8 episodes

Host Jen Jobrack and guests candidly discuss food allergy issues, with insights to make patients’ lives more inclusive and fulfilling.

Talking Food Allergy Allergic Living

    • Health & Fitness
    • 5.0 • 5 Ratings

Host Jen Jobrack and guests candidly discuss food allergy issues, with insights to make patients’ lives more inclusive and fulfilling.

    Food Label Troubles: From Big Allergen Recalls to Grocery Store Gaps

    Food Label Troubles: From Big Allergen Recalls to Grocery Store Gaps

    Dr. Steven Gendel, Jeff Hawley and Host Jen Jobrack



    The presence of allergens in packaged foods is the No. 1 reason for food recalls in the United States. When you depend on food labels for accurate top allergen information because of severe food allergies, that’s an unnerving reality. In this episode of the Talking Food Allergy podcast, host Jen Jobrack gets inside the recall issues and challenging loopholes with food safety expert Dr. Steven Gendel and Jeff Hawley, a grocery industry expert. The discussion reveals that many allergen recalls arise from food sold in bakery and deli sections. The grayest area relates to foods that are sold in wrappers rather than containers. Hawley offers hopeful insights on efforts that could soon tighten legal requirements for alerting consumers to allergens in foods that are not prepackaged. See also our related article, “When Food at the Grocery Store Isn’t Labeled for Top Allergens“.Dr. Steven Gendel has been working to protect consumers and the integrity of the food supply for over 30 years. This includes time in academics, as a consultant, and as a safety and policy expert in the FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, where he was the first FDA Food Allergen Coordinator.  Jeff Hawley has been with Harris Teeter Supermarkets since 1995 and is the chain’s Food Safety Manager. He is chair of the allergen committee of the Conference for Food Protection, a public-private body that advises the FDA on food safety issues.  Host Jen Jobrack is a nationally known food allergy expert, who has worked for the allergy community in areas of public policy, legislation, education and awareness-raising. Her legislative work includes campaigns such as access to epinephrine in the schools. Jen is the founder of Food Allergy Pros.





















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    Related ResourcesWhen Food at the Grocery Store Isn’t Labeled for Top Allergens FARE Makes Case for Standardized Food Allergy ‘May Contain’ Label

    • 35 min
    Campus Experts and Students on Food Allergy, College Dining & COVID-19

    Campus Experts and Students on Food Allergy, College Dining & COVID-19

    For colleges, COVID-19 has upended food service practices – and that affects students with food allergies. From takeout meals to cross-contact risks and staying safely fed, host Jen Jobrack has a frank, illuminating conversation with college dietary specialists Beth Winthrop and Lindsay Haas. Then students Maya Konoff and Emma Sorrentino offer their views of the challenges and silver linings of COVID-19 times. 

















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    Beth Winthrop is a registered dietitian and senior trainer for MenuTrinfo’s AllerTrain program – and a leader in allergy management in food service. Lindsay Haas is a registered dietitian and the Culinary and Nutrition Support Specialist with University of Michigan Dining.







    Maya Konoff is a student at Syracuse University and Emma Sorrentino attends the University of Vermont.  







    Host Jen Jobrack is a nationally known food allergy expert, who has worked for the allergy community in areas of public policy, legislation, education and awareness-raising. Her legislative work includes campaigns such as access to epinephrine in the schools. Jen is the founder of Food Allergy Pros.



    All Talking Food Allergies Episodes

    • 48 min
    Drs. Ruchi Gupta & Carla Davis | Fixing Barriers to Food Allergy Care

    Drs. Ruchi Gupta & Carla Davis | Fixing Barriers to Food Allergy Care

    In Episode 4 of Allergic Living’s series on racial disparities in food allergies, Dr. Ruchi Gupta of Northwestern University and Dr. Carla Davis of Baylor College of Medicine discuss the high rates of food allergy in the Black and Latinx communities. They explore the higher odds of multiple food allergies in these communities, but the lower chance of patients seeing an allergist or carrying epinephrine. Dr. Gupta explains findings from her groundbreaking prevalence studies, while Dr. Davis speaks of witnessing the difference education can make. In a major Houston school district, only 15 percent of food-allergic Black children had been carrying epinephrine. Dr. Davis says a program to train school nurses to educate Black families about epinephrine and how to access it, brought remarkable change. “We were able to increase the number of children who had available epinephrine to about 85 percent,” she says.Dr. Ruchi Gupta is a professor of pediatrics and medicine at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, and Director of Northwestern’s Center for Food Allergy & Asthma Research (CFAAR). She is also an attending physician at Chicago’s Lurie Children’s Hospital. Dr. Gupta is nationally recognized for her research in food allergy and asthma epidemiology, particularly for her work on the prevalence of child and adult food allergies. For more information, visit the CFAAR website.Dr. Carla Davis is an associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics, allergy and immunology section, at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. She is also Director of the Food Allergy Program at Texas Children’s Hospital, and has clinical trials underway in the area of food allergic treatments and diagnostic methods. As well, she heads a robust education program to ensure the safety of food-allergic children in Texas schools. Visit the website at Texas Children’s.Host Jen Jobrack is a nationally known food allergy expert, who has worked for the allergy community in areas of public policy, legislation, education and awareness-raising. Her legislative work includes campaigns such as access to epinephrine in the schools. Jen is the founder of Food Allergy Pros.





















