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Food Allergies And Intolerances An Important Issue In Australia Assessment Answer

Why are food allergies and intolerances an important issue in Australia today? A Policy Analysis


Allergic diseases have built as a progressively imperative chronic disease and public health topic in Australia and other urbanised countries over the last two decades, subsidising to boosted demand for medical services, substantial economic expense of care and compacted quality of life of individuals with allergic disorders and their careers. Presently, touching more than 4 million Australians, the speedy and steady growth of allergic diseases is thus a severe public health matter that necessitates action by all intensities of government and the community. Food allergy arises in around 10% of infants, 4-8% of children, and about 2% of adults in Australia and New Zealand (Food allergy, 2019). The greatest common initiates are egg, cow's milk, peanut, tree nuts, sesame, soy, fish, shellfish, and wheat. Certain food allergies can be fatal, causing critical health effects known as anaphylaxis.

A new study led among 290 people existing with a identified food allergy by Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia (A & AA) via Survey Monkey in May 2019, has discovered that more than 80% trust the public obscures when the potentially life-threatening medical state occurs with lifestyle choices, such as being vegan or detesting certain foods (Allergy and Anaphylaxis Australia, 2019). Despite Australia naming as having the greatest incidence of food allergy in the world (Peters, R. L et al, 2017), the study disclosed an alarming deficiency of understandings about food allergy involving, 1 in 4 suffered a food allergic reaction owing to their allergy not being thought honestly by the somebody making the food, there are excessive rates of adverse reactions occurring between children at school (41%), and more than half (54%) of the study participants had to stay at least three months to meet an allergy specialist, and many people were not specified the information they required to best succeed their potentially life-threatening allergy securely while expecting for their appointment (Allergy and Anaphylaxis Australia, 2019). Moreover, the school children devote nearly six hours/weekday in a school scenery and are at possibility of food allergen acquaintance due to: shared lunch containers, drinking bottles and devices, cross-contamination from school-prepared food, and contagion from in-class meal

arrangement and food-based experiments (Sandra Vale,1 Jill Smith, Maria Said, Geraldine Dunne, Raymond Mullins, Richard Loh, 2013). Parents have the leading responsibility of offering their children with the assistances and awareness to cope their food allergy; however, in the school setting when colleague pressure and other stimuluses can be irresistible, the allergic child necessitate extra support. But statistics mention that schools may not have acceptable anticipation, supervision and communication policies in place to avoid, lessen and discourse the hazard of a food-related reaction or anaphylaxis from arising (Tanya Lawlis, Sarah Bakonyi , Lauren T. Williams, 2017).

In Australia, schools have a lawful agreement to defend and support students, involving those at threat of food-induced reactions and anaphylaxis while in the school atmosphere. This regulation, for the most, necessitates schools having anaphylaxis and allergy management guidelines and procedures in place. Within Australia, legislation concerning to anaphylaxis management and communication in schools is State and Territory based (Education and Training Reform Act 2006, n.d.). This legislation varies somewhat between States and Territories causing in variable explanations, school desires (e.g. compulsory vs volunteer implementation of guidelines) and stages of information offered to schools over State and Territory Governments. The deficiency of reliability between authorities is further aggravated by the non-existence of national guidelines and privation of support by the Federal Government in the controlling of food allergies in Australian schools. In contrast, the United States Congress, for example, accepted the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Management Act (a constituent of the FDA’s Food Safety Modernisation Act) in 2011. This Act specifies direction to States and commands the establishment of national (voluntary) guidelines to support schools with the controlling of food allergies in the USA (FDA Food Safety Modernisation Act (FSMA),111-353, n.d.).

Given the rising prevalence of food allergies in Australian population and the inconstant information accessible to schools and to the community, the present policy analysis intended to perceive the effects and implementations of the existing policies/guidelines within an Australian jurisdiction under analytical framework.

Research design and Method

This study is a policy analysis. Secondary data collected by literature review from national statistics, policy documents (acts, ministerial orders, guidelines, directives), related research papers and previous studies. Chosen records recognised through database searching (n=54) and further records recognised through other bases(n=13). The overall records identified (n= 67) and identical records were detached (n=16). Screening of the reports done through headings and abstracts (n=51) and eliminated (n=22). Full-text articles evaluated for eligibility (n=29) and some full-text articles were excluded with explanations(n=10). The evaluation of the policies will be done under the analytical framework, presents a range of possible evaluation questions to cover the effects and implementations of the policies. We have narrowed down these two endings into six analytic scopes that guidance decision-making about public policies: effectiveness, unintended effects, equity, cost, feasibility and acceptability (A Framework for Analyzing Public Policies: Practical Guide, 2012). All the policies that address the issue of the food allergies will be reviewed comprehensively to provide the identification of the gaps in the policy making and the policy implementation which need to be addressed to ensure a 100 percent outcome. Moreover, the research will specify the limitations of the policies which requisite improvement this technique of evaluating the policies will be concentrating the current policies applied in Australia concerning the food allergies. Consultations from the experts will be provided after conducting the interviews from different people related to public health sector involved in policy making and implementation to gain the better ideas and insights as their relevant knowledge will help to highlight the problems encountered and their solutions along with the filling of the necessary gaps.

