Failsafe 101 (August - November 2021)

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The Food Intolerance Network provides information and support for people worldwide using a low-chemical elimination diet free of additives, low in salicylates, amines and flavour enhancers (FAILSAFE) for health, behaviour and learning problems.


Fed up with hyperactivity

Psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis and diet

Why see a dietitian?

Study: vegetables or fruit - which are healthier?


Blocked/runny nose, rhinosinusitis, nasal polyps – new research

Another reason to be glad you are failsafe

In brief:

Submission to Australian Senate Select Committee on Autism

Review of titanium dioxide as a food additive by FSANZ


Price reduction for Wein ionisers

Sue Dengate's famous presentation “Fed Up with Children’s Behaviour” is now available to view for free

Your questions:

How long did were your kiddos on the elimination diet before you saw significant changes?

What is the end result of going on the failsafe diet?

Success stories:

[1612] One-liners (August 2021)

[1611] Restless legs (August 2021)

[1610] How long does it take on diet to get changes? – facebook thread (July 2021)

[1609] Salicylates: “comfort food doesn’t always bring comfort” (July 2021)

[1608] Wein Personal Air Purifier “very helpful” for MCS (July 2021)

[1607] Danielle’s story - ‘every day felt like groundhog day’ COURAGE AWARD (July 2021)

[1606] Salicylates and nasal polyps (May 2021)

[1605] Seizures: "I need to tweak my sals" (May 2021)

Failsafe shopping list: Herron Gold back on shelves; Mozzarella cheese now moderate in amines; 'starter culture' a new way to hide 282 bread preservative?; Failsafe sausage list updated; Is that rice failsafe?; Food Intolerance Resources from RPAH; SPECIAL OFFER on Friendly Food

Factsheets: over 100 science-based information sheets on symptoms and additives. See also video resources. See also story collections

Support community: Failsafers talking to each other. New and updated dietitians.

Cook's corner: Latest At the Failsafe Table - it is fantastic - thanks Rona! PLUS links to many new recipes...

Thanks and admin:


Hello everyone

Highlights in this newsletter: we are now up to 13 million visitors to our website, there are now nearly 17,000 members in the Food Intolerance Network. And we like this recognition from dietitians about the effects of additives:

"I've heard people say, 'I can't eat wheat,' for instance, when the real problem has turned out to be an additive, propionate, used to prevent bread going mouldy"Dr Alan Barclay, a spokesman for the Dietitians Association of Australia

From reader stories

"there was so much mixed information on the internet I just wanted to cry…I typed in "fed up with hyperactivity" in frustration and there was the Fed up website...all of the behaviours disappeared around week 3 of the diet" - Danielle [1607]
"Carpal Tunnel in both wrists is gone...Salicylates caused the inflammation" - Jo [1612] 
"Our 9yo was very angry, upset, defiant...The diet really helped" - Peter [1612]
"In March 2020 I got Covid 19...that developed into Long Covid...on the diet, I have steadily improved! ..." - Sarah (UK) [1605}


blognasal  Blocked/runny nose, rhinosinusitis, and/or nasal polyps especially related to salicylates

canstockphoto29565278small Vegetables and fruit in that order

Lots of food list updates, good news and warnings ('starter culture' as a possible way of hiding propionate preservatives in bread - along with 'cultured' or 'fermented' anything), popular new recipes with many thanks for those who share on the facebook group.

As always, thanks to everyone for support and sharing, and special mention to Annabel, Teresa and facebook members for the rice foods project.

Now read on...and stay safe.

 - Sue Dengate

Fed up with hyperactivity


In a stunning new reader story, Danielle explains how she was at her wit’s end when she started looking for something about diet that could help with the behaviour of her young children:

“there was so much mixed information on the internet I just wanted to cry…

"I typed in 'fed up with hyperactivity' in frustration and there was ... the Fed up website and it has changed our life for the better and helped us in so many ways…

"all of the behaviours disappeared around week 3 of the failsafe diet … It was such a transformation - we got to see these two completely different kids for who they really are not who the food turned them into!” – from story [1607]

The behaviours that disappeared in week 3

4 yo son: * hyperactivity * no impulse control * didn’t like loud noises * defiance* OCD * hard to get to sleep * phases of night wakings * sensory issues * mood swings * extremely fussy eater * anxiety * autistic traits (salicylates and amines) * no volume control * strips off his clothes (salicylates) * aggressive behavior * constantly running away.

6 yo daughter: * hyperactive * extremely aggressive towards 4 year-old * no volume control * has to be making a noise all the time * fighting with sibling constantly * OCD * extreme defiance * frequent night wakings * screaming/shouting * trouble getting to sleep * mood swings it felt like we were dealing with a teenager not a 6 year-old * extremely over emotional like crying for no apparent reason.

Danielle’s conclusion after two years failsafe:

"We will continue to do the diet as a family because it’s honestly changed us all for the better and we are eating so much healthier …without all the additives!

"It was really hard at first changing our diet, I’ve cried many tears and thought a thousand times it’s easier to give up on the failsafe diet and just deal with the behaviour but … I realised that the diet had made a huge difference and didn’t want to go back to how it originally was EVER!

"Now we have got our heads wrapped around recipes that work for our family it has become so much easier!"

READ MORE and see what others say

Factsheet on ADHD including hyperactivity

Psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis and diet

Neta wrote:

I’m a woman in my 70s and have broken out in a rash all over my back from psoriasis… I was diagnosed with psoriasis ten years ago … on a gluten-free diet the psoriasis mostly disappeared until now. I’ve been taking large helpings of prune juice for constipation …is this causing my itchy rash? Have you heard of any link?

