FARR The Food Allergy Risk Reduction Program
Plenty of buzz has been generated surrounding the LEAP Study (Learning Early About Peanut Allergy) which revealed an 80% reduction in the rate of peanut allergy among high risk infants by early exposure to peanut.
Allergy Partners of North Texas, formerly Dallas Food Allergy Center was motivated by the new LEAP study and made the decision to move forward quickly with a program, based on similar measures, but taking another step toward identifying and testing differently. The program is the Food Allergy Risk Reduction (FARR) Program and here’s how it works.
Selected infants, usually under one year of age, who have not had a reaction to the food of concern are skin tested to that food. Infants whose skin test is negative or mildly positive are then challenged with the food (milk, egg or peanut) over a several hour period. If there is no reaction, the parents are instructed to administer the specified quantity of food at least three times a week at home.
In the LEAP study only infants who had severe eczema or egg allergy were enrolled. These children would certainly benefit from FARR. However, we know that many children with food allergy do not meet those criteria. So in an effort to identify who might be a candidate for FARR, we have developed a Food Allergy Risk Reduction Scoring System.
The scoring system is intended to serve as a guide, but decisions about FARR should be made after consultation with your allergist. By extracting data about the risk factors for the development of food allergy, we are able to provide an estimate of the importance of known risk factors. Prospective studies will reveal further details.