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Foodservice allergy risk-reduction training for restaurants in Canada — 20% off until August 31!

Food allergy training by Allercom Allergy Consulting, Inc., exclusive provider of the AllergyAudit™ System of food allergy risk-reduction for restaurants, hotels, caterers, event-planners, health care facility cafeterias, schools, daycares, camps.

Contact us at today to book your initial consult and help make your foodservice establishment safer.





Keywords: Food allergy, anaphylaxis, restaurant, food safety

Andrea Shainblum, Ph.D., is available to journalists and media outlets for comment on this subject.

Twitter: @AllergyCoach

Tel.: 613.899.1862


Restaurant staff “Often inadequately trained to cope with life-threatening food allergies” says Dr. Andrea Shainblum of Allercom Allergy Consulting, Inc.


(Ottawa, August 4, 2016) CBC News, the Canadian Press and other national news outlets are reporting that police in Sherbrooke, Quebec today arrested a waiter at Le Tapageur Restaurant for allegedly serving salmon to an allergic customer in May, 2016. The waiter potentially faces charges of criminal negligence. This is a Canadian first and could set new legal precedents relating to food allergies and food service providers.

The customer, Simon-Pierre Canuel, reportedly ordered steak tartare and informed the waiter in advance that he had life-threatening allergies to fish and seafood. According to several news reports, the waiter did not inform kitchen staff of Canuel’s allergies, and served him his order without verifying that it was safe.

After taking a single bite of his meal, Canuel suffered a severe anaphylactic reaction and was rushed to the Centre hospitalier universitaire de Sherbrooke. He ended up in a coma and later suffered cardiac arrest. “I almost died,” he told CBC News.

“The food service industry needs to do a lot more to adapt to the reality of severe food allergies,” says Dr. Andrea Shainblum, owner of Ottawa-based Allercom Allergy Consulting, Inc. “It was only a matter of time before an incident like this ended up in criminal court, and it’s likely just the first of many.”

Though the incidence of severe allergies to foods like peanuts, nuts, fish, seafood, milk and sesame has escalated dramatically over the last 30 to 40 years, restaurants and other food service establishments may not be adapting fast enough.

”Restaurant kitchen staff and servers are often inadequately trained to cope with life-threatening food allergies,” says Shainblum. “But this is the new normal in food service. One in every fourteen of your customers could have a severe, life-threatening food allergy. Restaurant owners need to know how to protect them from harm, and also protect themselves and their employees from civil and criminal liability.”


CBC Montreal

Montreal Gazette

CTV News/Canadian Press

Allercom Allergy Consulting, Inc., is owned by Andrea Shainblum, Ph.D., a university researcher, educator, and consultant. Canada’s first private allergy coach/consultant, she trains the hospitality industry, as well as schools, daycares, and camps to implement best-practices in reducing allergy risk. Shainblum is ServSafe trained in Allergens Training and Assessment by the National Restaurant Association.

Shainblum herself has suffered from multiple life-threatening food allergies (including anaphylaxis to peanuts, tree nuts, and sesame) as well as environmental allergies including dog dander, dust, and tree pollens, since the age of two. She prides herself on not only surviving, but thriving despite these allergies for over forty years — half of these being years during which epinephrine autoinjectors weren’t yet available!


Registration open! New online course: Your Allergy Business Plan


Sloane Miller, President of Allergic Girl Resources, Inc. and Andrea Shainblum, President of Allercom Allergy Consulting, Inc. are proud to co-present the following business webinar:


Do you have years of personal experience with allergy, asthma and/or food allergy and want to share your knowledge in a professional setting?

Are you a licensed health professional with experience in allergies/food allergies and want to create a business using your degree?

Let two of the foremost experts in the field, Andrea Shainblum, CAAP, PhD, Allergy Coach and Risk-Management Consultant, and President of Allercom Allergy Consulting, Inc. and Sloane Miller, MFA, MSW, LMSW, Psychotherapist, Specialist in Food Allergy Management, show you how in a 3-hour webinar.

