FAACT's Fall Summits Were A Success!


FAACT’s Global Food Industry & Research Summit

FAACT’s ninth annual Global Food Industry and Research Summit provided an open forum for food industry stakeholders to explore how to safely meet the needs of the food allergy community.

Presenters included staff from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Food Allergy Research and Resource Program (FARRP) at the University of Nebraska as well as food manufacturers, inventors, food service experts, allergists, dietitians, researchers, scientists, retailers, food growers, pharmaceutical companies, and consumers.

Session topics included the latest food allergy research, consumer perspectives, understanding Precautionary Allergen Labeling (PAL), the new Food Code, and supply chain challenges. Other sessions covered sesame becoming the top 9th allergen requiring explicit labeling, FDA-regulated food allergen recalls, practical operations for food allergy safety, and peanut-allergy prevention. Scientists led complex discussions on the latest research in food allergy diagnosis, allergen cross-contact in shared cooking, manufacturing risk assessments, research on racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities, allergen management, and consumer communication challenges. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations covered research on food allergen thresholds, and FAACT corporate sponsors provided updates on new technology, current treatments, and solutions for the food allergy community.

"This is the only meeting in the nation where everyone comes together, from the farmer to the scientist and researcher, pharma, FDA, USDA, manufacturers, food service, physician, and the consumer," said Sohelia Maleki, Ph.D., Lead Scientist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

FAACT was honored to host this event. We offer a heartfelt “thank you” to everyone who attended and supported the summit to help improve the quality of life and safety of people worldwide with food allergies. FAACT remains inspired to continue creating a space for learning, sharing, exploring, and discovery in our food allergy world.

FAACT's Global Food Industry & Research Summit will be held November 10-12, 2024 in Oak Brook, Illinois.


Highlights from FAACT’s Teen Retreat

Families traveled from across the country to experience the extraordinary impact of FAACT’s eighth annual Teen Retreat held September 15-17 in Oak Brook, Illinois. This event is like no other! Tweens, teens, parents and caregivers, and siblings without food allergies came together to learn about food allergies in a safe environment designed to welcome all experiences, viewpoints, stories, and lived experiences. The goal is for teens and their families to explore concerns while learning about managing food allergies by spending time with their peers and hearing from leading experts.

The weekend kicked off with coffee, shopping, and a delicious allergen-friendly meal at fan-favorite Maggiano’s Little Italy, where the chef visited with the teens to discuss food prep before they ordered lunch. Laughs and good food started the day right.

Friday evening, the group was treated with an inspiring opening ceremony featuring keynote speaker Curtis Zimmerman, who taught the group how to juggle, the importance of making mistakes, and what it means to be different—all while coming together to make a difference in each other’s lives. The group laughed, dropped juggling balls, and the teens headed out for icebreaker fun while the adults enjoyed cocktails and appetizers overlooking Lake Fred, catching up with old friends as new friendships blossomed.

Saturday morning started with the teens attending sessions focused on food allergy information and managing food allergies. Adults met to learn about food allergy research related to teens, shared decision-making, accommodations, and self-advocacy. Mid-afternoon, parents and teens were treated to an Escape the Room experience together. (Thankfully they all escaped!)

The Teen Retreat also offered ample time for teens to engage with each other socially while parents enjoyed the same opportunities to connect. On Saturday evening, teens had a dance party while parents chatted over appetizers, cocktails, and lots of laughter. Food allergy families can seamlessly transition from food allergy challenges to full-belly laughs! When you are with people who get you, it is easy to be yourself.

Sunday arrived far too quickly. Energized parents learned about college and food allergies and heard directly from college-aged teen leaders about traveling with food allergies, dating, college life, and more. There was also a lively Young Adult’s Perspective Q&A panel where parents were invited to ask anything! As always, the closing ceremony was touching.

FAACT has thrilling news: FAACT’s Teen Retreat will move to a summer schedule next year to accommodate even more families! Think summer in Chicago: sightseeing and soaking up the best Chicago weather while spending time with other teens and families. 

Mark your calendars for July 18-21, 2024! Details are available in our Teen Retreat section.