One of the many worrying and challenging things about being a nanny is having to deal with one of your charges having allergies or food intolerances. Your always on what seems to be high alert!!. The thought something happening to one of your kids doesn’t bear thinking about.
There 14 major allergens that need to be declared by food law introduced in December 2014 which if you weren’t aware of are;
- cereals containing gluten (such as Barley and Oats)
- crustaceans (prawns, crabs and lobsters
- molluscs (such as mussels and oysters
- sulphur dioxide and sulphates
- tree nuts ( such as almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, brazil nuts, cashews, pecans, pistachios and macadamia nuts
However for one young girl this labelling and accuracy was not clear enough.
In a recent program https://www.channel4.com/programmes/food-unwrapped-investigates” Food unwrapped” it highlighted Natasha Ednan-Laperouse case, a 15 years old teenager who suffered a sesame seed allergic reaction on an aircraft after eating a pre-packaged Pret sandwich due to poor labelling. Nowhere on the packaging was it clear that sesame seeds were in the flour used to make the sandwich. Her tragic death has brought about a new legislation called “Natasha’s law” which will come into force by October 21 which stipulates that there must be transparency and complete labelling of all ingredients found in pre-packaged food made on site where it is to be sold. However, if your walking into a regular cafe or restaurant they wont be forced to declare the ingredient on their menu which seems ludicrous. I f i was looking after a little one with a food allergy I would certainly not be throwing caution to the wind and taking any risks and walking in and buying anything in a cafe /restaurant not being transparent enough.
I came away shocked, after having watched the program to find out that food allergies are on the rise in the UK with almost roughly 2 million of us having food allergies. The hospitalization of children due to allergic reactions to foods has gone up by 72% in just 5 years. What’s worse is that based on the journalist research in the program, where she rang round 153 pharmacies, she found that none of them had any in stock and that there is a major supply problem of Adrenalin Auto Injectors in the UK. Parents are struggling to order any in advance either online or in pharmacies. The program highlighted the case of one particular 8 year old boy with 28 allergies who had two out of date Adrenalin Auto Injectors (like most meds they are only in date for a year). Mum was desperately trying to access these everywhere but without luck! If Seems like the government aren’t taking this seriously enough, either that, or turning a blind eye! These are children’s lives we are talking about!!
If any of you who work with families who have found it difficult sourcing out Adrenalin Auto Injectors it would be interesting to hear your stories!