24 April 2023: Domino’s Pizza Group has announced a new partnership with The Natasha Allergy Research Foundation, supporting the charity to deliver its important work making the world safer for people living with food allergies.
The new partnership sees Domino’s pledge a three-year funding commitment to Natasha’s Foundation for allergy research. The Foundation’s first study – the Natasha Clinical Trial – aims to prove that everyday food products taken under strict medical supervision can be used to treat people living with food allergies. This could lead to oral immunotherapy becoming widely available on the NHS by demonstrating how the treatment is scalable to allow access for millions of people across the UK. It would offer people with food allergies freedom and choice that they’ve never experienced when it comes to buying and consuming food products.
The three-year £2.5m oral immunotherapy trial is the first major study funded by The Natasha Allergy Research Foundation which was set up by Nadim and Tanya Ednan-Laperouse, parents of Natasha who died, aged 15, from a severe food allergic reaction.
This new partnership further supports the steps Domino’s is taking to ensure that food allergies don’t get in the way of enjoying Domino’s great-tasting pizzas. The business has continued to implement enhanced allergen management processes over the last year, such as further training programmes for drivers and colleagues working in stores.
Domino’s has also been working together with partners including suppliers, franchise partners and store teams to lower the risk of cross-contamination, and to provide increased clear and accurate information on all products to help those with food hypersensitivity to make appropriate choices.
Allergen management is an important part of Domino’s recently published ‘Connect the Dots’ sustainability strategy, which aims to deliver a better future through food people love. The strategy sets out clear ambitions, including continuing to help customers with allergen issues enjoy Domino’s.
Nicola Frampton, Operations Director at Domino’s Pizza Group plc, said:
“At Domino’s, we believe that allergies should not get in the way of enjoying great tasting food. We are delighted to be able to support the important work that The Natasha Allergy Research Foundation is doing to change the lives of those living with allergies, and ultimately make food allergies history.
“Allergen management is an important part of our sustainability strategy, and we are committed to supporting organisations that are working to eradicate the prevalence of allergen-related diseases.”
Nadim Ednan-Laperouse OBE, co-founder at The Natasha Allergy Research Foundation, said:
"We are delighted that Domino's is supporting our pioneering research work to help make allergy history. We look forward to an enduring partnership that supports people living with allergies and helps them live without the fear and anxiety of worrying about what they can and cannot eat."
About The Natasha Allergy Research Foundation
Natasha Ednan-Laperouse died on 17 July 2016 after consuming a Pret a Manger artichoke, olive and tapenade baguette before boarding a flight at Heathrow airport to Nice with her father Nadim and best friend Bethany. The baguette had sesame seeds baked into the dough, to which Natasha was severely allergic. However, the label did not mention this ingredient. Following her death, Tanya and Nadim set up the charity The Natasha Allergy Research Foundation (www.narf.org.uk) in 2019 to fund vital medical research and raise awareness of food allergies.
Following a successful campaign by Nadim and Tanya, in October 2021 Natasha’s Law came into force across the UK. This requires all food retailers to display full ingredient and allergen labelling on every food item made on the premises and pre-packed for direct sale – such as sandwiches, cakes and salads. Last year the charity launched its first Natasha Clinical Trial as part of its mission to Make Allergy History.
The trial is led by researchers at the University of Southampton and University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, partnering with Imperial College London (both World Allergy Organisation Centres of Excellence) together with University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, Newcastle University and Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
The £2.5 million, three-year oral immunotherapy (OIT) trial aims to show that everyday foods containing peanut or milk, which are taken carefully according to a standardised protocol under medical supervision, can be used as an alternative to expensive pharmaceutical drugs to desensitise patients.
If successful, participants with persistent food allergy will be enabled to live lives where they no longer have to avoid popular foods which might contain small amounts of allergens due to production, and also be able to eat popular foods like cakes, curries and pizza with their friends.