Failsafe 78 September - December 2014


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.

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You know that you are on the elimination diet when.....a lighthearted look at food intolerance.
SUCCESS! Complaint to ACCC about Helga's wrap labels accepted.

Research: How sweet it isn't; Serious side effects of sleeping pills

In brief: Artificial colours now hidden in pharmacy items; Food additives fingered in Physical Education Week in South Australia

Your questions: We’ve been meaning to do a dairy challenge but there always seems to be a reason not to; What about GAPS gut healing and other alternatives?

Success stories: [1274] – [1292] including a COURAGE AWARD for an 80 year old from the UK who worked it out for himself

Failsafe shopping list: Organic cotton clothing;  Pascall White (vanilla) Marshmallows are still failsafe despite the labelling; sulphite-free tapioca and sago

Factsheets: Christmas and food intolerance

Support community: Failsafe during or post cancer treatment; meet our members; how to get support

Cooks’ Corner: Christmas recipes and hints; Roast vegie free-form pies; Tofu "cheese"; Magic maple custard pie; links to lots of blogs with failsafe recipes

Thanks and admin



Howard and I have recently returned from a difficult six week trek in the remote Dolpo region of Nepal. Thanks to all who sent concerned messages - you were right, we were involved in the massive snowstorm that killed 47 people, but we are happy to report that we are safe and well. Of course we also spent time reading food labels but the biggest shock was just how dangerous toothpaste can be, see the "Severe chronic Insomnia caused by red gel toothpaste" reader story.
In this newsletter answers to the facebook question "you know you're failsafe when ..." had me laughing with replies that any failsafer will relate to. As well, there are some outstanding reader stories, don't miss the winner of the Courage Award, 80-year-old Brian with his "Depression and food intolerance - my story"! 

We are pleased to report a big win regarding our complaint to the ACCC about Helga's bread "no preservative 282" labelling, and some fascinating new research about the reason artificial sweeteners seem to be associated with obesity. Also in this issue: interesting new products and tempting recipes for Christmas treats. Many thanks to everyone who has helped to spread the word this year by sending their stories, joining the facebook group, attending talks, contacting manufacturers or buying additive-free food. Howard and I wish you all a very happy and failsafe holiday season


Happy failsafeing - Sue Dengate


You know that you are on the elimination diet when.....

Here's a light-hearted look from our creative members on the facebook page, just for the holiday season.

