Talking Allergens

Tuesday, 23 October, 2018

Nestlé Professional attended the Institute of Hospitality in Healthcare’s annual conference in Sydney. Allergens and their management featured highly on the program and our nutritionist Karen Kingham found the time to catch up with Health Management Educator for Anaphylaxis Australia Jody Aiken, to find out about what the National Allergy Strategy is doing to support foodservices in allergen management.

The National Allergy Strategy (NAS) is a partnership between the two leading medical and patient organisations for allergy in Australia, The Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) and Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia (A&AA).  The aim of this partnership is to improve the health and quality of life for those with allergic disease.


“With hospital admissions for life threatening reactions to food increasing four fold in the last 14years, the food services sector has an obvious role to play in protecting the food allergic customer” says Jodie. “And in canvassing the sectors needs it was apparent that clear and consistent information was needed to help operators understand their role in food allergen management” she explains.


Karen Kingham and Anaphlaxis Australia


Also of note are the differing needs of food services in the commercial and healthcare sectors. Allergen management in health care comes with the added complexities of the vulnerable people they support along with the fact that food is often handled by more than just food service staff.

“As a result of these differences, resources developed for hospitals and aged care homes need to be tailored to accommodate this difference as well as the variations in practice that exist from one healthcare site to another” explains Jodie.

All about Allergens is a free, fast and easy online training course developed by the NAS specifically for food services. It can be found on the All about Allergens Resource Hub along with a host of other useful documents and templates that can support both commercial and healthcare food service operators in improving their allergen management practices.

And, because allergen management out of the home is not just the responsibility of food services, “a community education website has been developed to educate allergic consumers about their role in managing their food allergy” reports Jodie.


The National Allergy Strategy will be engaging with food service stakeholders over the next year to develop minimum standards for food allergen management training in food service and also to develop a new online training course specifically for cooks and chefs. For more information or to find out how you can be involved make contact via the website.