An assessment of South African college and university dining policies and procedures regarding handling of food allergies

  • Gerrie E Du Rand University of Pretoria
  • Lakshman Rajagopal Iowa State University
Keywords: dining policies, South African college, South African universities, food allergies, handling, procedures, policies


Food allergy is defined as ‘sensitisation to a food with a convincing history of a reaction to the food in the preceding year, or a positive food challenge’.1 In the past, food allergy incidences in South Africa were scarce, especially in the black population group; but, researchers are of the opinion that South Africa is now joining the second wave of the food allergy epidemic.2 Limited research has been done on food allergies in South Africa.3 Even though the prevalence of food allergies in South Africa is rising, there are still no local guidelines4 to mitigate suitable risk reducing strategies. Therefore, the primary way of reducing food allergies and related symptoms is strict avoidance of the causative food.4 In doing so, these individuals may be reducing the nutritional status of their diet,4 which can lead to a lack of energy and as a result decreased activity and fatigue as well as a lack of essential macro and micronutrients that in some cases result in decreased growth and in rare cases scurvy and pellagra.5 The chance of following an unbalanced diet due to avoidance of food causing allergic reactions can also result in increased food intake and consequently obesity.5

(Full text available online at South Afr J Clin Nutr 2018; DOI: 10.1080/16070658.2017.1353250

Author Biographies

Gerrie E Du Rand, University of Pretoria
Department of Consumer Science University of Pretoria Pretoria
Lakshman Rajagopal, Iowa State University
Iowa State University Ames
Letters to the Editor