  • you have just spent $17 on leeks for the week - Annie
  • your son starts eating out of the garbage bin at school so he can get his colour and preservative fix - Anna
  • you are caught swapping your homemade FS birthday cake for the highly coloured piece he has just been given - Leeanne
  • your shopping from last month is in the bin and you’re looking at blank shelves - Magrat
  • every time you leave the house you are carrying an esky - Alex
  • your child sneaks a grape when you are shopping because he misses them - Larissa
  • mum doesn't put the water back in the fridge is cause for a complete emotional breakdown for your 5yo (and we are only day 1) - Jessica
  • was thrilled to find leeks for 50c each at the farm-gate place I go to - Sarah
  • you start buying the 5kg bag of bicarbonate soda... Denise
  • your child begs you for broccoli in the supermarket - Kathryn
  • every time you say no to something your 4yo says "oh yeah because it has dangerous chemicals and persevvvvvvEties in it"...... Paige
  • your child tells you he wants his old life back - before the diet - Michelle
  • you want to laugh/cry when your hubby brings home Nuttella when you had Nuttelex on the shopping list - Amanda.
  • the letter to Santa includes strawberries & mangoes! - Samantha
  • you have to get glasses for reading food labels - Sarah
  • you suddenly know what citric acid is and start using it in heaps of recipes cause lemons are off the menu - Selena
  • your husband starts crying and says "I just want a curry" - Lareina
  • you spend your whole day cooking and washing up! - Claire
  • your pantry is filled with home made pear jam! - Katherine
  • your 4 year old starts smelling food with 'nasty chemicals' just to get his fix - Aprille
  • you shop twice a week just so you have stuff to eat because nothing in a packet except rice cakes is any good. Also, when $15 for 4 chokos you don't even like but feel you should eat so that you're not just eating potatoes and celery for vegetables seems like a good way to spend your money - Jane
  • and when you know how to use those chokos and the aforementioned citric acid to make gluten/soy/dairy/egg/nut-free FS "lemon" slice and think it's quite a good idea and very tasty - Jane again.
  • you have the only kid that throws a wally cause they can't have a banana, or gets that excited that they fall over themselves when they can finally have one on challenge week - Matthew
  • you feel so rebellious when you notice you missed peeling a bit of skin on the pear and you eat it anyway - Chanel
  • decaffeinated coffee made with rice milk becomes appealing - Siobhan
  • you burst into tears after a cop pulls you over to ask for your registration papers..and we are on day 8 and are in struggle town - Kristy
  • you consider moving countries as it is so hard to buy the things you need in west africa...oh - and when 1 leek has been known to cost $12 - Karen.
  • you go out to an all-expenses-paid work dinner and order steamed rice and water - Tabitha
  • you're eating rice for the third time that day - Jo
  • planning meals for a holiday takes a week in itself! - Belinda
  • your son tells you "you need to apologise for saying NO to foods all the time" - Ali
  • my 4 yr old brings home red jelly he made at daycare and asks "has it got colours, flavours and preservatives in it?" - Annie
  • you're at the gym and the lyrics to the song say, 'All I wanna do is be with you tonight', and you're thinking, 'All I want to do is be alone tonight and cook' instead - Cassandra
  • you have CHICKEN with Rice for dinner three nights a week and to mix it up on other nights you have............... RICE with chicken! - Nikita
  • your three year old explains why he hit another child whilst on a challenge..... "Chocolate made me do it" - Alison
  • you smell carob powder and like it! (Just a few months ago it smelt like vomit...) - Simonne
  • you know you're failing the salicylate challenge when your 7 year old sobs hysterically because the sentence got changed in 'Chinese whispers' (like it's supposed to)!!!!!! - Jessica
  • there is nothing on the menu that you can eat and it takes three goes for the waiter to read back your order correctly but the kitchen stuffs it up anyway - Jodi
  • every single meal and snack you eat involves rice - rice, rice syrup, rice oil, rice crumbs, rice puffs, rice cakes, rice flour, rice milk, .... (Have I missed any?!)  - Jane
  • people look at you like you have 3 heads when you try to explain it - Siobhan
  • it takes 5 minutes to do your weekly shop because you only ever buy the same 10 things and you know exactly where to find them! - Sally
  • ur toddler eats grass u freak out about possible sals. But when he eats sand ur fine with that - Lola
  • I couldn't ‘like’ every post here without getting repetitive motion injury :-) Too funny everyone. Your courage reminds me that I need to do this for myself and encourages me - Aya
  • you are SOOOOOOO over pears. .... Natalie
  • your child refuses to eat the things you have spent so much time hunting and gathering!!!!!  - Karen
  • you have breakfast out and have to bring your own bread, oil, nuttelex and rice milk. You're so excited about eating out even though you get charged $15 for the eggs and shot of decaf  - Linda
  • your weekly grocery shop costs $700 until you complete amines challenge and you don't need to buy less-than-48-hour-old organic meat that costs more than a kilo of gold! 5 months in and surviving!! - Moraig
  • everything in your trolley is white and green - Elisa
  • you look at a granny smith apple or a strawberry like they're dark chocolate. Oh how I miss all 3 - Karen
  • ppl look at you like you're a freak when you try to explain Amines and Sals and a lot of what all you lovely ppl have written above - Trina
  • you're missing juice so much that bottled water actually starts to taste interesting - Chanel
  • having extra garlic bread after dinner has the same currency as ice-cream does in other homes - Aimee
  • ur 7 year old son says "thank you so much mummy for letting me have carrot sticks, that's so nice of you!" Cause he's missed them.. 5 months in.. Susan
  • you're day 5 into Sals and your almost 7yr old collapses in tears because she can't find her "favourite" purse. .. She sobs "It's been stolen!", you suggest looking in other bags as you know she likes to put bags in bags. ..."NO! I've already looked in all of them and it's gone! " but when you go to where she is, you see the handle of said favourite bag sticking out of another bag which is right next to her. Claire
  • you drive across town in a quest for the right variety of potatoes - Veronica
  • you get so cross at your child’s kindy because they promote the bringing of 'healthy' dry biscuits (pizza shapes etc) and discourage any homemade cakes/muffins etc because they contain sugar! Ahhhhhh - Tori
  • you're about to start the very last challenge and you know it has to be the one to kick off Armageddon because you haven't reacted to any of the others - Karen
  • ooooo just thought of a good one! when your Christmas advent calendar is filled with: milkybars, milko chews, milk bottle lollies and activities for you all to do as a family and your kids ask everyday when December will hurry up! lol - Tori
  • you look in the fridge and the cheese looks like it's been nibbled at (my son is also dairyfree) - Sondrene
  • your veggie patch has 6 different varieties of beans and an entire bed of spring onions and chives and nothing else - Stephanie
  • your husband keeps thinking of excuses to call with his mother at dinnertime....... Karen
  • your heart sinks every time you look in the school bag to find there's another cake day, pancake day, pizza day in school or a birthday party invite - Lynn
  • your dietician says you have disordered eating and tells you that even the anorexics she sees every day in her clinic allow themselves to eat more food than you - Catherine
  • anything packaged on a supermarket shelf looks "evil" - Tammie
  • you stop getting invited to people's places because you are too 'hard' to cater for! - Toni
  • your son goes away for the weekend and you pack enough food to feed him for a month just to make sure he doesn't run out. You also provide the leeks for their dinner because you don't want them to have to spend the fortune it has cost you to buy them - Larissa
  • you find chocolate show bags on the top shelf of your pantry (that must have been there for several months and were given to them for free) because you promised them they could have one now and save the rest for later then hoped you had hidden them well enough so they would forget about them! - Tori
  • you look at other people's trolleys and think "Yuk!" - Howard
  • and you have to stop yourself from pointing out all the nasties that they are feeding their children without knowing it - Karen
  • I look at other people's trolleys with all the fruit and dairy products and think "yum, I wish I could eat those"! - Jane
  • you wake up on Sunday morning and think "I shouldn't have said yes to those crisps with all the additives in that I ate last night while I was watching the x-factor - Catherine
  • you're also a dietitian and explain to people that white sugar, white bread and seed oils are NOT the enemy - Viv

SUCCESS! Complaint to ACCC about Helga's wrap labels accepted

Australia’s largest baker Goodman Fielder Ltd have given an undertaking to remove their misleading claim from packaging on Helga’s wraps.

