Schools and Locked Up Epinephrine: A Dangerous Situation

Great work is done to pass legislation that supports safe, broad-based availability of epinephrine, resulting in more epinephrine in our schools. It is then discovered that much of that epinephrine is locked up in cabinets, rooms and buildings, far removed from those that might need it. Often the keys can’t be found. Read Jon’s thoughts on potentially dangerous gaps in implementation of legislation, where he refers to a recent article by Lianne Mandelbaum of No Nut Traveler for Allergic Living.

By: Jon Terry
January 25, 2023

'EPI Inside' (container) logo

Unlock the epinephrine!

By Jon Terry
March 6th, 2023

Greetings to one and all.

Work continues to ensure broad based availability of epinephrine for those managing life threatening allergies, especially in schools. In New York State, there is legislation allowing students to carry their own epinephrine, nurses to stock epinephrine and for everyone in the state to be trained and equipped to know when and how to administer epinephrine. As a result, there is more epinephrine available in the community for anaphylactic emergencies. However, much of this life saving drug currently stocked in schools is locked away in cabinets, other rooms, and even buildings and not readily available in an emergency. Often times, no one knows where the keys are. Because the timely administering of epinephrine in an emergency saves lives and the drug is harmless to everyone else, it makes no sense to keep it locked away in a school setting.

Continue Reading

FARE Thanks Senators Durbin, Duckworth for New Bill to Make Schools Safer, Help WIC Families

Join FARE in thanking Senators Duckworth and Durbin for sponsoring federal Protecting Children with Food Allergies Act to strengthen training cafeteria workers around the country receive information on recognizing and preventing food allergy reactions.

FARE Thanks Senators Durbin, Duckworth for New Bill to Make Schools Safer, Help WIC Families

Senator Tammy Duckworth (L),Senator Dick Durbin (R)

January 26, 2023 (McLean, VA) –

Today, FARE, (Food Allergy Research & Education) thanked Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth for their leadership in authoring and introducing the Protecting Children with Food Allergies Act that would strengthen food allergy training for the nation’s estimated 50,000 cafeteria workers and assist state Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) employees in providing information about recognizing and preventing food allergies to help the nearly 50% of American families relying on WIC for nutritional assistance.

“On behalf of the more than 32 million Americans suffering from life-threatening food allergies, especially the nearly 6 million children between zero and 18, FARE thanks Senators Durbin, Duckworth, and their staffs for working on this legislation for more than a year and introducing the Protecting Children with Food Allergies Act,” said FARE CEO, Sung Poblete, Phd RN. “This bill, if passed, would make an immediate impact in our nation’s nearly 98,000 public schools and among the most economically vulnerable of Americans who rely on WIC to provide their newborns with nutrition assistance.”

Continue Reading

Sesame Joins the Major Food Allergens List, FDA Says

Great news! The FASTER Act is now officially the 9th allergen requiring food manufacturers to include sesame on all food labels where sesame is present.

Sesame Joins the Major Food Allergens List, FDA Says

A pile of sesame seeds on a light blue surface

By Kristen Rogers
January 2, 2023

Sesame has joined the list of major food allergens defined by law, according to the US Food and Drug Administration.

The change, which went into effect on January 1, comes as a result of the Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education and Research Act, or FASTER Act, which was signed into law in April 2021.

The FDA has been reviewing whether to put sesame seeds on the major food allergens list — which also includes milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat and soybeans — for several years. Adding sesame to the major food allergens list means foods containing sesame will be subject to specific food allergen regulatory requirements, including those regarding labeling and manufacturing.

Sesame allergies affect people of all ages and can appear as coughing, itchy throat, vomiting, diarrhea, mouth rash, shortness of breath, wheezing and drops in blood pressure, Dr. Robert Eitches, an allergist, immunologist and attending physician at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, told CNN in 2020.

Continue Reading

People with Allergies Have to Be a Lot More Careful in 2023

While FASTER being the law of the land as of January 1, 2023, Lauren Harkawik details how food manufacturers are working against the intent of the Act by adding sesame to more foods and including it on all labels. While some grocers, restaurants and manufacturers are implementing FASTER correctly (nice job Whole Foods) many are using this work around that is endangering our community.

People With Allergies Have to Be a Lot More Careful in 2023

Olive Garden bread sticks made with sesame flour
Order of Olive Garden Breadsticks, which now contain sesame

By Lauren Harkawik
January 12, 2023

On January 1, the FASTER Act (which stands for Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education, and Research) went into effect at the federal level. One of the major elements of the law was adding sesame to the list of “major allergens” that restaurants and food manufacturers are required to flag as an ingredient. One would think this change would make it easier for people with sesame allergies to navigate eating at restaurants. Unfortunately, it could have the opposite effect.

How the FASTER Act affects people with sesame allergies

While it is true that people with sesame allergies will be better able to access the nutritional information they need in order to make decisions about what they eat, they’ll have to exercise excess caution while dining at restaurants. That’s because some food manufacturers have decided that rather than taking the extra steps to ensure their manufacturing lines don’t have any cross-contamination with sesame products, they’re adding sesame to foods that previously contained none. That way, they don’t have to alter their current processes or equipment (both costly procedures), and the allergen info can simply indicate the food has sesame in it. Because now it does.

Continue Reading

Surgeon Exposes Airline Medical Kit Deficiencies after Assisting with Flight Emergency

If you are traveling by air, have a food allergy and are at risk of anaphylaxis just how safe are you flying on an airliner? While in-flight medical emergencies are rare, the FAA requires airlines be prepared. Shiv Sudhakar reports that a surgical oncologist assisting in an in-flight emergency found issues with an airline’s preparation. Lianne Mandelbaum, founder of No Nut Traveler, explains how airlines should be prepared to assist their food allergic passengers.

Find out what the doctor found and to keep you & your safe on a flight.

Surgeon Exposes Airline Medical Kit Deficiencies after Assisting with Flight Emergency

Facing front of a jet

By Shiv Sudhakar
August 17, 2022

Dr. Andrea Merrill, a surgical oncologist in Boston, is raising awareness about the need for better airline emergency medical kits after a tweet of hers went viral recently.

She helped out on an in-flight emergency this summer — and learned a great deal.

Now, she's speaking out and hoping others step up to provide better equipment on board flights. Already, there has been response.

Continue Reading

The information provided on this site is in no way intended to be a substitute for medical advice,
diagnosis, or treatment with a licensed physician.
The Allergy Advocacy Association is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, tax-exempt organization.
Copyright 2022 © Allergy Advocacy Association, Inc. All rights reserved.  Terms & Conditions