The IDDBA is addressing the growing health concern of food allergens with its second annual year-long Safe Food Matters! Campaign, this time focusing on allergens.
"Food allergies are a daily concern for some customers that shop retail fresh perimeter departments," said Mary Kay O'Connor, VP of Education, in the press release. "The consumption of a specific food protein that some people are allergic to can quickly set off a reaction that turns a customer's shopping trip into a medical situation.”
According to a CDC report, food allergies in children have increased 50% between 1997 and 2011, with 15 million now afflicted.
"A key component of minimizing the likelihood of allergic reactions among our shoppers is awareness and education, which is the cornerstone of this year's Safe Food Matters! Focus on Allergens campaign," O’Connor added. "We're providing our members and the industries we serve with training tools and resources to assist management and retail associates in properly identifying common allergens in the products they serve and sell, as well as ways to prevent direct exposure and cross-contact."
The campaign highlights the best procedures to reduce the likelihood of allergic reactions caused by direct exposure and cross-contamination in store-level fresh perimeter departments, while emphasizing the importance of transparency in food labeling practices.
The current and expected programs for the Safe Food Matters! Focus on Allergens campaign include:
To learn more about IDDBA's Safe Food Matters! Focus on Allergens campaign, visit the website here.