Research and analysis

Food allergy: a forensic perspective

A review of the latest allergen measurement techniques and an outline of how allergen cases are being dealt with in UK courts.


Food allergy: a forensic perspective


Food Science and Technology published an article which outlines the need for reliable methods for the detection and quantification of food allergens, and for well-defined reference materials and reliable methods of recovery.

The article was written by Michael Walker, Government Chemist Consultant Science Manager and Nominated Officer, and Hazel Gowland, Food Adviser for the UK Anaphylaxis Campaign.

The feature also highlights the importance of the availability of certified reference materials and the work that LGC is undertaking in this area.

It also describes an unusual crown court case involving sabotage, by peanuts, of the production area of a plant manufacturing nut-free ready meals, and the analysis that LGC carried out in its role as Government Chemist for the investigation. Other cases collated include two fatalities owing to inadvertent consumption of food to which the victims were allergic, and several criminal food law prosecutions.

Published 1 September 2014