This is the result of a Food Intolerance Network complaint in August 2014 to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

The change in packaging will happen early in the New Year (the “using up old packaging” routine).

Goodman's claim on the front of the package is that the wraps have “No Preservative 282” but in fact they contain an ingredient called cultured dextrose which contains propionic acid and is identical with preservative 280.
Goodman Fielder’s claim is correct in that there is no preservative 282, although the additive 280 used is functionally identical.

The truth is that cultured dextrose is a propionate-based preservative designed to fool consumers because it looks more ‘natural’. It is no better than E282 but you have to be a food scientist to understand that. Consumers are confused, including the people who write the organic standards, so now cultured dextrose is even used in organic breads.

So a win for consumers. But note that the Helga’s wraps will still contain cultured dextrose and so remain NOT FAILSAFE.

See more information



How sweet it isn't. Artificial sweeteners: are recommended for weight loss and diabetics but a dramatic new study has shown that they can encourage obesity by altering beneficial gut bugs. Researchers found that consumption of common non-caloric artificial sweeteners - aspartame, saccharin and sucralose - promotes obesity and glucose intolerance in mice through changes in the intestinal microbiota and that these adverse effects can be transferred to healthy mice by faecal transplant. They also demonstrated that artificial sweeteners can induce a dysbiosis - microbial imbalance - in the gut and glucose intolerance in healthy human subjects.

Suez J et al, Artificial sweeteners induce glucose intolerance by altering the gut microbiota. Nature. 2014;514(7521):181-6.

Serious side effects of sleeping pills. Studies have previously found an association between sleeping pills, increased risk of dementia, daytime fatigue, poor coordination, falls, road traffic incidents, pneumonia, other infections, and cancer. Now a new study reports increased risk of early death. So why isn't diet recommended as a first resort for insomniacs? My favourite story about the use of diet for insomnia is:

"I have been an insomniac since I was 16. From my mid 20s it has been a major issue in my life. I have lived on approximately four hours sleep a day. I have spent thousands of dollars in trying to find the answer. I have seen naturopaths, homeopaths, medical doctors, Chinese herbalists, acupuncturists. I have been to a sleep centre where they tried to teach me to sleep. I have tried every imaginable trick to try to sleep. For three years, I stopped drinking or eating anything with caffeine. I would drink warm milk before bed. I would take a run before bed. I would read a book before bed. Have a bath before bed. You name it, I have probably tried it ..." from 

Further reading: Weich S et al, Effect of anxiolytic and hypnotic drug prescriptions on mortality hazards, BMJ. 2014 Mar 19;348:g1996.


Artificial colours now hidden in pharmacy items Many Network members recently heard that their favourite Amcal One-a-Day vitamin tablet has been reformulated and now contains sunset yellow 110 (plus two nasty synthetic antioxidants) which weren’t there before. Pharmaceuticals are increasingly sourced from India and China, where artificial colours are still widely used. Will such changes be on the label? How can you tell what is in your toothpaste, toiletries, supplements and medicines? READ MORE

Food additives fingered in Physical Education Week in South Australia Big thanks to leading activist Bron in Adelaide for her efforts in getting the effects of food additives on children recognised  in the SA Office for Recreation and Sport publication for Physical Education Week 10 - 14 November 2014. Once again South Australia is leading Australia in education! See page 12 in Physical Education Week 2014 publication

Dietitians and other health professionals list is now available directly at - if you visit a person on this list, please give feedback to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so that we can help others.

Using your phone to view - at the bottom of each page you can switch between mobile and standard versions of the pages.


Q. We’ve been meaning to do a dairy challenge but there always seems to be a reason not to.

From the beginning of January right through to March can be a good time because the Christmas and pre Christmas party season is over. Challenges can be more difficult than most people expect. It is important to get them right or you can end up with an inconclusive result. You need to stick to the RPAH recommendations (e.g. 1-3 glasses of milk per day for at least 7 days for the dairy food challenge). Your dietitian can give you a list of challenges; also see the Challenges hints factsheet and the amine and salicylate challenge recipes in the Failsafe Cookbook. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for recent updates to challenges.

Q: What about GAPS gut healing and other alternatives?

While some people have reported success and even cures with the GAPS diet or various biomed approaches, there is often limited scientific evidence, unlike Sydney's Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Allergy Unit, whose work we recommend.

Many alternative approaches appear to work because they exclude so many foods. The trouble is that you may also be excluding some foods that you can in fact tolerate (false negatives), and still taking some foods that you can't tolerate (false positives). People who try this approach often say they can tolerate more than they expect initially, but it is very difficult for an individual to measure symptoms that change by small amounts on a daily basis - this can be because symptoms are changing - eg going from restlessness to loud and annoying - or because the changes build up slowly.

We often see that when people say "failsafe isn't working" and send details of what they are doing, we can generally find at least five mistakes - enough to alter to outcome of the diet.

In our experience, people are typically enthusiastic about any new regime at first, then after six months they may be less certain or realise that they are back where they started, perhaps with a different set of symptoms but certainly not performing as well as they are able. They then either abandon diet completely, accepting the limitations but claiming that the treatment worked, or revert to lower levels of the chemicals that affect them and resume a science-based diet. The second course is more difficult because it means admitting that all the cost and effort of testing was wasted.

