Last night, May 27, 2014, I attended my very first Toronto Anaphylaxis Education Group Meeting…why did it take me so long?
Anyone living with anaphylaxis in the Toronto area should really check them out…great support network!
A few of the people there I recognized from Anaphylaxis Canada’s 7th Annual Community Conference. Click here for my post on attending the event.
The meeting I attended, What’s in the food? Labeling/Dining Out, was very informative.
Marilyn Allen, Foodservice Consultant for Anaphylaxis Canada, gave a thorough overview of food labeling in Canada and introduced the now available employee training program available through Anaphylaxis Canada in collaboration with TrainCan Inc….Allergen Training For the Foodservice and Food Retail Industry.
Anaphylaxis Canada states, “The program covers the basics of food allergy and anaphylaxis (what it is, signs and symptoms, and emergency plan) and teaches managers the principles necessary to develop allergen risk management procedures that are specific to their own company’s environment. These include ways to identify and manage risk and how to avoid cross-contamination through proper storage, handling, cooking, and serving practices.”
I will definitely be contacting the Foodservices Department at the University that Michael chooses to make them aware of this fantastic allergen training opportunity.
What else did I learn?
–ALWAYS READ THE INGREDIENT LIST of pre-packaged food for food allergens before you purchase, before you open and before you consume.
–The Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (CFIA) labelling requirements states, “All labelling information that is provided on food labels or in advertisements, as required by legislation, must be accurate, truthful and not misleading.” Click here for more information.
–Voluntary statements on pre-packaged foods such as ‘may contain’ and ‘made in a faculty…’ are just that…voluntary. ALWAYS READ THE INGREDIENT LIST.
-If a restaurant is unable to tell you the ingredients in a meal…do not eat there.
-If you suspect that you have had an allergic reaction to a product…contact the company, contact the CFIA and keep the product for scientific analysis.
Also in attendance…Sherry Mahon, President of Lily Safe Foods. Sherry is the grandmother of Lily who has food allergies. Sherry is in the process of conducting an anonymous survey on her website for input on her new business venture…Lily Safe Foods.
Sherry states on her website, “Lily Safe Foods is a start up business that will provide people who suffer from the top 10 food allergens (dairy, egg, soy, wheat, fish, shellfish, mustard, sesame, tree nuts or peanuts) the option of purchasing single serving meals in a pouch that are delicious, safe, convenient and since they go through a “canning” process will last in your cupboard for up to one year.”
Perhaps a great option for my university bound son with multiple food allergies.
The Toronto Anaphylaxis Education Group’s list of meeting dates will be available in the summer.
Hope to see you at the next meeting!