HomeLatest news from Food Allergy Canada – January 2022

Latest news from Food Allergy Canada – January 2022

January 14, 2022

Check out our 2021 year in review, find out how your donations helped to #MakeFoodAllergyCount, and learn how you can support our goals this year. Help us plan our educational webinar programming by letting us know what topics you are interested in. Register your 7-15-year-old for the winter session of our Allergy Pals/Allies online mentorship program. Learn about our 2022 community awards and apply or nominate others. Plus, read our reminders for a safe new year, including steps to take after reacting to a food that you thought was safe.

2021 year in review – thank you for your support!

It has been another action-packed year of providing educational programming virtually and advocating on your behalf. Read about some of our key accomplishments and how we’ve made big impacts with your support. Plus, find out how you can help us continue making transformational change and donate now. We can’t do our important work without you.

2021 accomplishments

Helped you make informed decisions around COVID-19 vaccines

COVID-19 vaccines and food allergy webinar panel

Since the start of the pandemic, we pivoted our programming to offer more educational opportunities virtually, as well as created medically-reviewed content around managing food allergy during this time. In 2021, we hosted 4 key webinars related to COVID-19 vaccines and food allergy with experts and ensured you had the credible information you needed to make informed decisions.

Goal for this year: Continue to ensure you have access to medical experts to provide you with evidence-based information on the leading hot topics so you can make the best decisions for you and your family, and continue living confidently.

Empowered Canadians to recognize and treat anaphylaxis

Know it. Treat it. campaign

With our Know it. Treat it. campaign, webinars, and educational content on anaphylaxis management, we are helping to take the fear out of anaphylaxis and instill confidence around treatment.

Goal for this year: Leverage our Know it. Treat it campaign to continue our focus on helping to ensure Canadians know how to recognize and promptly treat anaphylaxis with epinephrine.

Continued our advocacy on making “may contain” meaningful to help ensure all Canadians know what is in their food

Couple choosing jar of marmalade, reading nutrition label

Food labelling issues and variations in allergen management practices within the food industry have limited safe food options and contributed to a lack of confidence in precautionary allergen labelling (“may contain” statements). Last year, we continued working with many key stakeholders on addressing ingredient labelling gaps, including academia, the food manufacturing industry, government, and more.

Goal for this year: Continue our initiatives to address “may contain” labelling within food manufacturing, and continue our collaborations with industry, government, and other key stakeholders to advocate for enhanced allergen labelling practices. Canadians need easy-to-access ingredient information to make informed and safe food choices.

Provided evidence-based education and support at diagnosis and during critical life transitions

Parents With Baby Working In Office At Home Looking At Laptop Smiling

We have increased the confidence on managing food allergy in over 30,000 families and youth by empowering them through small-group mentorship and educational programs and resources, like webinars with medical experts, and content-rich handbooks.

Goal for this year: Continue providing Canadians with robust educational programming, resources, and support, particularly during critical life stages, like upon diagnosis, starting school, leaving home and more. The goal is to ensure no one is left behind and that everyone has access to critical information, resources, and support needed to manage with confidence.

Helped to build engaged and supportive communities

AllergyAware flyer 2021

We helped to make schools safer with over 100,000 AllergyAware.ca course completions since launch, ensuring teachers and school staff are more educated on food allergy and anaphylaxis.

Goal for this year: As food allergy is inconsistently understood, we are working to educate the next generation by supporting food allergy education in school curriculums to normalize food allergy, increase empathy, and build community skills around anaphylaxis management.

Learn more about our key accomplishments and donate today to help us continue to #MakeFoodAllergyCount

2021 impact in numbers
Click to view the full visual

Discover how donations from the community helped us make an impact this year in our 2021 impact in numbers visual. Be a part of our donor community and donate today to help us continue to #MakeFoodAllergyCount.

Survey: Tell us which topics you want featured in our webinar series

Your Feedback Matters, message on note paper, computer and coffee on table

Have your say! We want to know what food allergy-related topics you are most interested in learning more about this year. Your feedback will help inform our 2022 educational webinar programming priorities.

Do you wish there was a topic on asthma and food allergy, or on FPIES or EoE, want to learn more about the science behind anaphylaxis and why epinephrine is first-line treatment, interested in how you can empower your child on managing confidently? Let us know! Plus, you have the opportunity to include topics that are of most interest to you if you don’t see it in our list.

Your feedback is instrumental in helping us serve you better! Please take a few minutes to complete our short survey.

Be sure to visit foodallergycanada.ca/events to register for upcoming webinars throughout the year.

