The Anaphylaxis Campaign was launched in 1994 to spread information about life-threatening food allergies (e.g. to peanuts).

The previous October, 17-year-old Sarah Reading had died after eating a lemon meringue pie served to her in the restaurant of a well-known department store. The dessert contained peanuts and Sarah suffered a fatal allergic reaction.

The Campaign was launched by a small group of parents, including Sarah’s father David. Immediately they became inundated with calls for advice and information. The vast majority of these enquiries came from the parents of children who suffer serious allergic reactions to peanuts, tree nuts, or both. Occasionally other foods and substances were implicated, such as milk, eggs, soya, sesame, shellfish, insect stings and natural rubber (latex). In many cases there had been life-threatening episodes.

The Campaign is a membership-based organisation which provides information and guidance, primarily to its members and to potential members, but also to the media, health professionals and food companies. There is also a strong campaigning role, particularly in the areas of product labelling and allergy services.

By early 2000, the Campaign had attracted 5,500 members but prominent allergists are confident this is just the tip of the iceberg. Taking peanut allergy alone, it is estimated that one in 100 children is affected.

Website: The Anaphylaxis Campaign

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