The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is supporting an international study of food allergy, led by the University of Manchester and funded by the European Commission, which will involve leading experts from across the world, including the UK, Europe and the U.S. The Integrated Approaches to Food Allergen and Allergy Risk Management (iFAAM) is expected to produce a standardized approach to allergen management for companies involved in food manufacturing. It will also develop tools to inform new health advice to prevent the development of food allergies.
The team from the University of Manchester will work with 38 partners, including the FSA, the food industry and patient groups from Germany, UK and Ireland, which represent people at risk of severe allergic reactions.
Head of the UK FSA’s Allergy Branch Sue Hattersley said, “We welcome the launch of the iFAAM, which the FSA will be supporting through some of our own current research projects. Information learned through iFAAM should help to develop a more consistent approach to providing consumers with information, so they can make safe choices about the food they eat. It also has the potential to provide a greater insight into the development of food allergies, which would be helpful for parents.”
She added that the project would provide more guidance on the management of allergens in food manufacturing and production from an industry and regulatory perspective.
iFAAM, which is expected to take 3 years to complete, will also work with groups of children from several countries including the UK, who have been monitored from birth. The aim is to be able to look at development of food allergy and other allergic diseases, such as asthma or eczema, in early life.