Register now: Allergy Pals/Allies winter session for kids 7-15

The free 8-week online mentorship program begins soon on Saturday, January 29th! Sign up your 7-15-year-old now, so they don’t miss out on an amazing experience connecting with other children living with food allergy.

These online sessions are fun, engaging and have received outstanding feedback from previous participants. Watch the video below to learn about this program works, how it has impacted Benjamin’s life, and register your child now to save their spot!

“What I love about Allergy Pals is learning how to deal with tough situations, like with chefs, friends, sometimes bullies or even family… Using role playing they taught us how to deal with those situations… Allergy Pals has totally made me feel better about my allergies.”

– Benjamin, past Allergy Pals participant

Applications now open: Our 2022 Community Awards

Community award graphic

Enter to win or nominate others for our awards/grants! Learn more about them below and discover last year’s inspiring winners. Apply early and please share with others who may be eligible. All applications close April 4, 2022.

Pryde Family Grant

Graduate student smiling holding a folder

For graduate students, medical students, and healthcare professionals with an interest in food allergy/anaphylaxis. The Pryde Family Grant offers two grants valued at $500 each to help cover the costs of attending an academic program or event related to food allergy. Read about last year’s recipients, Connor Prosty and Rishma Chooniedass.

Robyn Allen Leadership Award

Robyn Allen

For a healthcare professional, industry representative, government representative, or an individual who has exemplified extraordinary leadership and dedication in the advancement of food allergy awareness and education. Read about last year’s recipient, Dr. Waleed Alqurashi.

Sabrina Shannon Memorial Award

Sabrina Shannon, young Ontario girl who passed away in 2003 due to an anaphylactic reaction

For students entering their first year or continuing their studies at a post-secondary institution. Students can apply for a chance to receive one of two awards valued at $1,000 each. Applicants do not need to have food allergies to be eligible for the award. Read about last year’s recipients, Marissa Kaminski and Ella VanderLelie.

Reminders for a safe new year

The new year is well underway, and we’re here to help you manage your food allergy with confidence. Brush up on your food allergy knowledge with our resources below and be sure to share with others to create a community that is allergy aware. Plus, find out what to do if you have an allergic reaction to a food that you thought was safe.

Epinephrine first and the role of Benadryl® in anaphylaxis

Learn why epinephrine is the first-line treatment for anaphylaxis, and what role, if any, antihistamines have during a reaction. You’ll build your confidence in learning how to recognize anaphylaxis and what to do in case you or someone you know experiences it.

How to use epinephrine auto-injectors

Learn how to use the different auto-injectors in Canada, including EpiPen®, ALLERJECT® and Emerade™, and how these devices are used to treat anaphylaxis. You’ll gain a better understanding of the device options, their administration techniques, and hear various questions about anaphylaxis addressed.

Real allergic reaction stories from youth

In this video, you’ll learn how to recognize the signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis, the importance of using your epinephrine auto-injector, and hear empowering reaction stories from youth and their lessons learned.

Anaphylaxis 101 video – Understand the basics

Watch this two-minute video and learn about anaphylaxis, including causes, symptoms, and treatment.

AllergyAware.ca free online courses

Learn the basics of food allergy and anaphylaxis, how to prevent reactions from happening, and what to do if a reaction takes place.

AllergyAware flyer 2021

The Ultimate Guidebook for Teens

This book for teens covers everything from food allergy and dating, dining out, and travelling, to emotional aspects such as frustration, anxiety and being confident with food allergy.

Steps to take after reacting to a food that you thought was safe: Reporting to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency


Whether you have a food allergy or buy for someone who does, it’s so important to read the labels of pre-packaged foods every time to determine if products are safe to eat.

Even so there are cases when an allergic reaction happens with a food that was thought to be safe according to the label.

If you’ve had an allergic reaction to a product that you believe contained a priority food allergen, but it was not listed on the ingredient list, follow these steps:

  • Save a sample of the product and its packaging, or any unopened product with the same lot number.
  • Contact the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) through their online form or other service channels. Your submission will be referred to an inspector for follow up.
  • Keep a record of all your correspondence with the CFIA, including emails and calls. For calls, note the date and time, name of the person you spoke to, and what they said.
  • Contact the food manufacturer who produced the product to report the incident; it’s essential they know and take this matter seriously. You can also request a follow up call once they have investigated the matter.
  • Contact your allergist for follow up on your allergic reaction.

Canada has good allergen labelling laws, however, sometimes errors can occur and it’s important to report incidents to the CFIA so that appropriate measures can be taken.

Learn more

Real-life experience with reporting to the CFIA

Find more resources and tools at foodallergycanada.ca/resources, and check out more videos at foodallergycanada.ca/videos.