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Launch of the Food Allergy Information Centre

The impact of adverse reactions to food – dairy products and gluten being two major issues – is increasingly in the public spotlight.  Now The Graham Agency has created a central reference point with advice on where to learn more on the subject, tips on how to spot what are often almost “hidden” ingredients, especially in processed and pre-prepared foods, plus some gluten and dairy-free recipes.

A new area of our website contains links to medical sites with relevant information about learning the essential difference between food intolerance and food allergies.

It also gives practical information both for those suffering from these conditions and those caring for them:  parents, carers, nannies, housekeepers and cooks, by showing how sufferers can still eat well and enjoy “normal” meals, simply by adopting two easy-to-follow rules:

  • substituting new and different ingredients to produce tasty healthy foods
  • avoiding the problem ingredients in foods you are used to buying.

“We have had many questions from those working as domestic staff; caring for the elderly, nannies looking after childre, and cooks and parents worried about how to proceed once a family member has been diagnosed as either having an intolerance to gluten, being coeliac, or being told to avoid all dairy products because of either an intolerance or allergic reaction, and thought we could assist in managing these issues,” says agency principal Diana Graham.

“Food professionals: chefs, restaurateurs and former chefs, some with personal experience of these adverse food reactions, together with wives and mothers who have accrued a treasure trove of knowledge to pass on, have graciously agreed to input their own knowledge without payment.  They have volunteered in this way to help spread the word that coping with food allergies can be easily managed.”

One of those involved, writer and former chef Ken says:  “There are two striking issues to be recognised and taken into account when managing a gluten and dairy free regime.  Firstly,how often dairy products in various forms appear not just in everyday foods, but in medicines.”

“Secondly, how aware one must be, even with food labelling, of what is NOT spelt out in relation to dairy and gluten ingredients.  This must be understood in order to buy food products safely.”

“Having to avoid gluten and all dairy products is not a problem and sufferers of all ages should not feel socially left out or stigmatised, it’s simply a different way of doing things.  Being a vegetarian, for example, is a food regimen, gluten and dairy free is simply another,” he explains.

“Those going along this route, however, need valid and accurate information about identifying those products within foods which they may buy – and that is not always as straightforward as it sounds.  This is where we can help.”

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