Education caterers such as Caterlink, BaxterStorey and Holyroyd Howe have joined forces with the Natasha Allergy Research Foundation to help sponsor a £2.8m clinical research trial.
The study consists of a three-year oral immunotherapy trial for children and young people who have peanuts and milk allergies.
Announced in May 2022, the main objective of the research is to attest that peanut and milk products that are routinely available can be used as an alternative to expensive medicines.
Researchers believe that controlled doses administrated under medical supervision could desensitise individuals with food allergies, revealing that they would not need to avoid certain ingredients, which would make their lives much easier when eating out or ordering take away.
Major food businesses also supporting Natasha Foundation’s project includes:
The trial will be conducted by a group of researchers at the University of Southampton in partnership with Imperial College London and University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, Newcastle University, University of Glasgow and Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
Neil Fuller, MD, Caterlink, commented:
"As a school caterer, we are all too aware of the challenges that so many children, parents and families face at mealtimes when dealing with allergies.
The research conducted by Natasha's Foundation is going to be vital in helping us all understand and treat allergies and will offer some hope to people living with allergy across the UK and beyond. We are proud to support the work being undertaken."
Nadim Ednan-Laperouse, Natasha's father, added:
"We are really pleased that the WSH Group is helping us solve the burgeoning food allergy issue in society which disproportionately affects children and teenagers.
Caterers working with Natasha's Foundation are helping to pave the way to solving this once and for all and this is a good thing for the sector as a whole."
The Natasha Allergy Research Foundation was launched by the parents of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse after she tragically passed away in 2016 from a severe allergic reaction. She had a sesame allergy and was unaware that the sandwich she purchased at a Pret A Manger store had sesame seeds baked into the bread.
Thus, in October 2021, Natasha’s law came into effect requiring a complete list of ingredients and allergen labelling on every food produced on sites and pre-packed for direct sale.
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