HomeLatest news from Food Allergy Canada – September 2019

Latest news from Food Allergy Canada – September 2019

September 13, 2019

Get an update on our National Food Allergy Action Plan, read the latest EpiPen® supply update, meet the winners of the 2019 Sabrina Shannon Memorial Award, and read an important notice from Health Canada on mustard allergy. Plus, now that school is in session, check out our many resources to help you and your child confidently manage food allergy throughout the school year.

Latest update on our National Food Allergy Action Plan

National Food Allergy Action Plan cover
Click to read the full plan

Thank you for your ongoing support following the launch of our National Food Allergy Action Plan on Parliament Hill in May. Since then, we have continued to engage key stakeholders in government, healthcare, and food safety on making food allergy a priority.

The Plan has also been featured in various provinces across Canada last month, including the Toronto Star and Vancouver Sun.

As you know we are campaigning for the Plan to be part of the platform for the next federal election, we are urging leaders to make food allergy a public health priority in Canada. Read the full plan and our 2020 budget submission to the federal government.

Help us in our advocacy with government. Watch for our campaign toolkit that will launch next week!

New EpiPen supply update

EpiPen auto-injector

This past July, Pfizer Canada, the Canadian distributor for EpiPen®, reported that they may experience supply constraints in the coming months of the EpiPen 0.3 mg dose in Canada.

On September 11th, Pfizer provided a new update to advise that during the coming weeks they are expecting tight supplies and variability in pharmacy-level access of the EpiPen 0.3 mg auto-injectors. This means, that the auto-injectors may not be immediately available when you fill your script.

Pfizer has noted that the product is still being shipped to Canada and they are continuing to manage available EpiPen 0.3 mg supply through measured national allocation to wholesalers.

We have been in contact with Pfizer Canada and Health Canada to learn more about this situation.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • The supply constraints are limited to the 0.3 mg EpiPen auto-injector only and does not apply to the 0.15 mg EpiPen Jr® auto-injector.
  • Pfizer is managing the supply carefully and working closely with distributors to help ensure patients have access to this medication. 
  • At this time, we’ve been advised that you may not be able to fill your full prescription of the EpiPen 0.3 mg auto-injectors.

To help you better manage throughout this period, we recommend the following:

  • If you have an expired EpiPen auto-injector or one that is about to expire, check with your local pharmacy(s) to have it replaced. You may need to go to more than one pharmacy.
  • Please note that the expiry date applies to the last day of the month noted on the device.
  • As always, continue to follow our tips for preventing reactions.

Advocating on your behalf

  • We are working with Health Canada and other stakeholders on a long-term goal to ensure there will always be more than one supplier of this life-saving medication.
  • Ensuring better access to epinephrine is one of our priorities in the National Food Allergy Action Plan.
  • Help us advocate during this federal election to make the National Food Allergy Action Plan a priority. Watch for a campaign toolkit next week to learn more on how you can become more involved.

We will continue to follow this issue closely and keep you updated.

For further information or questions on the EpiPen supply allocations, please contact Pfizer Canada directly at 1-877-EPIPEN1 (1-877-374-7361). It’s important they hear from you directly.

Mustard allergy: Updated information regarding precautionary labelling

Various forms of mustard.

Health Canada has updated guidance on mustard allergy and the use of precautionary allergen labelling (e.g. “may contain”) for pre-packaged products. This updated information specifically addresses new findings that will help minimize the use of precautionary allergen labelling for mustard on some cereal grain products.

Every Canadian has a right to know what’s in their food. We will continue advocating for clearer precautionary labelling so you can get accurate ingredient information and can make safe choices.

Congratulations to Anita Shah and Victoria Jackman: the 2019 recipients of the Sabrina Shannon Memorial Award

The Sabrina Shannon Memorial Award is dedicated to the life of Sabrina Shannon, an inspiring teenager who died from anaphylaxis in 2003. This award is sponsored by Food Allergy Canada and made possible through an educational grant from TD Securities.

Two individuals in post-secondary school who have contributed significantly to the Canadian food allergy community are selected for a $1,000 award each.

This year, our winners are Anita Shah and Victoria Jackman. We commend them for their strong lifelong commitment to raising allergy awareness and educating others.

Back to school: Have a successful and allergy-safe school year!

Now that school is underway, check out the ways you and your child can confidently manage food allergy throughout the school year. We have videos, recorded webinars, online courses, and tips for all ages and stages. Discover our resourceful links below.

Watch the “Spell it Out” PSA

Check out the “Spell It Out” public service announcement (PSA) created in the US by various food allergy patient organizations, led by End Allergies Together. This video is a fun and educational way to learn about the importance of how and when to use epinephrine as the critical first-line treatment for anaphylaxis. It also addresses the impact of food allergy bullying. Watch the PSA.

Get informed with our recorded webinars on managing food allergy

Allergy Aware flyer
Download this flyer and share!

Take a FREE course at AllergyAware.ca and share with teachers and peers

Sign your child up for Allergy/Pals online mentorship program

The 8-week online fall session begins September 28th. Learn about the benefits of the program in the video below and register your 7 to 15-year-old now!

Learn more about the Allergy Pals/Allies online mentorship program in our upcoming webinar on September 18th. In this webinar, you will learn exactly how the programs work, who they are for and what benefits they provide youth. Register now!


Check out our downloadable resources

You’ll find posters, fast facts, topic sheets (like food allergy myths, stress and anxiety, epinephrine, diagnosis, what is food allergy, and more), checklists, tips, and more! Download our resources and tips and share with others.