The Anaphylaxis UK 2023 Business Symposium promises to be an enlightening and collaborative event, bringing together professionals and experts from various fields across the food and drink industry, allergen management and food safety to tackle the challenges posed by allergies and anaphylaxis. Here is the programme for the day.
09:00-09:45 Registration and welcome refreshments
09:45-09:50 Opening Remarks
Simon Williams, Chief Executive, Anaphylaxis UK
09:50-11:00 KEYNOTE SESSION: How big is the problem?
Allergies have become a significant health concern affecting a considerable portion of the population. We must recognise the scale of this issue and understand its implications. To shed light on the prevalence and psychological impact of allergies, we have invited our esteemed speakers.
Chair: Simon Williams, Chief Executive, Anaphylaxis UK
11:00-11:20 Comfort break
11:20-12:25 Living with a serious allergy
This session will provide a deep dive into the lives of individuals living with serious allergies and the impact it has on their daily existence. We will hear personal stories, gain insights and discuss ways to enhance their quality of life. Leading this engaging discussion will be Dr. Helen Evans-Howells, who specialises in supporting individuals with allergies and their families.
12:30-13:15 Food service. Supply chain and management of allergens
The food industry plays a critical role in ensuring the safety of individuals with allergies. During this session, we will explore the challenges faced by food service establishments, including supply chain management and allergen control practices. Industry experts will share real-world challenges and present innovative solutions.
Chair: Simon Williams, Chief Executive, Anaphylaxis UK
Cleaning up allergen control
13:15-14:00 Networking lunch break
14:00-15:30 Assess, Validate, Verify: Ensuring allergen safety
This session will focus on the importance of robust risk assessment, validation, verification and due diligence in maintaining allergen safety. We will explore best practices for assessing and managing allergen hazards throughout the food chain. Attendees will gain valuable insights into current industry standards and methodologies. Prominent regulatory authorities, as well as experts in allergen cleaning validation, sampling and analysis, will contribute their expertise with individual presentations, followed by a moderated Q&A.
Chair: Peter Littleton, UK Technical Director, Christeyns
How risk analysis forms the foundation for decisions on testing, cleaning validation and using reference doses for PAL
Barbara Hirst, Senior Consultant Food Safety & Quality Team, RSSL
Industry allergen guidance provision in support of regulatory compliance
Alex Turtle, Head of Regulatory Affairs, Food and Drink Federation
An insight into allergen testing laboratories and the challenges of food allergen testing
Dr Emma Ridley, General Manager -Hebden Bridge, SGS
15:15-15:45 Comfort break
15:45-16:15 Human visual cognition: what do we really see?
This fascinating presentation talks us through what we really see when reading safety labels and notices by exploring eye movements, reading and human visual cognition. What can businesses learn from this when labelling their products?
16:15-16:35 Taking the long view
As a food allergic patient, consumer, advocate, researcher, trainer and lecturer, Hazel will present some of the major achievements but also highlight what still needs to be addressed.
Dr Hazel Gowland, Allergy Action
16:35-17:00 PANEL. Enforcement: Collaborating for effective allergen control
Effective enforcement measures are vital to ensuring compliance with allergen safety regulations. In this session, our speakers will address enforcing allergen control practices, developments in precautionary allergen labelling, understanding legal requirements for allergen information provision and the Codex code of practice for food allergen management.
17:00 Close of symposium
Dr Paul Turner is a Reader/Clinician Scientist and Honorary Consultant at Imperial, and Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Sydney, Australia. His research, funded by the Medical Research Council, European Commission and UK Food Standards Agency among others, focusses on the pathophysiology of severe allergic reactions to food. He is a member of the UK Food Standards Agency’s Science Council, the United Nations Food & Agriculture Organization and World Health Organization Codex Expert Consultation on Risk Assessment of Food Allergens, and leads the EAACI Taskforce on Food Allergen Thresholds.
Paul leads the food allergy desensitisation programme at St Mary’s Hospital, London; the team was awarded the Best UK Clinical Team by Allergy UK in 2018. Paul was the recipient of the 2020 PhARf Award, awarded by the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI). He is a consultant to the UK Health Security Agency, and Chairperson of the World Allergy Organization (WAO) Anaphylaxis Committee. He co-leads the Anaphylaxis Working Group at the Resuscitation Council UK.
Dr Helen Evans-Howells is a GP in Bournemouth. Helen developed an interest in allergies when her eldest son Ethan was born and developed milk and nut allergies. In order to ensure he received the best care she undertook a Master’s degree in Allergy at Southampton University. All of Dr Helen’s children have various allergies and atopic conditions and so she understands first hand, how hard allergies can be for a family. Dr Helen worked at the University Hospital of Southampton as a GP with an extended role in Allergy for over four years and now helps run their private peanut immunotherapy service (www.peanutallergyclinic.co.uk). She lectures extensively on the subject both nationally and internationally. Dr Helen undertook the role of Chair of the Primary Care Group of the British Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (BSACI) from 2017 to 2020 with the primary aim of improving allergy care for patients like her son.
