The start of school is just around the corner and that means parents and caregivers need to start thinking about school lunches for kids—which also means thinking about food allergies and restricted foods in their new classrooms. One man wants to help with that.
Joey Salmingo is on a mission to teach kids, parents and schools about the devastating impact of food allergies. His sister, Joanna, died after having a severe allergic reaction to a dessert that wasn’t clearly labelled. She lost consciousness, suffered brain damage and died in hospital. At 30 years old, it was her first severe reaction. The dessert was Japanese mochi and is typically made with rice and ice cream, but this one contained cashew milk. Johanna was allergic to tree nuts, peanuts and shellfish. The dessert was from a self-serve display in a grocery store and the ingredients weren’t listed on the product, but on a card near the display.
Following her death, Joey and his family were inspired to the start THE FATE initiative to educate people and businesses on life-threatening food allergies and training on how to respond to severe reactions. FATE stands for Food Allergy Training and Education.
The initiative provides a variety of seminars tailored to students and schools, public care workers, the food service industry and airlines. It’s targeted towards those who don’t have food allergies and might not know just how severe they can be.
According to Health Canada, the foods associated with 90 per cent of allergic reactions in Canada are: eggs, milk, mustard, peanuts, shellfish, fish, sesame seeds, soy, sulphites, tree nuts and wheat.
To learn more about FATE, check out their website and watch the video clip above.