Report: Workshop on Application of Food Allergen Management Tools, Geel, Belgium

In its aim to develop evidence-based approaches and tools for the management of allergens in food and to integrate knowledge derived from their application into food allergy management plans and dietary advice, the iFAAM project works develops a clinically validated tiered risk assessment approach for food allergens. The resulting holistic strategies will reduce the burden of food allergies in Europe and beyond, whilst enabling the European food industry to compete in the global market place. The iFAAM approach is building on e-Health concepts to allow full exploitation of complex data obtained from the work in this project, maximising sharing and linkage of data.

A second stakeholder consultation was held at the European Commission Joint Research Centre – Institute for Reference Materials and Methods, EC JRC-IRMM (Geel, BE) on 25-26 April 2016. The main objective of this stakeholder workshop was to seek critical feedback on iFAAM risk analysis tools and approaches proposed for managing the risks posed by the presence of unintended allergens in foods. This was achieved by a combination of presentations in plenary, panel discussions and break-out sessions:

• Presenting the risk analyses tools developed during iFAAM and showing how these can be integrated in managing the risk from unintended allergen presence;

• Showing how testing methodology can be embedded within the risk assessment and management process and best practice with regards to its application;

• Explaining how the integrated risk assessment approach can help to define benchmarks for precautionary allergen labelling and make labels more transparent for all stakeholders.

In total, 46 participants attended this workshop, which was co-chaired by Paul Finglas, President and Managing Director of EuroFIR (Brussels, BE), and Roland Poms, Secretary General/CEO of the MoniQA Association (Neutal, AT).

A third stakeholder consultation is planned towards the end of 2016 to discuss a more appropriate use of precautionary allergen labelling.

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