Following a preliminary study on food allergy safety and preventive work in the country, The Swedish Food Agency (Livsmedelsverket) and the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) have proposed, based on their findings, concrete measures to make food safer for Swedes with food allergies, which includes the development of a national strategy.
According to Livsmedelsverket, more than 100,000 people in Sweden have some form of food allergy. However, approximately 10 percent of food companies provide incorrect information about allergenic ingredients. To address this, Livsmedelsverket and Socialstyrelsen were commissioned by the Swedish government in August 2022 to carry out a preliminary study about how preventive work in the area of food allergies could be developed, and how people with food allergies could be better protected. The recently published findings of the study highlight the need for new knowledge and additional authorities, suggesting several courses of action:
- For Livsmedelsverket and Socialstyrelsen to draw up a national strategy that identifies areas that require coordination and clarify the responsibilities of different authorities
- For the Swedish Agency for Health Technology Assessment and Assessment of Social Services (SBU) to produce a systematic literature review that provides an overview of existing evidence and knowledge gaps in the field of food allergy healthcare and control
- For Socialstyrelsen, based on SBU’s literature review, to produce education on food allergy reactions for the healthcare sector
- For the Swedish government to allocate resources to Livsmedelsverket to develop and execute a strategic plan that includes: designing effective agency communications with those who have food allergies, expanding the agency’s capacity for continuous scientific assessment of allergens and allergenicity of new foods, identifying how to improve reporting for unexpected allergic reactions, and promoting the early introduction of allergenic foods to children based on current science.
Livsmedelsverket and Socialstyrelsen hope that this new, broad effort and the implementation of the proposed measures across the healthcare and food chain will lead to fewer people suffering from unexpected food allergen reactions in Sweden.
Source : Food Safety