- 1 organic Orange
- 1tbsp raw agave
- 16g Cacao Powder
- 20g Cacao Butter
- 1 scoop Nushie’s Natural Ice Cream
- 1 Mandoline
- 1 medium round cutter
- 1 large bowl filled with a small amount of warm water.
- 1 small bowl
As incredible as it seems, latest research out of Australia shows that 1 in 10 children has a food allergy.
Anaphylaxis Australia has launched Food Allergy Awareness Week which runs from May 16 to May 21.
“We want to highlight the fact that there is no longer any excuse to not know how serious food allergy is. Gone are the days when food allergy was rare and people denied it was real. Researchers have watched the prevalence rise over the past 10 years. Now it is time for individuals to learn to manage their food allergy whilst everyone in the community does their part in supporting them” said president of Anaphylaxis Australia, Maria Said.
Only 9 foods are responsible for 90% of all food triggered anaphylactic reactions, but most consumers are unaware of the extent of the risks and indeed the need to exercise food safety precaution at all times.
Anaphylaxis is the most severe form of allergic reaction and is potentially life threatening. It must be treated as a medical emergency, requiring immediate treatment and urgent medical attention.
Anaphylaxis is a generalised allergic reaction, which often involves more than one body system (e.g. skin, respiratory, gastro-intestinal, cardiovascular). A severe allergic reaction usually occurs within 20 minutes of exposure to the trigger and can rapidly become life threatening.
What causes Anaphylaxis?
Common triggers of anaphylaxis include:
Milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, fish, crustaceans and soy are the most common food triggers, which cause 90% of allergic reactions, however, any food can trigger anaphylaxis. It is important to understand that even trace amounts of food can cause a life-threatening reaction. Some extremely sensitive individuals can react to even the smell of a food (e.g.fish)
Bee, wasp and jumper ant stings are the most common causes of anaphylaxis to insect stings. Ticks and fire ants also cause anaphylaxis in susceptible individuals.
Medications, both over the counter and prescribed, can cause life threatening allergic reactions. Individuals can also have anaphylactic reactions to herbal or ‘alternative’ medicines.
Other triggers such as latex or exercise induced anaphylaxis are less common and occasionally the trigger cannot be identified despite extensive investigation.
Signs and Symptoms
The signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis may occur almost immediately after exposure or within the first 20 minutes after exposure. Rapid onset and development of potentially life threatening symptoms are characteristic markers of anaphylaxis.
Allergic symptoms may initially appear mild or moderate but can progress rapidly. The most dangerous allergic reactions involve the respiratory system (breathing) and/or cardiovascular system (heart and blood pressure).
Mild to moderate allergic reaction
• Tingling of the mouth
• Hives, welts or body redness
• Swelling of the face, lips, eyes
• Vomiting, abdominal pain
Severe allergic reaction- ANAPHYLAXIS
• Difficulty and/or noisy breathing
• Swelling of the tongue
• Swelling or tightness in the throat
• Difficulty talking or hoarse voice
• Wheeze or persistent cough
• Loss of consciousness and/or collapse
• Pale and floppy (young children)
A person who is suspected of having a food allergy should obtain a referral to see an allergy specialist for correct diagnosis, advice on preventative management and emergency treatment. Those diagnosed with severe allergy must carry emergency medication as prescribed as well as an Anaphylaxis Action Plan signed by their doctor. Food allergic children who have a history of eczema and/or asthma are at higher risk of anaphylaxis. Administration of adrenaline is first line treatment of anaphylaxis.
Management & Treatment
Anaphylaxis is a preventable and treatable event. Knowing the triggers is the first step in prevention. Children and caregivers need to be educated on how to avoid food allergens and/or other triggers.
However, because accidental exposure is a reality, children and caregivers need to be able to recognise symptoms of an anaphylaxis and be prepared to administer adrenaline according to the individuals Anaphylaxis Action Plan.
Research shows that fatalities more often occur away from home and are associated with either not using or a delay in the use of adrenaline.
In Australia, adrenaline can be purchased on the PBS in the form of an auto-injector known as the EpiPen®.
Food allergy is manageable provided individuals at risk are educated and they have the support and understanding from their friends, family and work colleagues.
Anusha Galbally’s Experience
Anusha Galbally, founder of Nushie’s Natural wholefoods range has an allergy to crustaceans. “I can have a reaction even if I smell shell fish cooking or have it splashed on to my skin” Nush said. “It made it very difficult when I was working as a chef as my work colleagues initially did not understand the extent of my reaction until I ended up as an out patient at a local hospital.”
“I often go to restaurants and am careful to make sure that there has been no shell fish prepared with the food I have ordered , however often the instruction has not been carefully relayed to the chef and I can get an onset of a reaction from cross contamination.” Nush added, “it is very important that people become more aware of the risks of food allergy’s and understanding the need to clearly explain the ingredients and the customers’ requirements.”
The smallest contamination can cause a severe reaction to persons affected by a food allergy. Recent data has also shown that many people are concerned they cannot trust the food labelling to properly highlight the allergens in the food.
Nush Galbally said that one of the reasons she established Nushie’s Natural was the gap she saw in the market for foods that catered for people with a food allergy. “our foods suit not only vegans but they cater for the lactose intolerant, coeliacs and because they are low GI they are suitable for diabetics” Nush said. “We also highlight the fact that our ice cream contains nuts.”
“Unfortunately we cannot cater for everybody.” Nush added.
For more information see: www.allergyfacts.org.au