Natural food chemicals called salicylates are one of the biggest problems for people with food intolerance and can be diagnosed by a trial of the RPAH elimination diet from Sydney's Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Allergy Unit.
According to RPAH researchers who carried out a scientific analysis of salicylate contents of foods:

“We found that most fruits contained considerable amounts of salicylate. Raisins and prunes had the highest amounts.”

As well, prunes also contain natural chemicals called amines and glutamates that can also cause problems for some people.

Our readers say that psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis are among the symptoms that improve on the diet we support.

"the diet has helped my psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis about 95 percent. I started the diet for migraines... so it was a bonus really!" - from story [1567]

The salicylate connection - Bernard suffered from psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis for 28 years:

“At times my condition was so bad that I was only able to walk about 50 metres without a rest…The psoriasis …was slowly spreading … the skin itch… made it difficult to concentrate, it used to nearly drive me mad and I was constantly scratching my back on door posts …”

Then, on a dietitian-supervised RPAH elimination diet:

“…I had achieved the impossible in only twelve weeks! The pain and inflammation were leaving me!… when I did the salicylates test ...I got very severe inflammation and pain everywhere …overall stiffness, joint swelling, nausea, headaches, flaring psoriasis which was itchy & peeling, itchy skin...”

UPDATE at the age of 84:

“ … thanks to being basically failsafe for nearly 23 years … I now have had 23 years virtually without pain – Bernard from story [601]

READ MORE with reports and references

Arthritis, joint pain and diet factsheet

Why see a dietitian?

Here are four good reasons to see a dietitian


1. Smoothing the way

“We have been to a dietitian from your list… It was great advice as it really smoothes the way when having to deal with doctors and other govt  agencies - they are now very accommodating. We are into day five and I have already noticed the voice volume decrease and far less fighting between the two children" - failsafer, NZ

2. Do it properly

"As a dietitian who uses the RPAH Allergy Unit Elimination Diet in my everyday practice, I can assure you that it does work brilliantly in the majority of cases ...However, it needs to be done properly .... The diet should be supervised by an Accredited Practising Dietitian with experience in food-chemical intolerances and conducted as a test diet, for a limited period of time - usually only 3-4 weeks in duration... the dietitian ensures that nutrients are adequately compensated for. The challenges are then performed in a timely manner and the diet refined to be liberalised as much as possible, while only avoiding the problem foods long term. I have many, many satisfied clients who were fobbed off by other health professionals in the past, because they didn't 'believe' in food-chemical intolerance" - Joy Anderson,  Medical Journal of Australia InSight, June 2013.

3. Avoid misdiagnosis/malnutrition

It is easy to misinterpret food reactions and people can end up avoiding nutritious foods unnecessarily eg

"I've heard people say, 'I can't eat wheat,' for instance, when the real problem has turned out to be an additive, propionate, used to prevent bread going mouldy" -  Dr Alan Barclay, a spokesman for the Dietitians Association of Australia, When food is the enemy  

4. Get best results and tolerate more foods

“Thought I would let you know I am a lot better. Seeing RPAH Allergy Clinic directly made the difference and now I am having symptom free days. The key was the chart they gave me that showed how to add foods back in. That has made the difference. Every time my symptoms increased I had been going back to elimination and I was becoming more and more reactive. I started with 1/2 serve of amines (salmon or banana) every second day. Then introduced half a serve of sals once a week ... then I stuffed up and had to go back BUT NOT to the beginning (one step back) so you build up the base no matter how small it seems to be. I am now on 1/2 serve of moderate sals or amines each second day ... and I am so much better ...The problem is with rushing ... you can't help it ... you end up further back but not at the beginning” – Sheridan from story [1504]

READ MORE see what others say

How to find an experienced and supportive dietitian: see our list at - many more dietitians are now using Zoom/Skype and phone consultations because of Covid-19. Always ask.
Some will consult internationally and some consult in languages other than English.

Study: vegetables or fruit - which are healthier?


Stanford researchers say that eating both vegetables and fruits contributes to wellness and disease prevention but “most dietary health messages promote both together and position the word ‘fruits’ before ‘vegetables’” thus making fruit sound more healthy. However, according to their research:

  • commonly eaten vegetables are healthier than fruit – higher in both nutrients and fibre
  • daily intakes of both vegetables and fruits are lower than recommended
  • more so for vegetables
  • especially among children

Their conclusion:

"future health messages should mention vegetables and then fruit, in that order”

READ MORE full blog from Sue Dengate


Blocked/runny nose, rhinosinusitis, nasal polyps – new research

It is common for our members to report symptoms like blocked/runny nose, rhinosinusitis, and/or nasal polyps. As always with food intolerance, they can be related to any of the usual suspects: salicylates, amines, glutamates, additives, dairy and/or gluten.


However, some nasal polyps are strongly related to salicylates. People with salicylate intolerance often say their doctors don’t know about low-salicylate diets, and Professor Hanns-Wolf Baenkler agrees:

If a natural substance causes symptoms which do not involve the immune system, this is not an allergy or a side effect, but is known as intolerance. One example is the bronchial asthma and rhinitis which develops in some patients after administration of salicylates. Although salicylate intolerance has been known for more than 100 years, it is not adequately recognized in the relevant areas of medicine.

So it is good to see three Canadian low-salicylate diet studies published in medical journals over the last 6 years.

