Food Allergy Training - A Proven Strategy to Deal With a Global Concern

The number of people with food allergies has increased over the years. With the possibility that even a small amount of allergen can trigger a life threatening reaction, the need of the hour is comprehensive food allergy training. Both individuals with allergies and businesses operating in the food service industry can benefit from such training.

Understanding Food Allergy

A food allergy reaction occurs when an individual's immune system identifies a certain substance present in food as a threat or danger and responds with an aggressive defense attack. Symptoms can range from mild to severe and can show up within a few minutes of ingesting allergy causing food. Moderate symptoms may involve organs in the body including skin, cardiovascular system, gastrointestinal system and respiratory tract. Anaphylaxis is the most severe reaction which affects the entire body. It leads to impaired breathing, a drop in blood pressure, altered pulse rate and can be fatal if not treated promptly by trained emergency staff.

Food Allergy Training for Individuals

Diagnosing this type of allergy is not that easy. Allergists take into consideration several factors including patient's medical history, family history, and results of various allergy tests. If a patient is diagnosed with this allergy, proper food allergy training and counseling should be provided. An individual should learn how to screen ingredient labels of food items, learn if the substance goes by any other name, know how to avoid cross contamination and understand how to respond in case of an allergic reaction. The most effective treatment plan is to completely avoid the trigger food and consult a nutritionist or dietician for guidance and advice.

Responsible Food Services

With people leading busy lives, eating out at events and restaurants is a regular feature. This poses significant food allergy related challenges not only for individuals but also for food service providers. It is the responsibility of these businesses to serve guests with this type of allergies in a safe manner to protect their health and lives. Members of staff require continued instruction and comprehensive food allergy training as it could make the difference between life and death. Modules for training can and should include procedures to follow while responding to diners with food allergies, recognizing symptoms of a this allergy reaction, ways to avoid cross contamination while preparing food and emergency procedures to follow.

Extensive Education and Training

In Europe, the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) - a Zurich based non-profit organization is doing sterling work in providing quality education and training for a wide variety of allergic and immunological diseases. It collaborates with organizations and individuals to promote clinical research, collate and diffuse scientific information. It is recognized as a renowned scientific reference body. It organizes several schools, master classes, workshops and symposia to provide in depth understanding on allergy and immunology related topics.

Allergists and medical specialists who wish to undergo Food Allergy Training can go to EACCI's website for more information on the latest schedules and how to participate in them. Patients too can visit the website for reliable information on a wide variety of allergy and immunological disease topics.

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