The Anaphylaxis Campaign produces top tips to support students with allergies this ChristmasWritten by Anjali Dattani
Anaphylaxis (pronounced ana-fill-ax-is) is a severe and life-threatening allergic reaction. The Anaphylaxis Campaign is the only UK charity operating solely for the growing numbers of people at risk from severe allergic reactions. Severe symptoms such as swollen airways, acute asthma or becoming unconscious usually develop suddenly, often within minutes after being exposed to an allergy trigger such as a particular food. A fatality can occur within a short time of contact with an allergen.
- Nearly 200,000 people in the UK have a potentially life-threatening allergy
- 1-2% of adults are affected by food allergy and 1 million children
- 7 million people have allergies severe enough to require specialist allergy care
- Between 10 and 20 people die every year from anaphylaxis
- The most “at risk” group are 15 – 25-year olds
Their aim is to help people with severe allergies to be more confident in control of their lives and to create a safe environment for them by working with and educating the food industry, schools and universities, health professionals and other key audiences. Their focus is on medical facts, food labelling, risk reduction and day-to-day management of allergies. Guided by some of the UK’s top allergy experts, the Campaign has become a leading adviser to the food industry, government and health professionals.
Protecting Allergic Customers
Food allergy is real for many people, it’s not just a fad. Food allergy can be serious. Occasionally it can kill. Common causes among the UK population include peanuts, tree nuts (such as almonds, walnuts, cashew nuts and Brazil nuts), shellfish, fish, eggs, milk, wheat, soya, kiwi fruit and sesame seeds.
Most people who are producing or serving food understand how serious food allergy can be, but they need clear information to ensure they can minimise the risks.
By developing a good understanding of food allergy and training members of staff to develop strategies to manage risks, you will be able to ensure that customers with allergies have confidence when they eat your food.
Catering for Allergy – Assessing Risk
You will need to assess what you and your staff already know. What experience and knowledge does your team already have?
Has anyone ever seen somebody having an allergic reaction? What happened? Was a food involved?
Please take a look at the Allergywise training to ensure all your staff are confident to meet the food requirements of the students you are serving;
And information on what to do in an emergency;
Catering at Christmas for the Allergic Student
With an increase in the number of festivities and celebrations at Christmas, catering for the severely allergic students, who are in the most “at risk” age group can be challenging for catering companies.
We hope these top tips will be helpful to you and the students you are catering for;
They've also created an Anaphylaxis Campaign Advent Calendar, tips are posted each day in the lead up to Christmas on our Facebook @anaphylaxiscoms, Instagram @anaphylaxis_campaign and Twitter @Anaphylaxiscoms to help those affected by allergies stay safe this Christmas. You can also read the Helpline Team’s tips for getting ready for the festive season with their advice on all things Christmas related.
Download the University catering poster here.