READ MORE with references and reports

Asthma blog “Australia has the highest asthma prevalence in the world for adults”

Another reason to be glad you are failsafe

Eating processed meat raises risk of heart disease by a fifth according to recent Oxford research. The same research team previously showed that even moderate intakes of red and processed meat are associated with an increased risk of bowel cancer. Explanation focussed on salt and saturated fat intake while the possible effect of nitrate/nitrite preservatives 249-252 was not even mentioned in this latest paper. 

See earlier blogs:
The end of nitrate/nitrite preservatives?
Additives in meat linked to mania and bipolar disorder: it’s official
Yes, bacon really is killing us


Submission to Australian Senate Select Committee on Autism

The Network submission to the Australian Senate Select Committee on Autism was accepted and can be viewed at as submission 168  The Network recommended that
“That where autism spectrum is suspected and an autism diagnosis is being sought, a 3 week trial of the RPAH elimination and challenge protocol with an experienced and supportive dietitian be routinely offered" and "Increase priority of funding of research to explore the impacts of food on autism and the use of diet to manage symptoms". Will we be heard?

Review of titanium dioxide as a food additive by FSANZ

FSANZ is reviewing the use of titanium dioxide (171) as a food additive following a recent European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) review that said “titanium dioxide can no longer be considered safe as a food additive”. It is used as a white colour. The Food Intolerance Network first warned members about this colour in Newsletter 84 2017, and again in 2018 and 2019 Newsletters. Note that it is still in recommended sunscreens. More at


Sometimes we receive donations from thankful people, and these are really appreciated. That is part of what keeps us going, together with grateful feedback through facebook and by email. We have never directly sought donations, choosing instead to fund the very real costs of running the Food Intolerance Network through sales of Sue’s books. Our considerable time is given for free. For information, the cost of running the website last year was $4724, made up of software fixes, software, repairs, security, domains, hosting and consumables.

Price reduction for Wein ionisers

Lockdowns and this recent unsolicited report have prompted us to offer a 10% discount on the personal and room models until stock gone (by refund after purchase).

Wein personal air supply AS300R rechargable $165 now $148.50 incl post and GST
Room ionic air purifier Vortex VI3500 $250 now $225.00 incl post and GST
Both the above $375 now $337.50 incl post and GST


A surgical mask can reduce virus particles inhaled from 180/hr to 45/hr. With an ionizer this number can be reduced to 1/hr, probably because the mask fibres become charged. Ionic air purifiers cannot fully eliminate the risk of inhaling airborne particles or prevent the transmission of infectious agents in indoor air. More science here

Sue Dengate's famous presentation “Fed Up with Children’s Behaviour” is now available to view for free (1hr 12mins).

Subtitled version in 6 languages (English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Spanish) can also be viewed for free.

The Bonus material (interviews with parents) can only be seen in purchased version



[1610] How long does it take on diet to get changes? – facebook thread (July 2021)

Q: How long did were your kiddos on the elimination diet before you saw significant changes? - Kylie

A: Answers from facebook thread:

Immediately - Sue

Fast, I had a completely changed child within 3 weeks - Nicky

3 days and that wasn’t even full elimination. It then got worse before it got better again - Nadine

4 weeks for us but glad we hung in there - Shellie

3-4 wks - 4yr old; included moderate foods - definitely better results when less of the mod foods; done for ADHD; can concentrate/sit for 20 min as opposed to 3 seconds previously, way less oppositional/defiant, less meltdowns, improved speech. Was subtle at first, but when we did the first challenge it became apparent just how much he'd improved - Lee

About a week. Then there were behaviour upsets for a few weeks until week four when I think he realised he felt better and just decided he was ok eating failsafe for the one that was a toddler at the time - Michelle

I am on week 5 and found I had to drop from moderate to low food to clear my migraines & other side effects. (my nose still runs at every meal though) - Pam

A few days. 2-3 weeks for big change. But, we had to do low. We keep failing all of our challenges and I have recently realised that most rice products I thought were okay, are actually not. Once we cut out rice products (except for actual rice) we finally got to the end of it. I feel amazing. Then I eat out and curse myself for how sick I am feeling – Erin

48 hours max! I must confess there were a few emotional withdrawal moment. Relatively minor though – Lyn

(Howard comment: don’t forget withdrawals, a good sign that you are reacting to food, typically on days 4-5 after starting elimination – see factsheet)

Q: What is the end result of going on the failsafe diet? Will it possibly allow you to eat a bigger variety eventually .. or is it just to establish what you are sensitive to? - Laura

Answers from facebook group:

By establishing what you are sensitive to, it removes the unknown & improves confidence with making choices which in turn increases variety because you aren’t limiting foods you aren’t sensitive to – Joanna (dietitian)

It's to establish sensitivities to food chemicals. Food chemicals are a bucket system. Everyone has a different sized bucket for each food chemical and each person's buckets are individual. Please make sure that you do the diet and the challenges with the assistance of a health professional. They can help to guide you through the diet 🙂 - Mel

In my children's case they started on strict, plus gluten, dairy, egg, soy, nut and rice free. After a year or so we were able to add in rice and a couple of extra veggies. They had very severe symptoms. After a few years their reactions have reduced dramatically and have added in a few new foods. Actually added in more than that but have found it harder to concentrate at school so have wound it back. It mostly fixed tummy ache, diarrhoea and vomiting, they've grown better, stronger nails etc, eat less, happier and dramatically improved behaviours and control... breathing problems and most allergies disappeared within a week. I believe we'll slowly add in more foods to around the moderate level and meat amines at least at this rate 🙂 - Michelle

