AAAAI Work Group Report: Trends in Oral Food Challenge Practices Among Allergists in the United States

AAAAI Adverse Reactions to Foods Committee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The oral food challenge (OFC) is the criterion standard for diagnosing food allergy, but prior studies indicate many allergists may not be using OFCs for various reasons. To better understand current OFC trends, practices, and barriers, the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) Adverse Reactions to Foods Committee subcommittee updated a 19-item survey (previously administered in 2009) and sent it to AAAAI and American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI) membership. There were a total of 546 respondents who represented approximately a 10% response rate. Among the 546 respondents, compared with 2009, significantly more providers offer OFCs (95% vs 84.5%), offer >10 OFCs per month (17% vs 5.6%), obtain informed consent (82.2% vs 53.6%), and performed OFCs in fellowship (71% vs 45%) (all P <.001). Fellowship OFC training was limited, with 56% performing <10 OFCs in fellowship and 29% performing none. Although 94% see patients <12 months of age, 35.5% do not offer OFCs for early peanut introduction. Although 79% dedicate a supervising medical provider (MD, NP, PA) and 86% have a written OFC protocol, only 60% had a standardized reaction treatment protocol and 56% prepared emergency medications before OFC. Compared with 2009, there was significant worsening of perceived barriers to performing OFCs, including time (65.6% vs 55%), space (55.3% vs 27.1%), staffing (59.6% vs 44.3%), experience (16.9% vs 11.5%), and hospital proximity (10.9% vs 7.9%), though reimbursement as a barrier improved (45.9% vs 53.7%) (all P <.01). Compared with 2009, although more providers offer OFCs, multiple perceived barriers to performing OFCs have worsened. Hesitancy to challenge infants and emergency preparedness issues are emerging potential concerns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3348-3355
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020


  • Double-blinded food challenge
  • Epinephrine
  • IgE-mediated food allergy
  • Oral food challenge
  • Safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy


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