The scientific way to determine food intolerances is to use an elimination diet. In our experience, the RPAH elimination diet is the most effective. It is best when the diet, challenges and reintroduction are done under the supervision of an experienced dietitian and this is what we recommend.

If you decide to pursue alternatives we would prefer not to hear from you through the failsafe groups where our focus is on encouraging failsafers. However, we would be interested to receive an email about your experiences after six months and 12 months so that we can add to our bank of knowledge.

Note: See all FAQs at Some of the FAQ information, particularly about specific foods and what they contain, may be out of date – always check the Failsafe shopping list for the latest information.

Many more questions are answered by knowledgeable failsafers in the
Failsafe forum and the 8,500 member Sue Dengate facebook group, which you are free to join.


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.

[1291] Depression and food intolerance - my story COURAGE AWARD

To coin a phrase from the UK Inland Revenue advertising........”To have depression, is very depressing”.  It is also very debilitating, with symptoms of loss of energy and fatigue, poor concentration, physical and mental slowing down and anxiety. I had all these symptoms over a period of forty years, and they increased in intensity during the twenty-year period from 1960. During this time, I was married and had two children. It was a difficult time, as the depression affected my working life, although I was able to hold down a job as a dispenser in retail pharmacy, my accuracy at dispensing was not compromised, but promotion eluded me. During the early 70’s, I opened my own drug store in the City of London it was a struggle to order goods, keep the books, and I was under constant stress to maintain the status quo.

By this time, I was under medication from my G.P., which did not have any effect. He also recommended group therapy, which I attended on a weekly basis. This was a total waste of time, as I realised that I was not like the people who attended each session, especially as I learned that some of them had been going for four years, and still had the same problems.  By this time I was becoming suicidal, as I could not cope with the idea that I would have to wake up each morning with all the symptoms, and fight my way through each and every day.

I then decided to take stock of the situation and realised that there must be a hidden agenda and a cause for my depression. I started going to the library (no internet in those days) to look for something that could help me. One of the books I found was “Not all in the Mind” by Dr. Richard Mackarness.  From this book, I discovered the world of food allergy and food intolerance that Dr. Mackarness had encountered on his trip to America in 1958 when he stayed with Dr.Ted Randolph at his clinic in Chicago. He learnt that Dr.Albert Rowe in the 1920’s and 30’s, designed what he called the elimination diet, this was further improved by Dr. Randolph who introduced the five day fast at the beginning of an investigation. On returning to the UK, Dr. Mackarness tested this method in his general practice for several years.

However, the case that caught my attention was a patient who was violent, self harming, abusing her children and with strong feelings of guilt. She had been treated with ECT and a wide variety of medications in high doses, which did not produce any improvement. The doctors were considering brain surgery. Dr Mackarness suggested that food intolerance could be the problem. He then set up an experiment under controlled conditions where he starved the patient for five days and then she was given test doses of specified foods. It was shown that certain foods (one of which was pork) made her violent, and if she kept off those foods, her condition improved drastically. So much so, that she was sent home with no medication at all, and remained well, as long as she kept to the safe foods.

Was this the cause of my own problems? My mother had been diagnosed with manic depression, which was never resolved, even though she was treated with ECT and was on continuous medication, and she died of a cerebral haemorrhage. Could she have had the same problem? Why didn’t my GP ever mention that food could have been the source of my depression?

I then decided to eliminate wheat and dairy products from my diet, to see what would happen. This was a tough decision as my favourite foods were bread, weetabix, cow’s milk, cheese, ice cream and biscuits. However, I persisted, and I remember waking up one morning, three weeks later, with a clear head, and not feeling tired.. I was normal!!!!!!.  It was an incredible feeling.

To make up for the foods I had eliminated, I was eating a lot of eggs and chocolate. The symptoms returned, so they were out. Eventually, I found that oats and rye affected me, also beer – anything with grain. My alcoholic refreshments were limited to the grape, champagne, brandy and red wine....not bad, I suppose.  However, my intake of fruit and vegetables increased, I could eat fish and meat. I stopped tea and coffee, and kept to fruit juice and herb and fruit teas. Rice cakes replaced bread.

Today, there are plenty of wheat-free, gluten-free and dairy-free foods, soya and goat’s milk, cheese and yoghurt. However, for thirty plus years, I have lived an active life without wheat and dairy products. At age eighty, I am still active.I have my own teeth, and I am not on any allopathic medication. I eat organic foods (without pesticides, hormones, herbicides, and additives).

In the area of mental health, it is sad that the medical profession has chosen to ignore food intolerance, even though it has been proven (especially by the work of Dr. Mackarness) that food can be a contributory factor. In my opinion, the two indications to food intolerance and mental health is:-  1) the food that you love the most and crave for, is the one that is doing the most harm and,  2) if long term medication is not producing a cure, then there is probably another agenda. Elimination diets can be carried out in tandem with medication to see what happens.

In January 2006, the Mental Health Foundation launched their campaign “Feeding Minds The impact of food on mental health”. They asked me if I would tell my story to the media and I was on BBC1 TV, BBC Five Live and LBC, plus other newspaper follow-ups.

“My Story” and other articles have been published in the U.K. newsletter of the “Action Against Allergy” organisation which was founded by Dr.Mackarness, who in his later life retired to Australia.

