Sara Pollard, Director of Free From Temptation Ltd explains how important food labelling is for people with food allergies
Local mum Clare Hussein, of Baffin’s Pond, Portsmouth, has a four-year-old daughter Bikita, who has multiple allergies, including; peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, eggs and dairy amongst many others.
Bikita cannot be exposed to these allergens at all, and if she were she could have an anaphylactic reaction, which can be potentially fatal.
We have seen in recent years the increase in allergies, which have become very unpredictable.
For Clare, the notion that something as innocuous as an egg or nut could kill her daughter is horrifying.
Yet the fact is that as many as seven out of 100 children and three in 100 adults have at least one food allergy.
According to Anaphylaxis Campaign one in 100 adults and two in 100 children are allergic to nuts.
These numbers are on the increase, with a 20 per cent rise in childhood food allergies in the past ten years.
Clare finds providing a balanced diet for Bikita difficult.
Reading every label when you do your food shop ensures this apparently simple task is never a ‘just pop to the shop’ affair.
She relies on good labelling on products before she can buy any food.
As I am a cake maker who specialises in restricted diets and allergies I find in some cases I have to contact suppliers directly to double check production conditions.
As many labels don’t contain enough information to keep the allergy sufferers I cater for safe.
It has been a long fight to get Bikita the care she needs, including her life-saving medication.
As a result, Clare and fellow allergy sufferer, Harriet Moonesinghe, have started their own group under the Anaphylaxis Campaign to offer support to others who have or know family with a food allergy and help them to know they are not alone.
They provide people a chance for them to speak to someone else who has been through this challenging situation and gain valuable advice.
The Anaphylaxis Campaign is a great source of support for people at risk of severe allergies.
Clare is pleased to hold this new group in conjunction with them as they have helped her so much.
Clare and Harriet’s inaugural support group will be held on Saturday 19th of September, at Whiteley Community Centre, from 10am-2pm.
For more information email Clare directly: firstname.lastname@example.org or call The Anaphylaxis Campaign on 01252546100 and ask to speak to Debbie to book your place.