ILSI Europe – Symposium on Frontiers in Food Allergy and Allergen Risk Assessment and Management, Madrid, April 2018

Robin Sherlock, Allergen Bureau Technical Advisor Analysis and Sherlock Food Allergen Risk Management, recently presented on behalf of the Allergen Bureau on the VITAL® Program as a food allergen risk assessment and management tool to a broad audience of clinicians, consumer groups, risk assessors, regulators and industry representatives. Robin’s presentation was delivered at the ILSI Europe Symposium on Frontiers in Food Allergy and Allergen Risk Assessment and Management in Madrid.

The symposium provided a wonderful opportunity for the Allergen Bureau to showcase the VITAL Program to an audience that, although familiar with the work of the VITAL Scientific Expert Panel (VSEP) and the development of the Reference Doses (Taylor et al 2014) used within the VITAL Program, were not necessarily familiar with the overall systematic and consistent approach to food allergen risk assessment and risk management provided by the complete VITAL Program itself.

The symposium was a venue for the presentation of the outcomes of the iFAAM project and the work of the ILSI Europe Food Allergy Task Force Expert Group and included a workshop on the topic of Tolerable Risk.

Symposium topics included: the trajectory of food allergy from birth to school age; the development of a registry for recording of anaphylaxis from more than 100 allergy centres in Europe; work looking at the possibility of predicting severity of severe reactions; tools that may help reduce the development of food allergy by early introduction of food allergens into infant diet; the application of analysis for food allergens in quantitative risk assessment; the impact of external factors like exercise and diet on the severity of reactions; tools for evidence-based risk assessment and management; and the appropriate application of precautionary allergen labelling and its place in risk management for consumers.

Several members of the VSEP were present and updated the audience on their work. Professor Rene Crevel gave a review of the work of the ILSI Europe Food Allergy Task Force, Professor Katie Allen discussed the Australian experience in developing a cohesive strategy for Food Allergy Research, and Dr Joe Baumert reviewed population dose distribution and potential gaps that may need to be addressed. Professor Steve Taylor drew the threads of the meeting together, providing a final summary that reviewed how far work in all areas of food allergy had progressed, framing a discussion on where the continuing challenges are for all stakeholders and recommending a commitment from the attendees to continue to contribute to improve public health.

Much of the work presented in the symposium will be made available through peer reviewed publications over the next months.

View Robin’s presentation VITAL® 2.0 as a Risk Assessment and Allergen Management Tool