My mission is to spread the word, especially as there is an increase in mental problems amongst the younger generation whose diet needs to be addressed, rather than blanket medication - Brian from the UK

[1293] KB's story: severe chronic Insomnia caused by red gel toothpaste (December 2014)

In October 2104, Howard and I embarked on a long, high, difficult six week trek in the remote Dolpo region of Nepal. Our guide, KB, was brilliant - young, fit, strong and clever, he spoke excellent English and we enjoyed his company. However, on the 14th day of the trek, KB admitted he was having terrible trouble sleeping at night. The problem had started on the first night of the trek and was getting worse. He had also become extremely sensitive to night noises such as barking dogs. He didn't have to tell us that because we’d already noticed that he would spend his nights throwing rocks at noisy dogs and even, rather bizarrely, ask mule train and pack horse drivers to remove the bells from their animals' necks.

This was a puzzle. Insomnia and hyperacusis – an increased sensitivity to everyday sounds - are commonly associated with some food additives and natural food chemicals, but I knew what KB ate because we were eating the same: additive free local foods mostly roasted barley flour porridge and two big serves a day of rice, lentils and vegetables. I checked that his drinks were okay, mostly water and weak milky tea, and that he wasn't using chewing gum.

Then I asked about toothpaste. You have to consider everything that people put in their mouths because additives can be absorbed through skin, whether you swallow the toothpaste or not. KB looked stunned. We read the label on his toothpaste. Bingo. It contained five colours, but even I couldn’t tell what they were, because toothpaste labelling is not covered by the same rules as food. It is one of the dirty tricks that manufacturers use to hide nasty additives from concerned consumers: they use Colour Index numbers. So the list read “colours mica/CI 77019, CI 16255, CI 17200, CI 177491, CI 77891”.


I usually look those numbers up on our website, but here we were in one of the most remote places on the planet and I didn’t have access. We could see the toothpaste was red. Get rid of it, I suggested. “But it is recommended by the World Dental Federation”, KB said.

Out went the toothpaste and KB’s problem disappeared overnight. I later confirmed that one of those numbers is artificial colour E124. When used in European food, it has to carry a warning about adverse effects on children's behaviour and attention, Another one - naphthalene red - isn’t even permitted in food, so no one knows what the side effects might be.  I was furious with toothpaste manufacturers, governments and therapeutic goods regulations for permitting this confusing labelling, and with the dentists in the World Dental Federation for endorsing such a product.

There was one fact I wanted to look up when we got back. What exactly is the World Dental Federation? Turns out it’s a professional group that runs congresses for dentists, and it is funded by …  wait for it … the same multinational company that makes KB's toothpaste. - Sue Dengate


More information:

[1290] Does food avoidance lead to increased food sensitivity? - facebook thread

Question: Is it true that the longer you stay away from a food that you know you react to (with food intolerance, not allergy), the worse the reactions when you have it accidentally?

I have seen no scientific evidence that if you avoid foods you become more sensitive over time. People who report this are usually seeing reactions more clearly because the baseline behaviour is more settled. When there is an infraction, it is easier to see - Howard

I found this was true when I was diagnosed coeliac. I remember telling the doctor my reactions were worse when I accidentally ate gluten now I was on a gluten free diet. His answer was I just hadn't realised how bad I felt before the diet - Anne

Yes it feels like the reactions are more severe but as you say my perception is now heightened due to knowing what it is like to be "normal"-  Michelle

Not in my case! In fact, after a few months' break, I could tolerate the same (and/or related) 'adverse' foods in small amounts, but as soon as I 'binge' eat again, the battle is on! - Ray

I have been failsafe for about 5 months. My symptoms cleared up pretty well when I was following it strictly but lately I have been experimenting with a little bit of forbidden food and my symptoms seem to flare up almost as badly as when I was eating a completely non-failafe diet. It does make me wonder if I have become more sensitive to those foods, and whether it's worth it - Bianca

I agree with Wendy. My gut seems to have healed somewhat. Yaaay - Nicola

It seems quite the opposite, the longer we are away from a food, the better small amounts go when we start back up, and as long as we are patient she can steadily increase that food but very slooow steady to avoid overload. That said I have noticed that if we push a food till we get a strong reaction, we have to fully remove even small amounts of that food for months before she can tolerate half the amount she was tolerating before - Adreanne

I completely agree that reactions may seem worse when reintroducing some eliminated foods, but that is a warning that your body does not tolerate them well. I eliminated gluten with my son (to be fair), only to discover that it gave me terrible headaches. I had suffered with headaches for years, but put it down to genes. Now, after a couple of years on a gluten free diet, I can have some gluten containing foods without much fallout. I believe healing has taken place as a result of removing the offender - Shakti

One thing often described is an initial increase in sensitivity, which settles. That's what we saw. To me, that is kind of like the pain of taking off the scab before the recovery is complete, while leaving it be allows for recovery - Tracy

I agree that it's true that when you remove certain foods you can see the reaction more clearly, however I also think it's possible that your body develops mechanisms of dealing with certain foods that it's familiar with - Salome

My son’s been fairly strictly failsafe for nearly 9 years. We are going to do challenges again after Xmas but I'm pretty sure (from when we've allowed non failsafe days) that his tolerance of previous foods has improved heaps. He initially vomited and had extreme diarrhoea for cows’ milk and Sals. No longer - Amanda

Yes a small infringement was very obvious but as we stuck to FAILSAFE for many years, we began to add small tolerable amounts to my sons diet until he had increased his tolerance threshold (for ADHD and OD behaviours). He seemed to be able to tolerate larger amounts of his trigger foods (sals) after a while - Rochelle

It's like alcohol, the more you drink it, the more tolerance you have for it? We've been able to build up tolerances staying low FODMAPS.... It's slow and steady but we are getting there - Justine

To take this discussion a bit further (and a warning as this gets a bit technical): I understand that RPAH do not agree with me about seeing reactions more clearly. If I am correct, they think that the body does have a capacity to handle tolerances up to a certain point and develops suites of enzymes to handle chemicals to which you may be reacting.