Results are individual. Some need failsafe diet to learn their intolerances to one or more food chemical group. Some can then challenge and learn their tolerances and expand diet to suit tolerances and intolerances. Some can't expand diet at all. Some find it's like a reboot and their body starts coping with things after the reboot. Some find specific intolerances and only need to avoid that one or two things. Some slowly reset on failsafe diet and slowly increase food chemical consumption to a more "normal" level but some never can. It's all hugely varied - Hamish

My journey through failsafe has taught what I can't eat. Dairy, preservatives, salicylates and limited soy. But it has also taught me what affects the size of my bucket. If I am stressed I need to be strict low salicylate and avoid high amines. But living a low stress lifestyle means I can have a normal meal at a restaurant every month or so without reacting and have some moderate salicylate vegetables - Jen

It's taught me to what I am sensitive to and what I can have small amounts of every now and then. Some of the challenges I have not completed, because I am that scared of how I react to sulphites, nitrates, etc. I am pretty good with salicylates, minimal amines, no good with glutamates and pretty much all preservatives give me the same reactions but if varying length. All in all, it has been very useful - Marie

It’s helped me identify what and how much of foods I can tolerate without a massive reaction so I can now eat a bigger variety of foods. For my daughter it hasn’t really helped and we are now doing further investigations - Ray

For my son it established what he is sensitive to (amines). By cutting amines (and his other allergies) out it has given his gut a chance to heal. I’m breastfeeding and I can now eat amines and he doesn’t react, where he used to react through breastmilk. We just tried the challenge with him again, he reacted quickly, but his reaction also subsided quickly on its own, whereas previously it only subsided with the help of steroid cream. We are hoping he’ll be able to tolerate more amine foods as he grows older - Anne.

You can scroll through the full text of all stories: for every story we report, there are probably another 10 that cover similar issues. And these are just the ones we get to hear about. Names have been changed to protect privacy.

Success story collections: organised by symptom or by additive keywords are proving the most popular downloads from the website. They'll be added to as time permits.

People tell us that stories are so useful and positive!

[1612] One-liners (August 2021)

UPDATE to [952] 5 years later: I must say also, thank you so much you have changed my eldest's life!  In fact, you have changed our whole family's life (including the Grandparents!) as we have all been avoiding additives for the past 5 yrs and wow what a difference it has made biggrin - Emma

I'm not too sure what the big words mean but the irrational defiance my kids showed vanished when we removed their food triggers through the diet – Mimsy OK

Failsafe changed our world - Charlotte

After suffering for some years from quite debilitating and embarrassing problems caused by food intolerances I finally found the RPAH Elimination Diet Handbook.  I have been using it now for the past 11 years.  It has become an essential part of my life and is always close by.  When slips happen and problems start to return I go straight back to the charts.  The Failsafe Newsletters are a great source of information and inspiration, please keep them coming!  I am very grateful to the RPAH and the Dengates for shining a light on the terrible problems intolerances and food additives can cause both adults and children – Lynda

Carpal Tunnel in both wrists is gone. No more braces for me. Salicylates caused the inflammation – Jo (Carpal tunnel syndrome is possibly the most common nerve disorder experienced today affecting 4-10 million Americans)

Amines were our trigger for "hating the world", sleep and anger which is supposedly common. However unfortunately everyone is different so you will need to do the elimination – Jane

My daughter diagnosed with ADHD, severe anxiety and reacts really badly to high sals, artificial colours, dairy and wheat. Definitely worth trying elimination process, it has helped us heaps – Lucy

My son (7.5) had a lot of success with the diet and teachers comment on his new found concentration. I would suggest doing in conjunction with a Failsafe dietician – Emma

Failsafe changed our lives. Our son couldn’t stay on task long, struggled to deal with other people changing what he was doing/playing with, etc. We have been failsafe for over a year. We did doctors first but got nowhere even with sample testing, hydrogen tests, ultrasound tests, etc – Donna

Our 9yo was very angry, upset, defiant. Often he would wake up and he “never relaxed” that day. That was our term for how he was emotionally when anything just seemed to trigger him. The diet really helped - Peter

[1611] Restless legs (August 2021)

A note on my food intolerance journey: one of my myriad symptoms used to be insomnia, which was really, really annoying. My symptoms are much better now, and in recent months I've been able to incorporate a lot more foods into my diet as long as I don't overdo it. Insomnia is 95% gone. But when I do eat some of these non-fs foods, one of my exciting new symptoms is restless legs. This is worst when I'm watching TV before bed, not in bed, fortunately. Sometimes I feel it in bed but certain positions relieve it. So still way better than insomnia, but a strange new one. I had blood work done recently for magnesium and Vitamin D and those numbers were fine. It's quite specific to after eating higher chemical foods. Anyone else get restless legs from food chems? – Teresa

This was something my husband suffered from, but it eased when I stopped dairy in his diet when at home. I used to occasionally get it before I stopped eating dairy many years ago – Mary

Yes, I get them when eat something I ought not to, I also get bad cramps when I do as well! Nights not the most fun for me, although, like you - I DO seem to be sleeping better, instead of waking every 2 hours, I now can sleep 3 hours straight – Di

(Howard comment: 16 other reports if you search our stories and see Factsheet on sleep disturbance and insomnia)

[1609] Salicylates: “comfort food doesn’t always bring comfort” (July 2021)