Dr Helen now runs Dr Helen Allergy (www.drhelenallergy.co.uk)– a private clinic for adults and children in Bournemouth and Dorchester. She provides virtual allergy support calls and consultations and has a free Facebook group where she regularly provides advice for those affected by allergies and eczema.
Chrissie was promoted to Associate Professor in January 2021 having joined Surrey as a Senior Lecturer in November 2018. Prior to this, Chrissie spent 11 years at the Brighton & Sussex Medical School most recently as a Lecturer in Behavioural Medicine in the Department of Clinical Medicine and prior to this, as a Research Fellow in Primary Care & Public Health.
Chrissie was awarded a PhD from the Brighton & Sussex Medical School evaluating the extent to which social cognition models could explain adherence to self-care behaviours in children and young people with food allergy. Prior to her PhD, Chrissie completed an MSc in Health Psychology and BA in Social Psychology both at the University of Sussex.
Peter Littleton is currently the Technical Director for one of the UK’s leading suppliers of specialist detergents and disinfectants for the food, beverage and dairy industries – Christeyns Food Hygiene Ltd.
In this position, Peter’s enthusiasm and commitment has led to an engagement with industry, enforcement and special interest groups to address the issue of consumer safety with regard to the management of food safety and hygiene within food, beverage and dairy manufacturing/processing operations. He was awarded the Society of Food Hygiene Technology’s Trainer of the Year Award in 2011.
Peter works extensively with industry stakeholder groups such as Anaphylaxis UK, Campden BRI, SOFHT and the IFST where he supports initiatives focussing on promoting food safety, controlling contaminants and enhancing food safety through the effective provision of cleaning & disinfection.
Barbara is a senior consultant in the Food Safety and Quality team at RSSL. She has worked in this team since 2014 and previously, she was the Laboratory Manager of the RSSL department of DNA and Protein which is responsible for the analytical testing for allergens. During this time, Barbara also supported manufacturing sites to advise on sampling and testing options and interpretation of results.
Barbara has worked with many different food manufacturing and catering companies. She brings a practical and pragmatic approach to allergen management. She has advised many companies on their codes of practices for allergens and supported companies through allergen issues, as well as providing proactive consultancy and training in this area.
Simon’s research interests lie in the field of cognitive psychology, and in particular eye movements, reading and human visual cognition. Throughout his research career he has used eye movement recording techniques to investigate a variety of aspects of human visual, linguistic and cognitive processing.
The measurement of eye movements during reading and other tasks provides an excellent online behavioural measure from which inferences concerning current cognitive processing can be made. This technique has provided significant insight into the nature of cognitive processes underlying reading, visual search and other activities.
Jan is currently the course leader for the fully online MSc Food Safety Management Systems programme and the lead instructor for seven postgraduate and undergraduate food safety and public health modules.
Her research interest lies in food integrity, food control measures, allergen risk management, halal food production and food security. Jan welcomes applications to study at Master’s by coursework (MSc in Food Safety Management), MSc by Research or MPhil/PhD level.
Alex is an experienced regulatory professional in the food and drink industry. At the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) he leads the regulatory affairs team which covers food safety and food law policy.
He is responsible for the delivery of appropriate communications to FDF members across regulatory policy developments, together with strategic advocacy with UK Government officials and key stakeholders.
Dr Frédéric Girard, MD, MBA, has been working for healthcare industry over the last 30 years, including the last 20 years as general manager or senior executive. Dr Frédéric Girard has extensive experiences in multiple market segments (innovative medicines, generic medicines, biosimilars, medical devices), in various company cultures (big and mid-size pharma, SME, biotech) and in different European markets.
Dr Frédéric Girard is Senior Vice President, Development Operations Europe for DBV Technologies, a biotechnology company committed to helping children with food allergies live safely. DBV Technologies is developing Viaskin™, a non-invasive patch technology based on epicutaneous immunotherapy, that re-educates the immune system through the skin. The goal of DBV Technologies is to offer families a safe, effective, and accessible treatment option to help protect them from accidental exposure reactions.
Dr Frédéric Girard is Vice President of France Biotech, the French professional association for healthtech companies, and leads the leads the healthcare group for the Foreign Trade Advisors of France.
Emma has managed food ELISA and PCR laboratories since 2014. Emma obtained her PhD in Biology from the University of York in 2012 which involved an industrial placement and time at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. Emma is responsible for the operational and general management of the Hebden Bridge site which carries out Allergen, Meat Speciation and GMO testing at SGS.