    Lactose is a simple example. If you continue to eat milk then the lactase enzyme (which breaks down lactose) stays active and you don't become intolerant. But if you stop eating dairy, say during adolescence, then the lactase enzyme becomes less active and you may develop intolerance. Many Asian people are intolerant of lactose because they don't, culturally, eat dairy all the time as in the Western diet. There is also evidence that their lactase enzyme is not as genetically "inducible", that is, it doesn't become more active if they keep eating lactose.

    Another simple example is the alcohol dehydrogenase enzyme which is at high levels in the livers of serious drinkers and very low in those who drink little. This enzyme breaks down alcohol. Again, there is evidence that Asians and Aborigines, for instance, have genetically low levels of this enzyme and so are adversely affected by quite small levels of alcohol. This simple enzyme is also "inducible".

    But most food has many chemicals in them and it would take a very wide suite of enzymes to be inducible and induced so as to handle the wide range of intolerances that may exist. This is why my belief is that most claims to increase tolerance are not accurate. As I said, there is no science that I am aware of about this area. But I am very interested to hear people's experience of slowly increasing tolerance over time - Howard

Many said "as he got bigger his tolerance went up" (but) I say that doesn’t make sense. Four years (of slow introduction) he can now eat a pint of blueberries without reaction, but if I place a single shred of raw carrot in his meal, he will have a reaction so severe you would think he had eaten a pound! So his overall "tolerance" has not increased, but his body has seemed to accept specific foods....-  Adreanne

My son has been failsafe (sensitive to amines) since he was about 12 months old, allergy tested at 6 months, but allergic to nothing on that panel. Now, at 15 is anaphylactic to peanuts- found out on a school trip, testing himself. So my assumption is that abstinence caused this - Anita

For my daughter and myself it's quite clear: we get FAR more sensitive after eliminating. And no, it's not because it's now clearer when compared to baseline. I eat amines quite freely now and don't get any reaction normally, unless the amount is really huge, but when I eliminated them, one small bite would make me crash. I think it would make sense that at least for SOME people the body would now "forget" how to cope and do worse - Susan

Note that any comments on allergies (as opposed to food intolerances) have been removed from this thread. Your allergist can provide you with advice about this issue. See the full thread at

[1289] 635:  “blinding headache and felt like there were bubbles in his throat”

Well, after 3 months failsafe, my 8 year old son had a terrible reaction to what I suspect was 635. We gave in to Chargrill Charlie's, and within 12 hours, my son was coughing incessantly. He seemed ok to go to school (I didn't recognise what was happening), but I got a call from the school that he was having difficulty breathing. They gave him Ventolin (as per Asthma Attack protocol), and I brought him to the hospital as he was white, sweaty, shaky and very frightened. He later told me he had a blinding headache and felt like there were bubbles in his throat.

His headache dissipated over about 3 days which I treated with Panadol and Nurofen. He was quiet for several days, which is very unlike this energetic boy!  - Kathy

(Note that Nurofen is not failsafe; people who react to salicylates usually react to it)

[1288] 220: Sulphites send my 17 yo into a complete ODD asshole

Sulphites send my 17 yo into a complete ODD asshole, more than typical teenager shit and attitude, he has had it all his life and only cottoned onto food intolerances when he was 15.  Since cutting out the crap that sends him loopy, from depression, out of control anger, tears and stuttering and almost like Tourette type syndromes, he has gone from a failing student all his life to one getting A's and B's in most subjects and doing uni pathway for year 12 next year. Honestly we are all in amazement this is happening, its hard work, nothing in the supermarket is hardly ever suitable and he's fussy but so worth it because the whole family pays for it when he goes off track, as you can imagine a 17 yo with his friends eating and drinking anything they want, I have no control when he isn’t home.

I love the facebook group, makes you feel not so isolated and alone with issues like this, people think you’re being fussy or just making it up but if they had to live with consequences it would a different story. I have a six year old daughter who is thankfully benefiting early on from what we have learnt from my teenage son - Bec

[1287] One liners

I have had diarrhea for 20 years. I eliminated salicylates one week ago, and have seen a dramatic turnaround! Amazing! ....I've completed three weeks now, with excellent digestion! There was only one exception. We ate out in the mall. Got bad diarrhea. Interestingly, it hit 36 hours later. A delayed reaction, that I've learned from you. Two days to recover. After that, no salicylates, no problems! Consistent good digestion! This is so fantastic! - American living in the Philippines.