I never post but I am feeling overwhelmed today!! All I wanted with sick kids and no sleep, I have a 4 yo girl, 2 yo boy and 4.5 mth old baby.. all sick .. went off the low salicylate diet for 2 weeks .. I just wanted the foods mum cooked me .. now I have a 4 yo tantruming and peeing and pooing herself .. 2 yo hitting everyone but still well mannered .. baby is neutral .. don't know how long it will take for kids to reset but God it is hard being on this diet for kids – Danna

(Howard comment: great support from facebook group including recipes, seeking dietitian support, getting the Failsafe Cookbook and antidote “to help them reset you can put a cup of Epsom salts in their bath for the next two baths. This will make it faster. It clears all food chemicals. To help clear salicylates get a quarter of a tsp of bicarb into a drink that will help too”)

[1608] Wein Personal Air Purifier “very helpful” for MCS (July 2021)


I'm finding the Wein AS300R very helpful. It has definitely helped lift a lot of my brain fog (I've been diagnosed with MCS which has a huge impact on my diet and food tolerance). I did find the Wein smelly from VOCs (unwearable) when I first received it and put it outside in the fresh air and wrapped in carbon fabric overnight which helped a lot and it's now wearable. I can see how others might struggle. It has also helped in the car. I use an air purifier in the car but I was still struggling. Wearing the Wein as well while in the car, means I arrive at work after my morning commute with a clear head and start my day able to think. At work I have a small office, also with an air purifier in it and I do reasonably well in that room. However, every time I leave that room I'm exposed to building VOCs, cooking smells from a cafe in the building, air "freshener" (!) smells in the toilets, food smells where people prepare lunches and general perfume,  laundry powder, deodorant smells - the typical stuff that causes problems for us sensitive folk. Here the Wein really works well. I do notice it struggles with any of these if they are very strong. My husband is thrilled with my improvement so far. Thanks for making this great tool available. I can see I'll be using it a lot and I plan to buy a second one as back up -  Frances


I wanted to give you a follow-up update on the Wein. I used it flying to Queensland, back in the time where we could fly around the country, however that trip did not go so well.

On the return journey, I used the Wein and a face mask and that was fantastic, the best I have ever been while on a plane. No brain fog, nausea, or fatigue.  Well worth it.

[1607] Danielle’s story - ‘every day felt like groundhog day’ COURAGE AWARD (July 2021)

When I stumbled upon your website, at the time with my eldest 2 kids behaviour, every  day felt like groundhog day. I was a mess, at my wits’ end and barely surviving, not to mention the toll it was taking my relationship with my husband.

When we started our failsafe journey in 2019, our 4 year-old was the worst of the 3 kids with:

* hyperactivity * no impulse control * didn’t like loud noises * defiance* OCD * hard to get to sleep * phases of night wakings * sensory issues * mood swings * extremely fussy eater * anxiety * autistic traits (salicylates and amines) * no volume control * strips off his clothes (salicylates) * aggressive behavior * constantly running away.

It was at the point where we didn’t want to go out as a family, play dates or dinner because we had to keep our eye on him 24/7 as he would run off and we couldn’t find him. He would across roads and car parks without looking if there were traffic coming and we have had a couple of really close calls that got my heart beating out of my chest. Even in a play cafe he would head straight to the fire exit... when the alarm went off he would continue to run off through the carpark away from the play cafe staff like it was a game! It was just too stressful and we would get home physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted from it.

I got to the point where I was too scared to take the 3 kids even to a playground in fear he would go missing, or while I’m tending to him something would happen with the other two kids. I was frustrated, tired and the anxiety was overwhelming that we mostly just stayed home or we would have to have the 4 year-old strapped in the double pram with the 2 year-old and the looks or comments I would get having an older kid strapped in a pram was gave me anxiety so I stopped giving eye contact to others or pretending I didn’t notice them talking to me to avoid having to awkwardly respond.

But even when we stayed home the fighting between the kids was full on, the aggression and yelling was horrendous. The 4 year-old would do things like drag the 6 year-old down the hall way by her hair and the even got into a fight while I my husband was making lunch which ended up in the 6 year-old going to hospital to have her head glued as the 4 year-old pulled her by the hair in a rage and smashed her head into the corner of a cupboard. It didn’t finish there either, the 6 year-old got into a fight with the 4 year-old and sent his head through the glass of his bedroom window, it couldn’t keep going on or one of them would be badly injured!

The first I’d ever heard of food chemicals was an Early Childhood Educator at the local Occasional care because she approached me one day in 2019 as she could see I was desperate and she suggested we look into diet to start with. We went dairy and gluten free to begin with (we were already dairy free as all 3 kids have never tolerated dairy since birth) big improvements with going gluten free and stopped most of the lack of impulse control including running away from us and some defiance but there was a pieces missing, so she suggested we look into salicylates and possibly amines only because her child had the same issue and picked up on the same behaviour issues but because I didn’t know much about them I dismissed it for the time being thinking it was mainly gluten that was the issue.

Our 6 year-old was the same but slightly different where these behaviour traits would be supressed at kindy or school and unleashed at home:

*hyperactive * extremely aggressive towards 4 year-old * no volume control * has to be making a noise all the time * fighting with sibling constantly * OCD * extreme defiance * frequent night wakings * screaming/shouting * trouble getting to sleep * mood swings it felt like we were dealing with a teenager not a 6 year-old * extremely over emotional like crying for no apparent reason.

She already had food intolerances‚ since a newborn with dairy and even with that eliminated through my breast milk she has never been a good sleeper, always frequently waking. It progressed at the age of 2 where we noticed that she was having night terrors and I started to realise it was when she ate strawberries that day, the night terrors still randomly happened.

