Food Allergies

Stock epinephrine laws can help keep attendees safe at meetings

2015 Saw Dramatic Increase in Epinephrine Laws Across the U.S.

Epinephrine Laws Enable Venues to Stock and Educate Staff on this Life-saving Medication When someone experiences a severe allergic reaction, their first line of defense is epinephrine, a drug that treats many signs of anaphylaxis all at once. Up until the last few years, epinephrine was only allowed to be purchased with a personal prescription or administered by trained medical staff. Today, as food allergy reactions increase and awareness for this potentially life-threatening condition grows, the call for epinephrine laws to allow “stock” EpiPens in places like schools, restaurants, convention centers, and even airplanes, has escalated. For those individuals who…

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Allergy Labelling in the European Union: How Confident is the Freefrom Customer when eating out?

Food businesses and their staff need more training to better manage the expectations of the FreeFrom customer A year ago the European Union enacted EU1169 requiring that all food served directly to consumers - pre-packaged and unpackaged - list any of the 14 food allergens they contained. Our friends at Food Allergy Training Consultancy (FATC) wanted to see how the freefrom community thought food service business were doing in meeting the regulations for allergy labelling in the European Union. Below are the results from the survey they did, reprinted with permission from Food Allergy Aware. Since the European Union introduced the Food Information Regulations…

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Stock epinephrine laws can help keep attendees safe at meetings

Advancements in Epinephrine Can Actually be Valuable for Event Attendees

New State Entity Laws Give Venues Opportunity Save Lives Since I wrote this post in May on the historic law that makes Georgia safer for event attendees, I’m excited to be able to add 15 more states to the list of those allowing places of public accommodation (hotels, convention and conference centers, restaurants) to stock epinephrine. If you have a family member or friend with a food allergy, you’re probably familiar with epinephrine. According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), epinephrine is used for the emergency treatment of life-threatening allergic reactions caused by allergens, whether from food…

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Stock epinephrine laws can help keep attendees safe at meetings

Historic Law Makes Georgia Events Safer for Attendees

Last week, the governor of Georgia, Nathan Deal, signed a bill into law which makes Georgia events safer for attendees with food allergies. Georgia SB126 allows places of public accommodation such as restaurants, hotels and convention centers to stock epinephrine — the first-line medication to treat anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction. In light of the fact that nearly 50 percent of fatal food allergic reactions are triggered by food consumed outside the home and to foods that were thought to be safe,* allowing event venues to obtain epinephrine auto-injectors provides a huge sense of relief for food allergy sufferers who attend events in Georgia. According to the Convention…

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Wheat, egg & milk cookies

A Closer Look at Wheat, Milk and Egg Allergies

In Monday’s post “10 Things Meeting Professionals Need to Know About Food Allergies” I mentioned that wheat, eggs and milk are three of the top eight foods that cause 90 percent of all allergic reactions in people worldwide. As part of my continuing recognition of Food Allergy Awareness Week (May 11-18), I’m going to provide a closer look at wheat, egg and milk allergies and where they are found in meeting menus. So many foods these days are made with wheat, egg and/or milk that allergic individuals should pay close attention to the ingredients of just about everything they eat. Reactions from…

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10 Things Event Professionals Need to Know About Food Allergies

Event professionals and their catering partners must be prepared to meet the needs of food-allergic event participants. It could mean the difference between an enjoyable experience or the unfortunate death of an attendee. In honor of Food Allergy Awareness Week (May 11-18), here are 10 things you should know. FACT #1 Globally, researchers estimate 220-250 million people may suffer from a food allergy. In the US, nearly 15 million people have food allergies. In Europe, 17 million people are afflicted. FACT #2 A study released by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2013 notes that the prevalence…

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Event Budgeting

How to Keep Dietary Restrictions from Sinking Your Event Budget

Meeting planners are worried about many things when thinking about accommodating guests with special dietary needs, but one of the major fears is the cost. This concern needs to be addressed up front and throughout the planning and budgeting process with both your suppliers and your attendees so you aren't sinking your event budget. Take a recent question I received after a webinar I gave for Collinson Media. Cathy just hosted a conference for 4,300 people. Of the 458 special meal requests she received, 41 were halal and 12 were kosher. With seven meal functions during the three-day conference, that equated…

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gluten-free oatmeal with fruit is a great solution for diabetics, celiacs and food allergic guests.

How to Read a Banquet Menu

This is the first in a series of posts on evaluating hotel banquet menus for event attendees with dietary needs. If you’ve done your due diligence and asked your guests if they have dietary needs, great job! – but that’s only half the battle. Trying to figure out what to serve everyone when you have guests with food allergies, celiac disease or diabetes, others who are vegan, vegetarians or raw and yet others with cultural or religious beliefs that require a specific diet can be daunting. Allergens are often disguised even in well-labeled banquet menus, and just because you’ve offered…

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