Policy 1

Education and Training Reform Act 2006

Ministerial Order No.706: Anaphylaxis management in Victorian schools

Objectives of the Order

The main objective of this Order is to establish an anaphylaxis management policy in the school level for a student has been diagnosed as being at risk of anaphylaxis with the purpose of preventing development of food allergy reaction. Conferring to the Order, a school anaphylaxis management policy requisites to involve data about the elaboration, application, observing and consistent evaluation of Individual Anaphylaxis Management Plans, and regulation in prevention policies, school supervision and emergency response measures, acquisition of adrenaline autoinjectors, interaction plan, coaching of school staff and finalising of a school anaphylaxis risk management worksheet (School Anaphylaxis Management Policy: Ministerial Order 706, n.d.). The principal of the school is accountable for safeguarding that an Individual Anaphylaxis Management Plan is formed, in discussion with the student’s parents and the general practitioner, where the school has been informed of that diagnosis.


Public policyTransitional effectsEventualOutcome result on the problem

Unintended effects

Developing an anaphylaxis management policy for a school have positive and negative unintended effects. For instance, school anaphylaxis policy needs to include school staff training regarding anaphylaxis management guidelines, the causes, symptoms of allergy reaction and anaphylaxis, how to use an adrenaline autoinjectors, school’s general first aid and emergency response procedures. This training and the experience automatically improve the knowledge and the skills of the school staff and they can use that skills and the knowledge even in the outside of the school at community level when an emergency comes. And also, parents and the risk students have advised about how to respond to an anaphylactic reaction even in the out of school activities. Furthermore, rendering to the Act the principal of the school is accountable for building a communication plan to deliver information to all school workforce, students and parents concerning anaphylaxis and the prophylactic strategies. This communication will eventually improve the social relationship between these parties, and it is positively affecting the student’s wellbeing as well.


This anaphylaxis management policy in Victoria is valid only for the registered school in the authority under the Ministerial Order 706, where the schools complies with the minimum standards for registration including standards related to student learning outcomes, student welfare, curriculum programs and the enrolment policies (Education and Training Reform Act 2006, n.d.). Therefore, this policy is not lawful for every schools in Victoria, whereas any students can be affected by food allergy reactions during the normal school activities as well as out of school activities including school camps. It is very important to take into account a public policy covering every student in Australia in regards food allergy and anaphylaxis prevention among school children.


This policy will help to prevent food allergies and intolerances among school children in Victoria, which leads to reduce health cost for the state government and maintaining



 Food allergy and intolerance is a global health issue which affects people of all ages. Australia is among the few countries which witness the highest prevalence rate of food allergy. The management of food allergy and anaphylaxis reaction is imperative and a vital step.  The Australian government has implemented various policies for proper management of this issue. This report provides insight into multiple policies of the Australian government to fight against food allergy and provides an analysis of these policies. Several aspects of the policies like their objective, effectiveness, unintended effect, cost, equity, feasibility and acceptability are discussed. Thus, providing a clear insight into the issue of food allergy, government strategies to fight against it and future steps for better management and outcome. 


While concluding this report, it is worth mentioning that food allergy and anaphylaxis reaction has developed as a global health burden in the past few decades. Unfortunately, Australia is leading the world in the prevalence rate of food allergic reaction, and it is affecting the Australian population to a broader extent. It is noteworthy that food allergy has developed as a common childhood illness. In Australia, the rate of food allergies is higher in infants and children (AAAAI, 2017).

The primary reasons for the high rate of this disease are increased usage of packaged and processed food, change in bacterial consortia of the gut and many others. The apparent secondary reasons are lack of knowledge, improper labelling and packaging, and lenient legislation (Smith, 2019). The prevalence rate and the life of patients can be improved significantly by proper education and management. It is significantly essential to have adequate training and education so that patients and caregiver can understand the trigger factors, physiology of disease, medication and other methods to avoid it. It has been reflected that better legislation, government policies, and focuses on health literacy and clinical guidance are imperative to empower patients. 

The Australian government has implemented various policies, especially in the preschoolers. The studies have depicted that these polices have accounted for better outcome and decline in the prevalence rate of the disease (Koeberl et al., 2018).  The community and government should work collaboratively to consider factors like systemic clinical guidance and educating about the disease at a very early age in the schools. Along with it, aspects like reviewing government guidelines and policies for better adherence of the populations and skilled workforce to fight against the disease are also worth considering factors. Recently, in Australia and New Zealand, a special food allergen risk management tool was developed by the food industry (Koeberl et al., 2018). The Allergen Bureau manages the tool under the name of the Voluntary Incidental Trace Allergen Labeling program. It has become increasingly imperative to implement more such programs and laws for the better management of this disease. 

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