Enough has been written about the recent regulation changes permitted by the FDA regarding the labelling policies of food items. The reasons given for this drastic action was ‘supply chain disruptions from COVID-19.’ Reactions from the allergy community were swift and fast coming, with outrage, fear and shock being expressed across the online communities by those effected by food allergies as well as those who aren’t.
With 32 million Americans affected by food allergies, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who is not either personally affect or know someone who is. What is perhaps the most painful and disappointing part of this saga is that over the past few years there have been many advances towards a safer world for people with food allergies, with changes taking effect in the labelling policies and restaurant regulations, school education towards food allergies and overall acceptance and awareness towards the people affected and their challenges. In one unexpected swipe the FDA seems to have taken the world many steps backwards.
Although this policy is currently still standing there have still been a few positive counter-actions that have taken place since the FDA modifications.
An online petition started by Rachel Pell called, “Tell FDA NO!” has been stunningly successful with over 13,000 signatures at the time of this writing. If anyone affected by the new changes in labelling is feeling down- all they have to do is read through some of the comments written and not only by those with personal connections to food allergies, to be encouraged. The comments highlight just how far food allergy awareness has come.
These are just a few of the comments:
If you havent signed yet, or you would like to read the comments, click here.
Snacksafely.com has reached out to all companies who are part of their Manufacture Partnership Program and have asked them to “submit statements pledging that they will not substitute ingredients without stating the updated ingredient list on their packaging.” As of this writing, 48 companies have written pledges. Click here for the updated version.
Due to these new regulations, consumers with food allergies will now need to contact companies of products that they previously used and trusted for updated allergy information about products they still wish to use. Usually, once a consumer receives a response they share the answer with the Facebook group they are a part of. While this is a great way to share resources, the many food allergy groups on Facebook are not connected and the information is not shared around with everyone who would benefit. Therefore, as a service to the food allergy community, Foodallergyconcierge asks anyone who has contacted a manufacture regarding updated allergy information to send them the information they received so we can combine the data and share it with the food allergy community.
The collected information can be found on our website here or through our Facebook page as soon as the information comes in. Please help others with food allergies and save their time and yours by sending in any information you have researched so that it can be beneficial for everyone.
While stocking up on all food items isn’t a practical solution, it is worthwhile to buy a few months supply of a product that you feel will be difficult to live without, like breakfast cereal or a certain brand of pasta. Although we hope our initiative mentioned above will be successful, companies are not obligated to divulge any information about the contents and circumstances surrounding their products, not listed on their labels as required by the FDA and some companies do not share extra information willingly.
We sincerely hope that these changes are either very temporary or halted altogether and we wish everyone a continued and safe year. We will get through this- together.
During our recent visit to Israel, we really struggled to find food for our son who has anaphylactic level allergies to egg and sesame. We approached both restaurants and hotels and were told they were unable or unwilling to take responsibility for preparing his food.
After learning about Dr. Eliana on-line, we contacted her in the hopes that she could provide a ‘normal’ restaurant experience for our family.
Both she and Shani were meticulous in their preparations with the restaurants to ensure that our son had a wonderful and safe experience.
We truly appreciate their efforts to take care of our son, and to provide us with a lovely vacation experience.
T.M., Chicago, USA
We want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the amazing gift you have given us over this Pesach- the gift of having you with us!!!!
We have NEVER felt more comfortable, calm, and at ease than we did these past 10 days. Your warmth, professionalism, kindness, and care shown through in all that you did.
My children are so grateful that they were able to be with you this Pesach. You made sure that they were so well looked after and they felt so at ease and comfortable with you! You were so amazing and approachable to them! And they LOVED all the food you so amazingly prepared (supervised allergy-free food preparation, managed menus) for them!
It’s very difficult for us to trust people when it comes to our kids and allergies. You magically were able to take away ALL of our anxieties, and nervousness (and we don’t give that away so easily!!)
We can never fully thank you enough. We truly feel that you instantly became part of our family and we look forward to G-d willing being able to be with you and plan amazing trips with you many many many more times!!!!
Thank you and may Hashem bless you for the work you do. My son Jacob said your allergy card has been very helpful. I am so grateful- beyond words.
L.R., NY, NY
Thank you for delivering our allergy free baked goods to our hotel. We just tasted the focaccia and it was delicious!
All the best,
S.C., New Jersey
We can't thank you enough for assembling this top-notch team of specialists to work with our daughter while she is in Israel.
T.G., Philadelphia, PA
"Food Allergy Concierge assisted us with a very helpful, detailed customized allergy card in Hebrew. The Allergy card was extremely helpful for multiple allergies and allowed us to eat safely in several eateries and hotels. Highly recommended.”
G.A. Illinois USA