My husband thought I was crazy with the strawberry theory and I was 'looking' for an intolerance that wasn’t there... until the day he discovered carrot and apple was also setting her night terrors off. As she approached 4 she was able to tell us it felt like ants crawling up her nose and that’s why she woke screaming and she also could breathe through her nose, so we made a food diary and found other fruits contributing to the problem.

Countless doctors looked at us puzzled, one day a different doctor put it down to allergic rhinitis and prescribed a nasal steroid and told us to use kids zyrtec as it was only spring and summer it would happen. This worked initially then stopped working and progressed through winter too so we went to an ENT who ruled out tonsils/adenoids and confirmed allergic rhinitis. We also found a link: her extreme emotional outbursts were a result of yeast extract (MSG) like vegemite and it lasted for 3 days before it wore off.

We were tired, exhausted and severely sleep deprived from waking constantly from the night terrors and I would try absolutely anything at this point, I was scrolling through facebook one day and found an article on histamine intolerance and thought 'that’s exactly what happens to my child'! So in September 2020 we started limited histamine triggering foods and the nose itching and night terrors decreased so we didn’t need to use the zyrtec or steroids as much.

So I then started looking at multiple websites for something dietwise that could help not just our 4 year-old but also help the 6 year-old’s self diagnosed histamine intolerance but there was so much mixed information on the internet I just wanted to cry. It just broke me and I wondered how on earth I could actually do this at all! I typed in 'fed up with hyperactivity' in frustration and there was..... The Fed up website and it has changed our life for the better and helped us in so many ways, I am forever grateful for being able to find all the info that covers the histamine intolerance too.

Our 6 year-old was still having gluten but when COVID-19 hit Australia and we were forced to home school it was easier for the whole family to go completely gluten free instead of making several meals when there was barely anything left at the shops.... and would you believe it, our missing piece for her histamine intolerance was gluten!! We haven’t used nasal steroids or zyrtec since going gluten free and have discovered my husband’ seasonal hayfever (I think its histamine intolerance too!) is triggered by gluten also, so I know if either of them have had gluten as their noses play up and the 6 year-olds 'night terrors' and itchy nose/congestion occur for 3 days following gluten.

The 4 year-old’s sensitivities are dairy, gluten, salicylates (including inhaled), amines, any artificial/natural colours, preservatives, antioxidants and artificial flavours. The 6 year-old is much the same as our 4 year-old but instead of amines she is sensitive to glutamates.

Basically in a nutshell all of the behaviours even the autistic and sensory traits disappeared around week 3 of the failsafe diet it was such a transformation - we got to see these two completely different kids for who they really are not who the food turned them into!

Doing this diet as a family has also uncovered my own sensitivities as I get a migraines when I eat dairy or smell fragrances/ chemicals and I know why now! Our 2 year-old hasn't had any issues prior to the failsafe diet but does seem to sleep better than before so we will continue to do the diet as a family because it’s honestly changed us all for the better and we are eating so much healthier with cleaner eating without all the additives! 

It was really hard at first changing our diet, I’ve cried many tears and thought a thousand times it’s easier to give up on the failsafe diet and just deal with the behaviour but after the 4 year-old had 2 weeks of antibiotics to clear up 2 infections I realised that the diet had made a huge difference and didn’t want to go back to how it originally was EVER!

So we haven’t looked back since and now we have got our heads wrapped around recipes that work for our family it has become so much easier! Thank you again Sue and Howard for all the work you have done and time you have put into the website for people like myself that don’t know where to turn next - Danielle

[1606] Salicylates and nasal polyps (May 2021)

I have been on the RPAH low salicylate diet for many years with tremendous success in controlling very severe asthma … My doctor … has been very interested and supportive of all the food intolerance information. He is quite a convert! As well as asthma, I also had very bad nasal polyps. Had two lots of very painful surgery to remove them. When I stopped using the nasal spray the specialist prescribed they went away and never came back. My GP was totally convinced!!! - Krys aged 78

[1605] Seizures: "I need to tweak my sals" (May 2021)

I was delighted to read the latest newsletter and see the information about seizures. I have had food and chemical intolerance since the 1970s, diagnosed in the US.I am 77 and really my whole life has been a struggle with allergies! Now I live in the UK where doctors are very scathing about these problems, particularly the seizures. I have been ridiculed and shouted at by medical staff and had concussion when I was allowed to fall on the floor. For the last few years I have been steadily getting worse in spite of low sals diet, no nasty chemicals etc. I now very rarely go out because strong fragrance (detergents etc) gives me seizures, also only one friend who went Fragrance Free can visit me.

In March 2020 I got Covid 19 when I had to go food shopping due to deliveries being unavailable...there was no food to deliver! That developed into Long Covid, which is only now starting to improve. I had a few days in hospital and had a major seizure there, (and fell as already mentioned) due to all the chemicals and awful diet I am sure. I had several more when I came home, what my doctor called 'funny (?) turns'. The good news is that on the Low Phenol diet, I have steadily improved! But due to the Covid brain fog and feeling so awful I needed some motivation and found your Failsafe Cookbook on Amazon which just shows that every cloud has a silver lining or somebody is looking out for me. I see that I need to tweak my sals in light of latest research now I have been on the website, and also watch out for propionate, which I today found in both gluten free and normal bread! Thank you so much for all the hard work you do - Sarah from the UK

Don’t forget, you can search for stories/symptoms or scroll through all current stories 


Good news: Herron Gold paracetamol (failsafe) is now back in Coles and Woolworths - thanks to Ruth for chasing the manufacturer.

