Food allergy week is an important annual initiative of Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia. The campaign aims to raise awareness about food allergy in Australia as the numbers are growing at an alarming rate. One in 10 babies born in Australia today will develop a food allergy.

An allergic reaction can quickly become life threatening and people can die from a food allergy. The risk cannot be removed however it can be managed.

A food allergy is an immune system response to a food protein that the body mistakenly believes is harmful. This in turn makes the immune system release massive amounts of chemicals, triggering symptoms that can affect a person’s breathing, gastrointestinal tract, skin and/or heart.

An allergic reaction may present in the form of hives, swelling of the lips, face and eyes, abdominal pain, vomiting, swelling of the tongue, swelling of the throat, breathing difficulty, persistent dizziness and/collapse.

As a community it is vital we know how to minimise the risk of reaction, to know what to do if a reaction happens, and to understand and support family, friends and colleagues living with food allergies.