Background and Objectives
Food allergy is of growing importance to public health, affecting consumers’ quality of life (mainly children) and impacting health
service resources. The symptoms range from a tingling sensation in the mouth to life-threatening anaphylactic shock. An agreed set of tolerable levels of risk is still missing. Minimising the risk from allergenic foods is a shared responsibility of all the stakeholders involved (patients, clinicians, food manufacturers, retailers, caterers and regulators).
Over the past 18 years the Food Allergy Task Force has contributed significantly to the understanding of food allergy as a food safety issue and the development of risk assessment approaches to address it (e.g. setting action levels). The task force has developed methodologies on how to define quantitative action levels for use in the management of allergenic foods along the food chain. Lately, the task force hosted a workshop inviting leading experts to reach an agreement on how to set and use reference
doses (see In Focus). The task force and related expert groups consist of a strong network of international experts.