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Allergy and Intolerance Prevalance in the UK

  • Approximately 1-2% of adults in the UK have a food allergy and 5-8% of children (Pawankar R et al., 2013)
  • Many people with food allergy also have asthma, which can make allergic reactions more severe if not controlled by medication (Food Standards Agency, 2015)
  • About 1% of people in the UK have coeliac disease (Food Standards Agency, 2016)
  • Each year there are around 20 fatalities from anaphylaxis in the UK (Pumphrey, 2000)
  • 78% of fatalities are people who have also been diagnosed with asthma (Turner et al., 2015)

Food Labelling

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is responsible for monitoring and assessing food allergens across Europe.

There are 14 foods which must be labelled and identified as ingredients on all pre-packed food:

  • Cereals containing gluten: wheat, spelt, Khorasan wheat, rye, barley, oats
  • Crustaceans: prawns, crabs, lobster, crayfish
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Peanuts
  • Soybeans
  • Milk
  • Nuts: almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, cashews, pecan nuts, brazil nuts, pistachio nuts, macadamia nuts
  • Celery including celeriac
  • Mustard
  • Sesame
  • Sulphur dioxide/sulphites – where added and at a level above 10mg/kg in the finished product. This can be used as a preservative in dried fruit
  • Lupin: lupin seeds, flour, can be found in types of bread, pastries and pasta
  • Molluscs: clams, mussels, whelks, oysters, snails
  • IgE Testing

    The NHS use IgE blood testing as well as skin prick tests, patch tests and food challenge testing

    IgG4 Testing

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