The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has released a new quality standard on food allergy.

The guideline, Food allergy, has had key areas summarised for primary care professionals and will be distributed with the next issues of Nursing in Practice and Pulse.

The summary, produced with approval from NICE, covers the diagnosis, assessment and management of food allergy in children, young people and adults. Children and young people are those aged under 19.

According to NHS Choices a food allergy is when the body's immune system reacts abnormally to specific foods.

In young children, common food allergies include milk and eggs. In adults, allergies to shellfish and fish are more common.

Nut allergies, including peanuts, are relatively common in both school-age children and adults.

Amena Warner, head of clinical services at Allergy UK, says: “The guidance from NICE has been long awaited, as parents with babies and children, who have symptoms suggestive of allergy, struggle to get a correct diagnosis and treatment. It will also be beneficial to adolescents and adults, who's delay in the holistic management of their allergic symptoms has had a direct impact on their quality of life, as we hear so often from calls to our helpline.”

The NICE quality standard for QS118 Food allergy is based on CG116.

It should be read in conjunction with QS97, QS44 and QS25.

To read the summary click here.