That book you sent me has done wonders. His teacher and counsellor just said WOW that diet really is amazing, Tyson is with us on this trip - thanks Kate

Being failsafe is something you have to do before you believe it. I taught a preschool child once who was following the diet to improve his behaviour. I commented that he should have been medicated. Now that my son has been down that road (becoming failsafe for behaviour) my tune has changed. Diet does make a difference. Unfortunately advertising sways opinions - Claire

I am another of those mums whose 2.5 yo went from numerous huge melt-downs a day, very clingy, hitting, defiant (the list goes on...) to a wonderful angel.  I am a bit disappointed that when I've asked for help from a counsellor and my GP, the responses are always about behavioural strategies! - Erin

[1286] ADHD: “three weeks on failsafe and all his symptoms have stopped”

My son has been on ADHD medication for 5 years (he's now almost 12) - while it served its purpose in the beginning, in the last 12 months he'd been aggressive, had a racing heartbeat and severe verbal and physical tics. Two weeks off his medication and three weeks on failsafe and all his symptoms have stopped and his teacher says he's more focused in class. I wish I had of been informed of the diet option before being told medication was the only solution. What's safer for our children? Dosing then up in medication (even if it is working) or changing their diet. I almost feel I was a lazy parent for taking the easy medication option without even looking at possible alternatives - Larissa

[1285] ADHD: “really hang in there with failsafe”

Pity this article on ADHD  didn't include Sue's work. A major and disappointing omission.

Over 20 years ago our family went through the whole drug treatment, Connor rating...all the things referred to in this article. We changed schools, endlessly we tried to work out why one child hyperactive, the other so very withdrawn. Tested high IQs but little school engagement. Medication was all we got from paediatricians. Things were bad......ritalin awful, I felt terrible drugging them but both not functioning at school without it: what to do? Eventually we were lucky enough to find failsafe and things turned around big time. No drugs. Life unbelievably better. As adults the ability of our kids to study and manage other aspects of their life has depended on whether they have chosen to be failsafe: this article suggests this is a childhood condition butIi am sure that once a person has these intolerances it is highly likely they will carry them into adulthood.
Reading this article I couldn't believe how little has changed.....except, all those years ago, ADHD was little recognised in schools.

Now a grandmother, I look back and strongly urge families to really hang in there with Sue's books for inspiration. The minor inconvenience of going FS is nothing compared to the joy of having a happy family. One shouldn't have regrets, I know, but our family life, loving and close as it was, would have been very very much better if we had come across FS much earlier - Jane


I'm really sad today. I'm in a mums and bubs group and one of the mums posted that there child was diagnosed with ADHD and now she has to medicate her child. I posted about the great results I have had with being failsafe. And I was made out to be the freak using alternate ways and I should be using the medications. . But they didn't want to know that I'm now symptom free..I NO LONGER HAVE ADHD!

Thanks to Sue and her amazing network. I'm just sad that it's the freaky way to go.. Kylie

[1283] Lactose and "off with the fairies"

My son was diagnosed as ADD in 2006 age 5. Instead of Ritalin (as was prescribed and given to us in a brown paper bag after our visit to a paediatrician at Adelaide Children's Hospital), we did the elimination diet and found he is lactose intolerant. If he has lactose it affects his behaviour, concentration and memory for up to 3 days. Even after 8 years of sticking to lactose free, if he has proper dairy he gets quite sick (vomiting and loose bowels). Just to clarify, my son CAN drink and eat lactose free products with no effect at all, but if he has "normal" dairy products, he has the behaviour/memory issues and vomiting and loose bowels.

His behaviour has gone from what was classed as "off with the fairies" before we became lactose free, to now after even small amounts of dairy he becomes full on, silly/naughty and asks silly things and runs about crazy, his pupils dilate, he can't keep his hands still and definitely not concentrating - Kerry-Anne.

[1282] Tic disorder and "immediate results by cutting out the additives"

Oh what a journey I have had! As I said before my 5 year old son developed a chronic tic disorder and I was at my wits' end, I took him to so many doctors who told me that nothing can be done, then  I found your website.

I noticed immediate results by cutting out the additives but I could not get him to baseline. I then contacted one of your recommended dieticians. I cannot speak highly enough of this lady. She has been a light in the darkness. As I have told her myself she was the first person to say “yes I can help you” when so many others didn’t want to know. With her help we got to baseline (which means symptom free!!!) within about a month and worked through the challenges. He can now have mod to high sals, mod amines, glutamates on occasion and no additives at all!   But he looks normal and is getting on wonderfully at school. I have learned so much about how food affected both my children’s behaviour as well – even though this was not why I was doing the diet.

Doctors and dieticians here are amazed at our story and results!

Thank you from the bottom of my heart, for without your work my adorable little son who was born perfect, would still be living with this chronic condition, and I have no doubt that the knock on effect of this on my entire families mental health would have been a negative one - Karen

See also 7 pages of other stories on tics and Tourette's syndrome

[1281] Chromosomal deletion, a severe speech delay, global developmental delay helped by diet

Almost three weeks into our salicylate free diet and seeing some nice changes. I should add we have also changed to A2 milk and less wholegrain wheat in breads and cereals. My boy seems calmer, less oppositional and able to reason with. But we've also noticed a change in his fine motor skills...his hand writing has changed and he has done up the buttons on his shirt for the first time ever. His language also seems better, with lots of new words and a subtle change in the way he speaks.

Our boy has a chromosomal deletion, a severe speech delay, global developmental delay and sensory processing disorder so we've been dealing with a lot his whole almost 7 years! I kind of wish I had looked into his diet earlier but we are here now.