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    Related Resources Food Allergy and Asthma: Burden on the Black CommunityGupta Team’s Study of Childhood Food Allergies in the U.S.Gupta Team’s Study Finds Doubling of Adult Food Allergy

    • 27 min
    Thomas and Dina Silvera | Urgent Need to Train Preschools on Allergy

    Thomas and Dina Silvera | Urgent Need to Train Preschools on Allergy

    In Episode 3 of Allergic Living’s series on racial disparities in food allergies, Thomas Silvera and Ondina Hawthorne-Silvera of the Elijah-Alavi Foundation explain how their young son’s death from anaphylaxis in 2017 lit a fire in them to protect allergic children at preschools across the U.S. They speak of the mission behind New York State’s Elijah’s Law and why they’re committed to expand it to other states.The Silveras are passionate about taking action for those with food allergies, and particularly concerned about the lack of allergy and asthma education at childcare centers in underserved communities. “The disparities are there and we need to make a change,” says Thomas Silvera. Elijah’s Law is just the start of their plans. “This is our life’s work – 24/7.” Thomas Silvera and Ondina Hawthorne-Silvera are co-founders of the Elijah-Alavi Foundation. As well, Dina Hawthorne-Silvera is a special education teacher, singer/ songwriter and author of an affecting book on personal grief called “Good Mourning”. Thomas Silvera is a surgical technologist who is pursuing a degree in health education & sciences. Visit the Elijahalavifoundation.org, and see the Forty-Five 4/5 giving campaign.Host Jen Jobrack is a nationally known food allergy expert, who has worked for the allergy community in areas of public policy, legislation, education and awareness-raising. Her legislative work includes campaigns such as access to epinephrine in the schools. Jen is the founder of Food Allergy Pros.





















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    Related Resources Elijah’s Law Will Protect Allergic Kids in NY Daycares Food Allergy and Asthma: Burden on the Black Community All Talking Food Allergy PodcastsHoles in the Safety Net for Food Allergy Families

    • 32 min
    Aleasa Word | Food Allergy & Healthcare Bias: A Black Mom’s Experience

    Aleasa Word | Food Allergy & Healthcare Bias: A Black Mom’s Experience

    In Episode 2 of Allergic Living’s series on racial disparities in food allergies, emotional intelligence coach Aleasa Word explores: the healthcare experience of Black food allergy parents. She begins with her own encounter with a patronizing ER doctor as her daughter suffered anaphylaxis. She notes: “If you are facing a life-threatening situation, wouldn’t you be upset if you weren’t heard? But when I get angry, I become a threat. My skin makes me a threat. Why is that acceptable?”Ms. Word offers advice for doctors to open the lines of trust with patients, and she explains how to be a better ally to those in the Black community. She brings passion and actionable steps to the disparities conversation. Aleasa Word is an emotional intelligence coach, diversity strategist consultant and trainer. She has a background in conflict resolution, trauma and organizational behavior. Her company website is AWordandcompany.com. As a food allergy advocate, she is founder of Compassionforanaphylaxis.com.Host Jen Jobrack is a nationally known food allergy expert, who has worked for the allergy community in areas of public policy, legislation, education and awareness-raising. Her legislative work includes campaigns such as access to epinephrine in the schools. Jen is the founder of Food Allergy Pros.

















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    Related ResourcesAll Talking Food Allergy Podcasts Food Allergy and Asthma: Burden on the Black CommunityHoles in the Safety Net for Food Allergy Families

    • 26 min
    Emily Brown | Black Families in Food Allergy Need to be Heard

    Emily Brown | Black Families in Food Allergy Need to be Heard

    In the first of our series on racial disparities in food allergies, Emily Brown of Food Equality Initiative speaks on: food insecurity and shortcomings of the food bank system for those with allergies and celiac disease. She also identifies the urgent need to prioritize Black and minority patients in food allergy research, advocacy and programming. Ms. Brown says: “Above all, we want to be heard. There’s a sense of not being heard.”



    Emily Brown is the founder and CEO of Food Equality Initiative. The Kansas City-based nonprofit provides allergy-friendly and gluten-free foods to food-insecure families through its food delivery service. As well, FEI works to fix the charitable food system so that medically necessary foods get into the hands of those who need them. 



    Host Jen Jobrack is a nationally known food allergy expert, who has worked for the allergy community in areas of public policy, legislation, education and awareness-raising. Her legislative work includes campaigns such as access to epinephrine in the schools. Jen is the founder of Food Allergy Pros.

















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    All Talking Food Allergy Episodes



    Related Resources Holes in the Safety Net for Food Allergy FamiliesFood Allergy and Asthma: Burden on the Black Community

    • 19 min

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