Each May, Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) uses a week to encourage others to partake in activities, events, and education to help raise food allergy awareness. This year, Food Allergy Awareness Week runs May 10-16.
Food allergies are severe and sometimes life-threatening conditions that affect more than 32 million Americans, with 1 in every 13 children having a food allergy, according to FARE. In the United States, the top eight allergens are peanuts, tree nuts, milk, egg, fish, shellfish, soy, and wheat. A food allergy occurs when the immune system overreacts to a protein in a food. Reactions to a food can range from mild, such as hives, to severe, such as a person going into anaphylactic shock. Currently, there’s no cure for food allergies, so it’s especially important to help raise awareness of this medical condition.
Here at SAGE, we take food allergies very seriously. Our Managers and Team Members complete extensive training about allergens and how to minimize the risk of cross-contact in our kitchens and dining halls. We ensure all our menus have a variety of options that allow community members with food allergies to find a safe (and delicious!) meal every day. Our allergen filter provides information about the ingredients and allergens in each dish we offer so community members can make safe and informed decisions.
So what can you do at home to help raise food allergy awareness? With 1 in 13 children having a food allergy, it’s likely that your child or one of your child’s friends has a food allergy. Be sure to educate your child about what a food allergy is and how to keep friends safe, using FARE resources about how to Be a PAL. While sharing is typically encouraged, remind your child that food isn’t something to share and could be dangerous. Lastly, learn about the FARE events and information for the week!