Integrated Approaches to Food Allergen and Allergy Risk Management – iFAAM –
Total Budget: € 12,244,563
Consortium: 38 partners
Duration: 1 Mar 2013 – 28 Feb 2017
Up to 20 million European citizens suffer from food allergy. However, management of both food allergy (by patients and health practitioners) and allergens (by industry) is thwarted by a lack of evidence to either prevent food allergy from developing or protect adequately those who are already allergic.
iFAAM has developed evidence-based approaches and tools for management of allergens in food. iFAAM’s approach has built on e-Health concepts to allow full exploitation of complex data obtained from this project as well as previous and ongoing studies, maximising sharing and linkage of data through the development of an informatics platform called ‘Allerg-e-lab’.
Role of ILSI Europe
ILSI Europe, via its Food Allergy Task Force (p. 43), coordinated effective dissemination of project results to all stakeholder groups to ensure improvements in quality of life and food safety for allergic consumers and increased competitiveness of the European food industry. An interdisciplinary steering committee worked together with ILSI Europe on the organisation of the first iFAAM workshop on ‘Tiered Risk Assessment Approaches’ (2 March 2015, Brussels, Belgium) and the second stakeholder consultation ‘Application of Food Allergen Management Tools’ (25-26 April 2016, European Commission’s Joint Research Centre – Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements, EC JRC–IRMM, Geel, Belgium). The outcomes of the latter were presented at a stakeholder workshop organised by the European Commission’s Directorate General (DG) Santé and EC JRC-IRMM on ‘May Contain Labelling’ on 16-17 June 2016 at EC JRC–IRMM, Geel, Belgium. A final iFAAM workshop on ‘Making May Contain Transparent’ was held on 13-14 December 2016 in Winchester, UK. A short guide to current labelling for allergic consumers and health care professionals was presented, together with the results from industry and consumer Precautionary Allergen Labelling surveys.
The resulting holistic strategies aim to reduce the burden of food allergies in Europe and beyond, whilst enabling the European food industry to compete in the global market place. Stakeholders have been integrated to deliver harmonised approaches, including risk assessors or managers working on population risk, food industry professionals who manage allergens to ensure consumer safety, health care practitioners who provide food allergy management plans and dietary advice and allergic consumers to manage individual risk.