Mozzarella cheese now listed as moderate in amines (for those who tolerate dairy). It has been shown in the past as high in amines- the closest type of cheese listed by RPAH is moderate Bocconcini.

**WARNING** A possible new way of hiding propionate bread preservatives was spotted during our recent trip: some Woolworth's breads have an ingredient 'starter culture' that we are pretty sure is propionate 280-283. Again, avoid any baked product having anything 'cultured' or 'fermented' and you should be fail-safer.


YOUR HELP NEEDED: we would be very interested to hear from people who know (by elimination and challenge) that they react to propionates (280-283), as to whether they also react to sourdough breads? The concern has mostly been about higher amines with longer proofing times, and the sourdough flavour can also be obtained by using a special yeast and a shorter proof. But does either process increase propionates to the point of affecting people? This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The Failsafe sausages list has been updated again. Thanks everyone, there are more and more shops all the time. Please help keep it up-to-date This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

***WARNING*** Rice products can be made from jasmine and basmati rices, which are not failsafe. Some people may tolerate them, but some may not. Thanks to Annabel and other facebook group members who have laboriously contacted manufacturers and to Teresa for tabulating the results:

Failsafe - white, long grain white or brown rice

Not failsafe - jasmine and/or basmati rice
? means unconfirmed

Ceres Organic rice flours
Chang noodles
Donna Hay GF flour plain/SR
Good Morning cereals Multipuffs (sorg/buck/rice)
Orgran brown ricecrumbs
Orgran GF flour
Orgran rice crispbread
PureHarvest ricemilk
Trident rice noodles
Well & Good GF bread mix
Well & Good GF flour
White Wings GF flour

Aldi GF flours?
Chang’s rice noodles?
Coles organic rice crackers?
Freedom rice puffs?
McKenzie rice flour
Sakata rice crackers
San Remo brown rice pasta
SunRice brown rice cakes
Vitasoy rice milk?
Wai Wai rice noodles/vermicilli

Food Intolerance Resources from RPAH at 

The following resources have been made available on the condition that they are for personal use only and may not be distributed:

  • Elimination Diet shopping guide
  • NSW & ACT butchers
  • Toiletries & Personal care products
  • Medications
  • Nutritional Supplements

NOTE the failsafe shopping lists on is being regularly updated to reflect changes. If using the shopping lists, check for a current date at the bottom of the list.

The completely revised and updated Friendly Food from RPAH is now available at $38.00 including post and GST from the Food Intolerance Network store

Friendly Foodsmall

SPECIAL OFFER because it costs no more to post these:

  • Friendly Food (at cost) $38.00 incl postage & GST
  • add Fed Up for only $18.00 (32% discount)
  • add Failsafe Cookbook for only $27.00 (22% discount)
  • add Fed Up and Failsafe Cookbook for only $45.00 (25% discount)
  • add DVD Fed Up with Children's Behaviour for only $14.00 (45% discount)
  • add 'The Set' (Fed Up, Failsafe Cookbook & DVD) for only $60.00 (25% discount)


If you want some inspiration, try the recently updated COURAGE AWARD story collection - 40 pages of brilliance!

Factsheets provide science-based access to information on added and natural chemicals, on symptoms and support. See full list of over 100 factsheets and remember that you can use the search function to search all factsheets (Information>Factsheets>Search all factsheets)

Don't forget that there is great collection of short videos to help answer your questions and understand food intolerance.

Thanks for your continuing support of each other!

**WARNING** is a spam website funded by the shadowy “Society for Public Health” about which no information is available. We think it is a food industry spam site and complaints about stealing our name have been unanswered. Use to find us directly.

A video-graphic introduction to food intolerance from one of our Network members (2 mins): Food intolerances, what are they? Thanks to Steph Aromataris


Diet not working as well as you'd hoped? One tiny mistake can make a huge difference. For fine-tuning, see the Checklist of common mistakes. Readers tell us this list is very useful. You can also ask for our Salicylate, Amine and Glutamate mistakes sheets This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Online support: Sue Dengate facebook group (nearly 17,000 members, open forum meaning the public can see your posts).

Closed failsafe group with over 5,000 members (the public cannot see your posts)
USA facebook group Note that this group has changed its name to Failsafe USA Products.
NZ facebook group (membership preference given to those living in New Zealand)
UK facebook group again accessible

twitter-bird-blue-on-whitetweet as @failsafers (note the plural). See all tweets

The Food Intolerance Network website has had almost 13 million visits

Dietitians: Remember that we always recommend that people use one of our supportive and experienced dietitians for best results. Do it once and do it properly and then you will know which food intolerances you have and how to manage them. There is now a list of dietitians able to consult in languages other than English, and overseas. Welcome to Sylke Sedelies, a new dietitian in Berlin, Germany at who said: “I'd like to say THANK YOU for your valuable, relentless and inspiring work in the field of food intolerance! One cannot overestimate the support - both through information and self-empowerment - that you give to people affected by food intolerances and those caring for people who are affected.”

For failsafe-friendly dietitians, see the regularly updated There is no longer any need to email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for this list.

Many dietitians are now online and the cost (typically $80 per half hour) can be rebated from most health funds. Ask them when making contact. As one dietitian said, ”I use Coviu which is a video conferencing service developed by the CSIRO for Australian allied health workers. It is encrypted end to end so it has a very high privacy. I can show education videos, share documents, patients can fill out forms for me and I can see them in real time so it is going really well”. See also a list of dietitians able to consult in languages other than English, and overseas.


