and the need for better access to ingredient information for both pre-packaged products and in foodservice. 

Per the report:

  • The rate of self-diagnosis for food allergy was 36% of respondents, which suggests the need for better access to healthcare professionals so patients can receive a proper diagnosis. With less than 1 allergist per 100k population in Canada and long wait times in most urban centres, it is challenging for patients to receive this care in a timely manner.
  • Almost 50% of respondents indicated that they are not sure or do not believe that food products are properly labelled and that they do not have adequate food choices. This issue was also raised in foodservice, where the majority of respondents do not feel that allergens are properly indicated on menus. These results reinforce the need for complete and accurate ingredient information, regardless of how the food is manufactured or prepared.

Making food allergy a priority

National Food Allergy Action Plan cover

Access to an allergist/specialist and access to ingredient information are important issues which are addressed in our National Food Allergy Action Plan. We have raised these issues with government through our advocacy initiatives, including most recently with our pre-budget submission this past spring and in our election campaign requests to all parties to adopt the National Plan. 

Specifically, we are calling on government to make food allergy a public health priority and address these issues by:

  • Increasing patient access to food allergy care and mental health support
  • Ensuring every Canadian knows what is in their food through proper ingredient disclosure 

We continue to advocate for our community to ensure those living with food allergy can do so confidently and safely.

Research: Parents – help researchers identify the best approach for introducing baked milk and/or egg into the diet – deadline extended!

One liter of fresh milk and two eggs

There is still time to participate in an international study looking at baked milk and/or egg consumption by children after the successful completion of an oral food challenge. The survey link has been updated and can be accessed here. If you have already completed the survey, thank you! Your response was received.

Study overview

An international study is looking at baked milk and/or egg consumption by children after the successful completion of an oral food challenge.  This important study aims to understand the introduction of baked milk and/or egg into the diet, including in what form, quantity and frequency, and the educational needs to support continued feeding at home. 

Take the survey  

  • To be eligible, your child must have a diagnosed milk and/or egg allergy and have successfully completed a baked challenge.
  • About 10-15 minutes is needed to complete each survey and all responses will remain anonymous.
  • Access the survey at https://redcap.link/bakedfoods

Why your participation matters  

Your participation is vital to providing the researchers, and patient organizations like ours, with insight on the general comfort with baked foods and barriers to feeding baked egg and milk at home after a successful challenge.

The results of this survey will help to ensure we create meaningful tools and resources to help support families in keeping baked egg/milk in the diet, which ultimately can lead to a faster resolution of egg and milk allergies in children.

Mythbuster – Are the upper arm, the thigh and the hip all recommended sites for epinephrine auto-injectors to be given?

FACT: No, epinephrine auto-injectors (e.g. EpiPen®, ALLERJECT®, EmeradeTM) should only be injected into the mid-outer thigh and can be given through clothing if necessary. If a device is accidentally injected into other areas, seek immediate medical attention/call 911.

Learn more

Child holding an auto injectorFacebook Live session: How to use epinephrine auto-injectors
auto-injectorsEpinephrine and auto-injector brands in Canada
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