The report, “Walking the allergy tightrope”, followed a committee inquiry that looked at issues including the prevalence and costs of anaphylaxis, as well as the adequacy of training and systems to manage allergies.
Dimi Ioannou, a principal lawyer at Maurice Blackburn who provided a submission to the inquiry and also presented at one of the public hearings, welcomed the committee’s report and its recommendations.
“This report is an important step towards achieving better ways to manage allergies and anaphylaxis in our community.
“We welcome the report, and we encourage the government to accept the findings and act on the recommendations.
“Lives depend on it. More than four million Australians live with allergies, including many young children, and for some a mistake can be deadly.”
Ms Ioannou said it was pleasing to see the report call for all vocational training in food service and food preparation to include training on allergies and anaphylaxis.
“But the missing link here is an inspection or audit system to check that what people learn in the training room is implemented once they are working in the cafe or restaurant,” she said.
Ms Ioannou said other key recommendations included providing allergen-free meals in hospitals, and the automatic referral of all allergy and anaphylaxis fatalities to the coroner.
“The involvement of the coroner’s office will help families of the deceased get answers as to what happened, and hopefully ensure that any mistakes don’t happen again.”
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