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Anaphylaxis charity backs calls for national register of severe reactions

13 November 2019 by
Anaphylaxis charity backs calls for national register of severe reactions

An anaphylaxis charity has backed calls for a national register of "severe food anaphylactic reactions” following recent hearings into the allergy-related deaths of several young people.

At an inquest into the death of teenager Owen Carey, who died aged 18 after eating grilled chicken coated in buttermilk from burger chain Byron, assistant coroner Briony Ballard had expressed concern that there was “no national register recording the circumstances of these deaths which could then be analysed and learned from by allergy specialists”.

Anaphylaxis Campaign, a charity that supports people with severe allergies, said it “wholeheartedly supports” calls for a national register.

“It is reported that every year around 20 people will die from anaphylaxis," the charity continued.

“As such, it appears fatal anaphylaxis rates are ‘stable’, however we believe that there are lessons that can be and need to be learned from every tragic death related to allergies. If the lessons identified from each tragic death are reviewed and actions are taken to either improve service, tighten legislation, increase awareness etc, we would hope such tragedies could be reduced.”

An inquest held in September heard that Carey died in April 2017 while celebrating his 18th birthday. The inquest heard that he is believed to have told Byron staff about his dairy allergy but was not told his meal included buttermilk.

Fatal food anaphylaxis has been responsible for around 150 deaths in the UK over the past 25 to 30 years.

From October 2021 all pre-packed food will be required to display full ingredient and allergen labelling, known as Natasha's Law, following the death of 15-year-old Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, who had a fatal allergic reaction to a Pret A Manger baguette containing sesame in 2016.

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