Currently viewing the tag: "food allergies"

coconutdrinkThe importer of a coconut drink linked to the death of a 10 year-old Melbourne boy in 2013 was fined AUD $18,000.

Narkena Pty Ltd – a food importer based in Sydney, Australia – had pleaded guilty to three charges relating to the packing and labeling of Greentime Natural Coconut Drink imported from Taiwan.

Australia’s New South Wales Food Authority determined the drink contained condensed milk which was not declared on the label. The product was recalled after the child’s death.

“It is relevant that the death of a child precipitated the investigation and led to the charges,” said Jennifer Atkinson, the local magistrate who imposed the fines. “The company relied on the information from the manufacturer rather than making its own inquiries.”

The company was fined $6000 for each of three charges and ordered to pay an additional $24,000 for costs related to their investigation. The maximum fine that could have been imposed was $10,000 for each charge.

“If you import from countries that are non-English speaking, it is really important to get the correct information, to get it right because food allergy is not just about people complaining about a food choice. It can be a life and death issue,” said Maria Said, president of Allergy and Anaphylaxis Australia.

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We’re pleased to announce a new member to our Manufacturer Partnership.

muffintownMuffin Town, headquartered in Chelsea, MA, has been providing premium value baked goods for over 30 years. Their SunWise SunButter and Grape Jelly Sandwich is made in a peanut and tree nut-free facility and can be found in many school cafeterias, food service establishments and retail outlets nationwide, providing a great lunch option for children in allergen-restricted classrooms and families on the go.

Click here to find out more about the company and their products. Click here to see the press release.

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Dr Ruchi GuptaFindings presented Monday at the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI) 2015 Annual Scientific Meeting suggest that testing the siblings of children diagnosed with food allergies is not advisable. These tests often return positive results even though the child does not have allergy. False positives generally lead to food avoidance which may increase the risk for developing an allergy later in life.

“Many children are sensitized to a food, so they will have a positive test result, but that does not mean they have a true food allergy,” said Ruchi Gupta, MD, lead researcher on the study from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.

The study involved 478 children with confirmed food allergy and 642 of their siblings. Each sibling was given skin prick tests and serologic immunoglobulin E (sigE) for cows milk, egg white, soybean, wheat, peanut, walnut, sesame seed, a fish mix and a shellfish mix. The siblings were then observed for 2 hours after ingesting the foods for clinical signs of allergy, including hives, breathing difficulties or shortness of breath, repetitive coughing, wheezing or chest tightness, throat tightness, choking or difficulty swallowing, tongue swelling, fainting, dizziness, light-headedness or decreased consciousness, and vomiting.

Food allergy was defined as a positive skin prick test plus symptoms, while sensitization was defined as a positive skin prick test or positive sigE and an absence of symptoms.

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allerject-recallFollowing Sanofi US’s recall of all Auvi-Q auto-injectors sold in the US, Sanofi Canada has issued a recall of all Allerject auto-injectors sold in Canada. Allerject and Auvi-Q are Sanofi’s brand names for the same product sold in the US and Canada respectively.

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Sanofi's Auvi-Q Epinephrine Auto-InjectorSanofi US has issued a voluntary recall of all Auvi-Q epinephrine auto-injectors in the US, including both the 0.15mg and 0.3mg doses. They have been found to potentially deliver the wrong dosage.

the firm has received 26 reports of suspected device malfunctions in the US and Canada as of October 26, though none of these malfunctions have been confirmed by the company and no fatalities have been reported to date.

We urge you to read the Sanofi press release and take immediate action to replace all Auvi-Q devices with other alternatives until the firm has resolved the issue.

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pharma-moneyTwo emerging therapies received the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) “Breakthrough” designation for the treatment of food allergy this year. We’ll take a look at what it means to be a breakthrough therapy, who is developing these them, how they work, and the (big) business drivers behind them.

The Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA) was signed into law in July 9, 2012. Section 902 of the legislation provides for a new fast track designation – Breakthrough Therapy. According to the FDA, a breakthrough therapy is a drug:

  • intended for use alone or in combination with one or more other drugs to treat a serious or life threatening disease or condition and
  • preliminary clinical evidence indicates that the drug may demonstrate substantial improvement over existing therapies on one or more clinically significant endpoints, such as substantial treatment effects observed early in clinical development.

A drug given such a designation is provided expedited review by the FDA, though the sponsor must still demonstrate that it is effective and safe. The FDA assigns senior resources to work with the sponsor on a continual basis to speed up the entire process from clinical trials through approval.

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kids-walking-into-schoolWhile parents of children diagnosed with food allergies battle to keep their kids safe, a new study shows that it is not only their children that are at risk for developing life-threatening anaphylaxis at school.

The study, to be presented at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference & Exhibition in Washington DC this week, looked at schools that participated in the EPIPENS4SCHOOLS program during the 2013-14 school year. The program, sponsored by Mylan Specialty, provides stock epinephrine auto-injectors to 59,000 public and private, elementary, middle and high schools across the United States for use during anaphylactic emergencies.

Among the 6,019 schools responding to the survey, 919 anaphylactic events were reported with 22% of the cases occurring in  individuals with no prior history of allergy. These children would not have had access to their own prescribed auto-injector.

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NJ State HouseLegislation that would provide for stock epinephrine in places of public accommodation has cleared committees and is now under consideration by the New Jersey Senate and General Assembly.

Entitled the Epinephrine Access and Emergency Treatment Act, the bill (designated S-2884 and A-4094) would allow individuals who have completed an approved training course to maintain and administer epinephrine auto-injectors for emergency use, and employers of those individuals to obtain stock epinephrine for use by them. The legislation also provides the necessary “Good Samaritan” provisions to shield all involved from liability when epinephrine is administered in good faith during an anaphylactic emergency.

Anaphylaxis is a serious, sometimes life-threatening allergic reaction to a food, medication or insect sting. Epinephrine is the only approved treatment for anaphylaxis and should be administered as soon as anaphylaxis is suspected.

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We’re pleased to announce the inclusion of many new products with the addition of a new member to our Manufacturer Partnership.

Herr Foods manufactures an extensive line of savory snacks including potato chips, pretzels, popcorn and cheese curls. The family owned and operated company began 67 years ago in Lancaster, Pa., herrslogoand now employs more than 1,500 people who make 340 delicious snack products that are available worldwide. Though a small number of Herr’s products were previously listed in the Safe Snack Guide, the company has joined us as a full-fledged partner and now many more of their products are listed both in the Guide and Allergence, our interactive allergen screening service. Click here to learn more about Herr’s and their products and click here to read the press release.

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A variety of Herr’s products to be showcased in’s Safe Snack Guide


Combined, a leading website and publisher dedicated to educating families with food allergies, welcomes Herr® Foods to its Manufacturer Partnership. As a partner, the leading snack brand will be featured in the publisher’s Safe Snack Guide™, a catalogue of foods free of peanuts, tree nuts and eggs designed to help keep these allergens out of the classroom and the home. The Guide is a trusted resource for thousands of schools and tens of thousands of parents nationwide.

Headquartered in Nottingham, Pa., Herr’s manufactures an extensive line of savory snacks including potato chips, pretzels, popcorn and cheese curls. The family owned and operated company began 67 years ago in Lancaster, Pa., and now employs more than 1,500 people who make 340 delicious snack products that are available worldwide.

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