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The National Register of Severe Allergic Reactions to Food at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health was established in spring 2000 in collaboration with the Norwegian Food Safety Authority, their regional offices and the National Veterinary Institute.
Severe cases are defined as reactions that lead to the patient contacting a doctor within 24 hours. Following the case report, a serum sample can be sent to the Register to be checked against a large number of food allergens. Doctors in Norway are encouraged to report serious food allergy reactions to the Register
Why is it important to report allergic reactions?
Our knowledge of food allergy is lacking. It is believed that 2-3% of the adult population has symptoms caused by food allergy. Five to ten times as many people experience symptoms they believe are caused by a food allergy, but a diagnosis has not been verified. The incidence is higher in children, perhaps 6-8%. Symptoms are diverse, ranging from mild discomfort to potentially fatal anaphylactic reactions.
The national reporting system and registry for severe reactions to foods will help us gain a better overview of the extent and severity of food allergies and thus provide a basis for improving care for people who have food allergy. The reporting system also contributes to food safety and monitoring for allergy sufferers. At the same time, by offering allergen analysis of foodstuff and detailed studies of antibodies in a patient’s serum, assistance can be offered on an individual basis. These services will become more valuable as the knowledge base increases.