Dr Hazel Gowland PGCE, MREHIS, FIFST, FRSPH has had a severe allergy to nuts and peanuts since early childhood and has survived a number of life-threatening reactions. A leading patient and consumer advocate, she was involved in shaping the achievements of the Anaphylaxis Campaign (now Anaphylaxis UK) from its earliest days in 1994.
Hazel supports and advises those at risk from severe food allergies, both through personal experience and professional expertise.
This work also involves food suppliers as well as families, schools, food enforcement officers, local and national government, doctors, specialist nurses and dieticians. Hazel develops accessible e-learning resources and allergy training courses for food handlers in the workplace.
Hazel investigates deaths and ‘near misses’ from food allergy, provides expert evidence and undertakes scientific, clinical and consumer research into why and how allergen avoidance may fail and how those at risk may be protected.
In October 2018, Hazel completed a PhD – Food allergy: innovation in advocacy, research and training to support and protect those at risk at Kingston University. In 2019 she was appointed a Visiting Fellow in the School of Medicine at Southampton University and a member of the Safefood Knowledge Network Expert Group. She is a member of the Scientific Committee of the Institute of Food Science and Technology, and the Food Special Interest Group of the Roysl Society for Public Health.
Anita has a wealth of experience having worked for 13 years in food manufacturing supplying all the major retailers prior to joining Pret A Manger in 2001.
She is currently splitting her time between UK and Global. She is responsible for managing a group of UK suppliers, ensuring Pret standards are maintained as well as ensuring that products are launched on time. She also helps to deliver global projects, as well as co-ordinating a liaising with external associations and leading the allergen system. She also sits on the Industry Exchange Group which was set up by Pret in 2018 to share best practice on allergen management, communication and education within the hospitality industry.
In addition, she is a Fellow of IFST and Chartered Scientist as well as being Chair of the IFST Professional Development Committee and sits on the IFST Board of Trustees.
Laura has extensive experience in the food industry having worked for retailers, suppliers and growers for the last 20 years. Her career started in fresh produce which has led to Laura’s passion for exotic fruit. Laura has developed a well-rounded background, having worked in technical, procurement and commercial ensuring she is uniquely placed to understand the full end to end process of fruit sourcing.
Laura’s blend of retail and food service experience, having worked at industry leaders such as Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Hain Daniels; has enabled her to lead the evolution of Pret’s technical functions over the last few years. Improving the teams credibility and profile through the implementation of a gated development process and the embedding of Pret’s end to end IT solution, which supports the ongoing requirements of full ingredient labelling.
Alongside Laura’s technical capabilities she is passionate about people development and ensures that she spreads the joy of Pret through being a Culture Champion.
Living with multiple severe allergies and exercise-induced anaphylaxis has, needless to say, thrown its challenges. From navigating school and teen life to recently making my first steps onto a career path, I have learned the physical and mental impacts allergy can have. Which was why ‘Allergies in Bold’ was born, to utilise my experiences in hopes I help others on their own allergy journey.
As a proud ambassador, I also join the Sadie Bristow Foundation as they work to improve accessibility to allergy care, all in Sadie’s memory.
Clare Bristow is the dedicated Co-Founder and CEO of the Sadie Bristow Foundation, a charitable organisation committed to supporting and advocating for individuals living with allergies. With a passion for making a difference, Clare has spent over 5 years raising awareness, and working tirelessly to ensure those with allergies receive the care and support they deserve.
Clare holds a Master’s degree in Philanthropic Studies, which has equipped her with the knowledge and expertise needed to create a lasting impact in the world of philanthropy. Her commitment to learning is exemplified by her current pursuit of a qualification in fundraising, a testament to her continuous dedication to improving her skills and knowledge.
An excellent speaker and educator, Clare is passionate about sharing her insights and knowledge to inspire change and foster empathy. She firmly believes that every person has the right to the proper care and support necessary for a healthy and fulfilling life. Through her work with the Sadie Bristow Foundation, she’s working to make this belief a reality, one step at a time.
Responsibility for food policy across the Food Standards Agency (FSA) including food hypersensitivity, food and feed hygiene, products of animal origin and chemical safety.
Previously Government experience includes animal health and welfare and environmental policy (Defra), energy security (BEIS) and customs policy (HMRC)
The symposium will cover a range of topics such as the psychological impact of allergies, the prevalence of allergies in today’s society, the challenges faced by individuals living with serious allergies, the role of the food industry in ensuring safety, and the importance of robust risk assessment and enforcement measures.
The symposium is scheduled for the 4th of December 2023 at the Crick Institute in London.
Tickets for the symposium are priced at £125, which includes lunch and access to all sessions.
The symposium is ideal for professionals and experts from various fields across the food and drink industry, allergen management, and food safety. It is also beneficial for anyone interested in learning more about allergies and anaphylaxis.