DVD "Fed Up with Children’s Behaviour” has subtitles in six languages. (In PAL format only, not available with subtitles in NTSC format. But NTSC format DVDs are at a reduced price of only $14.50 including postage through the shop on As a reward for reading this newsletter so thoroughly, the first person to email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with their mailing address will receive a copy of our DVD free for each issue (only one person has ever claimed this!)

brochureflags flagFinland

: are available in many languages
in a printer-friendly format (thanks to Failsafe members for translating!). Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you can help with other languages. Brochure in Chinese. Latest brochure in Finnish.

All Failsafe Newsletters can be searched and printed. There is a wealth of research, issue discussion, recipes, personal reports and recipes now available in one place. But some of the links are out of date and you must always check current products rather than relying on historical information.

Success story collections: These are the most popular downloads from the website,
organised by symptom and by additive. The latest collection is on violence and aggression (54 pages)

The Food Intolerance Network strongly supports the peer-reviewed publication of evidence regarding the effects of salicylates on health, behaviour and learning and acknowledges that more research needs to be published, particularly using dietary salicylates. However the very foundation of science is observation and these observations over many years show an astonishing and convincing range of real symptoms. We hope that they may assist in stimulating further research publication.

Reintroduction guidelines: for people who are extra sensitive, the new RPAH reintroduction guidelines recommend much smaller servings of salicylate and amine containing foods than previously, see reader comment below. Available on request from
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Thank you so much for the new RPAH reintroduction recommendations. I now understand why when I tried to ascertain my tolerance levels and did as my dietician recommended (try 1/2 a cup of salicylates) that my symptoms returned very quickly. ½ a cup is 100 times ¼ of a teaspoon, and given my scent problems I’m probably highly sensitive. Now I can try again. - failsafer, NZ


You can always find more recipe ideas at or Failsafe Cookbook

Every failsafer should get the regular newsletter from The Failsafe Table - it is fantastic The June-July edition is full of lovely warming recipes to feed your family. "I love soups, stews and warm desserts in winter, the perfect excuse to indulge in these comfort foods when it's cold" - thanks again to Rona!


There are lots of recipes shared on the open facebook page - more people cooking due to COVID? Anyway, here is a taste:

Swedish meat balls

Swedish meat ball V2

Popcorn chicken or satay chicken

One egg hash brown


Pulled chicken sliders“thank you domestic diva unleashed your recipes are a great addition to our failsafe life”    

Crispy lamb stir fry

Anzac protein balls

Custard cream biscuits

There's a recipe index of ANY Failsafe recipes on ANY blog. So far there are more than 1,000 recipes with great photos and ideas all categorised to make it easy to search 

Failsafe Thermomix group with recipes and a place to ask questions etc

I bought a Thermomix a couple of months ago, and absolutely love it. These machines are totally awesome, so pure and clean, and I truly believe that if we’d had a Thermomix years ago when our son was at his worst, it would have saved us a lot of heartache, as well as time and money - Susan.

And the very useful weekly meal plan website

Privacy statement about emails and reports: Your email addresses and stories are never shared with anyone without your express permission. Names in stories are often changed to better protect the privacy of those providing them but the original emails are held in a secure location to provide evidence that these are real reports and that express permission to share them has been granted.

The FAILSAFE Newsletter is available free by email. You can subscribe or unsubscribe here

Sue Dengate’s books and DVD, failsafe magnifying card  sulphite test strips and ionizing air purifiers are available through the shop on

Special offer for USA and Canada: Random House has taken over distribution of Sue's books in the USA and Canada, but our current warehouse in upstate New York continues to offer special prices until all gone: Go to and search for "Sue Dengate"

18 copies Fed Up Revised and updated at $US12.50
8 copies Failsafe Cookbook Updated at $US22.00
9 copies Fed Up With Children' Behaviour (NTSC format) - DVD at $US14.50

Fed Up and the Failsafe Cookbook are now available as an ebook: for Kindle, in ePub version suitable for Tablet PCs, PCs, Macs, Laptops, in ePub for digital and iPhone/iPad.

Sue Dengate’s personal story as an ebook only $3.99: Fed Up with Food Intolerance - a personal story 

"Of all your books, your ebook Fed Up with Food Intolerance is my favourite ­ I just couldn’t put it down" - from Fed Up Roadshow 2015

Look inside


This is the story that helped thousands of parents and adults understand this baffling disorder.

Buy direct at
Download a sample for Kindle (.mobi) or for other ereaders (.epub).
Also available through Amazon for Kindle

Disclaimer: the information given is not intended as medical advice. Always consult with your doctor for possible underlying illness. Before beginning dietary investigation, consult a dietician with an interest in food intolerance. Information is drawn from the scientific literature, web research, group members and personal enquiry; while all care is taken, information is not warranted as accurate and the Food Intolerance Network and Sue Dengate cannot be held liable for any errors or omissions.

© Sue Dengate 2021 (text) PO Box 718 WOOLGOOLGA NSW 2456, Australia but material can be reproduced with acknowledgement. Thanks to the many members who have written, phoned and contributed to this newsletter and particularly to Rona, Teresa and Tracy for their help with recipes, facebook and story collections. Further reading and viewing: Fed Up and The Failsafe Cookbook by Sue Dengate (Random House Australia), Fed Up with Children’s Behaviour (DVD) by Sue Dengate

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