The EC situation

Currently, under EC labelling legislation, there is no need to make a specific declaration in respect of the presence of potential allergens, although product liability laws might influence a decision to make such a declaration. However, the need for such information to be covered by food labelling legislation, in line with current Commission intention, is now widely recognised. A further amendment to Directive 79 112 EEC is already under discussion, which would concern the labelling of...

Open patch test and the diagnosis of contact urticaria

Some food substances can induce an immediate urticarial-type reaction at the point of contact. No standardised test exists for investigating such contact urticaria, but one can demonstrate such a reaction by an open test. The substance is placed on the skin of the flexor surface of the forearm for 30-45 minutes in an attempt to replicate the urticaria. It may be necessary to use non-intact, eczematous skin. This contact urticaria may be secondary to an allergic or non-allergic reaction. In the...

The legal background labelling

The practical protection which individuals with food allergy and intolerance can expect from the law is information rather than elimination. To this end, comprehensive food labelling requirements have developed. Throughout the European Union these requirements are largely harmonised and stem from EC Directive 79 112 on the labelling and presentation of foodstuffs. The provisions are enacted within the UK as the 1996 Food Labelling Regulations. Although it originated two decades ago, the...

Peanuts and tree nuts

Over the last few decades, peanuts have become a ubiquitous part of the Western diet as they are a versatile form of easily digested protein (Lucas 1979). In a study looking at the use of dietary manipulation to prevent the development of food allergy, all infants in the control group were exposed to whole peanuts by their second birthday (Zeiger et al. 1989) occult exposure probably occurs even earlier. Adverse reactions to peanuts and tree nuts are generally IgE mediated, occurring rapidly...

The British Allergy Foundation

The British Allergy Foundation has a broad sphere of interest, encompassing all types of allergy. BAF was formed as a registered charity in 1991 by a group of leading medical specialists who were all determined to improve the awareness, prevention and treatment of allergy. The charity is managed by a board of trustees which deals with all the business aspects of the organisation. All decisions on medical and scientific matters in which the foundation is involved are made by a team of medical...