Sign up here:

Or contact us at for more information.

Cat allergy vaccine update: Circassia Achieves Successful Phase II Clinical Results With ToleroMune® Anti-Allergy Technology

According to Circassia, Ltd., which is in the process of human clinical trials of their upcoming cat allergy vaccine, ToleroMune®, they have achieved promising results from their phase II clinical study. As their recent media release states:

Circassia Ltd, a specialty biopharmaceutical company focused on controlling immune system responses, today announced positive results from a phase II clinical study of its anti-allergy technology, ToleroMune®, in the field of cat allergy. The trial showed that ToleroMune treatment can substantially reduce allergic reactions to the allergen that causes most cat allergies, and importantly was well tolerated by all patients.

More information is available here.

Meat allergy caused by tick bite — 1500 known U.S cases

A novel cause of anaphylaxis is being caused by a tick bite leading to sensitization to the Galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose carbohydrate. In turn, this causes delayed but often severe allergic reactions to mammalian meats, including beef and other red meats. This allergy is in the news again, and a task-force on this emerging health challenge convened in Arkansas, one of the affected U.S. states, in September, 2015.

The alpha-gal allergy is caused by a bite from the Lone Star tick, which carries the alpha-gal carbohydrate, also found in red meat. Alpha-gal is not known to cause sensitization under normal circumstances when humans eat meat. However, when alpha-gal enters the bloodstream during a Lone Star tick bite, antibodies develop that cause delayed allergic reactions to red meat several hours after ingestion. Symptoms can range from mild to life-threatening.

At this point, most cases are occurring in the southern and central U.S. states.

More information, as well as links to news articles, is available here, at the Alpha-Gal Allergy Awareness web site.



Highlights from AAAAI 2016: Guidelines needed to aid consumers with food allergies

At the recent American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Annual Meeting, held March 4-7, 2016 in Los Angeles, Mary Jane Marchisotto MJ, et al. presented their survey-based research, revealing the fact that “more awareness and education is necessary to assist consumers with food allergies in their purchasing decisions.”

Among other findings in the survey were that many food allergic consumers are buying products despite the presence of a precautionary label such as ‘made in the same facility as’, ‘may contain’, or ‘made on shared equipment’. In addition, many individuals are not aware that food companies are not legally bound to include precautionary warnings on the label to caution the consumer regarding possible cross-contamination with allergens.

There has been a great deal of change in society with respect to allergy awareness and best practices in food manufacturing over the past decade or so. But there is still clearly still much work, education, and advocacy to be done.




Allergic reactions to food — a range of symptoms

When I was a child, I suffered from several severe food allergies (as I continue to), as well as asthma. Sometimes, the reactions would include all of the possible allergy symptoms listed below, in this excellent chart by FARE.

But at other times, one or more of the symptoms would be missing. This was particularly problematic when something I ate triggered an itchy mouth and throat and an asthma exacerbation, but no (or few) hives. Back then, some doctors assumed that hives were always present in allergic reactions to foods. This was a long time ago, and thanks to both advocacy and education groups, and research progress, we know more about the signs and symptoms to watch for. And they can occur individually, or in combination.

Thank you, FARE!

Food allergy symptoms

Article: Passengers applaud as 7 year old boy removed from plane for allergies

This article describes airplane passengers breaking into applause as a young boy was removed from a flight due to food allergy.

What ever happened to empathy? Where is society’s responsibility to care about others? I’ve travelled around the world, and have been fortunate to have only had a food allergy reaction once, when I was young, on a flight from North America to Rio de Janiero. Since then, I’ve taken care to bring my own meals and snacks on board. But I have had to ask fellow passengers if they wouldn’t mind not consuming the peanuts they’ve brought with them, and with the exception of a few funny looks, others have rallied to keep me safe.

I hope that allergy awareness triumphs over cynicism and criticism so that this little boy has better travel experiences in the future.