March 21st: Quebec Food Allergy Day

300,000 people affected in Quebec

On March 21st was be Quebec Food Allergy Day. This was decreed in 2000 by the Ministry of Health and Social Services in order to sensitize the population of Quebec to the importance of the phenomenon. In Park-Extension, home to many different cuisines thanks to its varied multicultural culinary offerings, being aware of food allergies is of particular importance.   

Allergies Québec wishes to reiterate its support for the allergy community in the province. Sharing knowledge, managing food allergies and understanding what to do in an emergency make a difference in a situation where every minute counts. In fact, it is reported that up to 75% of people allergic to peanuts have been accidentally exposed to this allergen.

In Canada, peanuts, wheat, milk, mustard, tree nuts, eggs, fish and shellfish, sesame and soy have been identified as priority allergens because they are responsible for most severe reactions allergies. Over 160 allergenic foods have been identified in Canada.  

Many children affected…and no regulations in the school environment                                 

Food allergies represent a rapidly growing health condition in Quebec and affect twice as many children as adults, i.e. approximately 8% of children under 18 in the province. In addition, an 18% increase has been reported in this segment of the population over the past ten years. Allergic adults, meanwhile, represent about 4% of the territory’s population.

This situation is all the more worrying, in the context where Quebec is the only Canadian province that does not have regulations or legislation to standardize practices related to the management of anaphylaxis in schools. This means that there is no law requiring that school service centers establish and maintain a policy on anaphylaxis to supervise students with severe allergies, as is the case in other provinces of Canada.  In fact, although teachers receive training, as do staff working in daycare settings, it is often up to families to ensure adequate care.

“People living with food allergies, as well as those around them, must be vigilant at all times, starting with the planning of outings and meals,” says Dominique Seigneur, communications director for Allergies Québec. “Since this health condition can lead to serious consequences during a reaction, it is important to talk about it, to inform and raise awareness among the population,” she added.

To highlight its support for people with allergies, their families and those around them, Allergies Québec is broadcasting an interactive program on March 21 on its website. On the menu: series of podcasts, webinars, informative capsules, contests and much more.

About Allergies Québec

Founded in 1990, Allergies Québec’s mission is to promote safety and improve the quality of life of those who have to deal with food allergies. In particular, the association implements information, support, education, training and awareness programs.