Each May, Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) raises food allergy awareness through a week of activities, events, and education. This year, Food Allergy Awareness Week kicked off May 9 and will run through May 15.
Food allergies are severe and sometimes life-threatening conditions that affect more than 32 million Americans, including about 1 in 13 children, according to FARE. A food allergy occurs when the immune system overreacts to a protein in a food. Reactions range from mild (e.g., hives) to severe (e.g., anaphylactic shock).
In the United States, the top eight allergens are peanuts, tree nuts, milk, egg, fish, shellfish, soy, and wheat. The passage of the Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education, and Research (FASTER) Act in April added sesame to the list of allergens that will be legally required on U.S. ingredient labels by January 1, 2023. This legislation is a result of strong advocacy for and awareness of food allergies.
Always aiming to set the standard, SAGE already includes sesame in our allergen filter along with the top eight allergens above and three more for Canada (mustard, gluten, and sulfites). We keep community members informed about the ingredients and allergens in each dish so they can easily find which menu items meet their needs.
Our open-kitchen policy encourages community members with food allergies to communicate with their SAGE team. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve continued to offer delicious allergen-free meals and provide extensive virtual training for our teams.
Currently, there isn’t a cure for food allergies, but there are steps you can take to advocate for people with food allergies. Even if no one in your family has a food allergy, your children may have friends who do. Use FARE resources about how to Be a PAL® to educate your children about food allergies and how to keep friends safe. Even though sharing is usually a good thing, sharing food could be dangerous. Get more tips during the FARE events this week!