3 months later: We still doing low sals and things seem a bit calmer. Still some challenging behaviour but hes got a lot going on poor boy! Interestingly his craving for fruit has gone, I'm limiting to golden delicious apples, pears and bananas...max two pieces a day now - Sandra

[1280] Encopresis: "my 7 year old son was CURED after five days on the diet"

I found a great dietitian through your website and can't recommend her highly enough.  She was smart and compassionate, up with the details and yet practical.  Nothing loopy or vague about her, and yet she understands when feeding a child you really need some options you can make spreadable!

I also want to share that after 3 years of seeing a gastroenterologist with encopresis, my 7 year old son was CURED after five days on the diet.  My husband who was initially a little bit sceptical (although supportive of trying) is also totally amazed after seeing the results, and telling our friends about our success with the Failsafe diet.  Our son's whole personality has changed now that he doesn't have a sore tummy and solidified poo all the time.  I hope that one day soon there is a refereed medical paper on this, as there are so many specialists saying "it's only anecdotal".   I have to say that the dietician said she has rarely seen such a quick response so we may be somewhat unusual.  Our son also had strong negative responses to the challenges we did later on (although each one took about 5 days to show).  In fact after the amines challenge we could not get him feeling healthy and having normal bowel movements again without a laxative "washout".  We have decided to keep him on the strict elimination diet for six months before we try to do any more challenges.

Interestingly, although my husband and other son found no changes on the elimination diet, I felt better than I had for years and have chosen to follow the strict diet unless I am eating out with friends.  Both salicylates and amines (and I suspect sulphites although have not bothered doing a specific challenge) affect my mood, and muscle fatigue and pains I have lived with for years.  I have been a functional parent and employee as viewed by outsiders, but insiders know how much I struggled to keep it all together.  Things are much better now on the diet.

Thanks for your great work with the books and the website.  We would never have heard about this otherwise. - Marita

[1279] Only taken 30+ years to find out I'm a coeliac!

I am 52 and been having extreme IBS symptoms, heart burn, upset stomachs, stomach ache when eating bread and a sensitivity to wine, I also found out I have an intolerance to preservatives. For the past four years I have noticed I have become lethargic and feeling exhausted after eating fruit, particularly bananas.

I have lost count the amount of times I have been to different Drs and believe I have been misdiagnosed. I used to put it mostly down to stress then going into other stressful jobs also getting older etc. I started my own research on Dr Google and found out that preservatives, amines and salicylates are a problem for me.

I visited one of your recommended dietitians as I was getting further and further confused on the internet and thought she could give me a sensible food path to follow. One visit to her and she suggested I consult a doctor to possibly see if they could help.

Well the doctor was surprised I hadn't been referred to have an endoscopy....One endoscopy later and I'm a Coeliac....YAHOO, ONLY TAKEN 30 + YRS TO FIND OUT. I was recently diagnosed as fructose intolerant but they said I could be dairy intolerant also. I am hoping this is just my stomach reacting and that I will be able to have dairy at a later stage. I miss my coffee and rice milk just doesn't cut it.

I also could have Barretts disease, which explains all the heartburn and acid which was not stress.

The stomach pains, depression, severe mood swings and general feeling of waking up and already completed a marathon have started to slowly dissipate, every day I am feeling just a hint better, the feeling of being depressed is actually more than 90% gone.

Now that I am in a better frame of mind I will look at some support groups to help myself and share my knowledge with others. I am disappointed that many Drs did not recommend me to have an endoscopy. It would have saved having my coccyx removed for a start; over 20 years ago they thought my coccyx was playing up when I discovered bread was causing me to have haemorrhoids, but nothing to do with the tailbone at all. - Anthony by email.

[1278] 202: Hives from sorbate preservative

My 3 year old daughter gets hives from potassium sorbate (preservative 202). The first reaction came from home made pizza. I made the base from scratch but used a jar pizza sauce. The reaction was quite dramatic and scary. She came up in bright red hives all around her mouth within minutes. They lasted approximately 1 1/2 hours. I raced her down to the GP (I have another child with severe food allergies so I was terrified it was happening again). I also had no idea what ingredient in the pizza had caused the reaction. Obviously pizza contains some high risk foods as far as allergies go (dairy, wheat) but she'd eaten every ingredient in the past except the pizza sauce. We were referred to a paediatric allergist. He didn't know what ingredient caused the reaction and felt it was unnecessary to put such a young child through further testing.

After 2 weeks we tried the pizza sauce again and she reacted again. We were told it wasn't a serious reaction and to avoid that brand of pizza sauce. A couple of months later she reacted to a new brand of margarine and the only ingredient they have in common is preservative 202. One other thing, she didn't have any other obvious allergy symptoms (vomiting etc) and, at the time, she didn't complain about the inside of her mouth but I also wonder if it gave her an unpleasant sensation inside her mouth. Months later, she still refuses to eat pizza and margarine/butter. It's pretty unusual for a 3 year old to request vegemite on toast with no margarine or butter. Prior to the reaction she happily ate sandwiches and toast with margarine. - Vicki, by email

[1277] Seven years of burning rash

I have been dealing with what is at times a very debilitating rash. It is a burning rash - typically not itchy - and is located in the flexural areas -armpit, groin, under breasts. The skin burns, sometimes develops blisters that are easily popped, scabs in areas, and skin that literally peels away.  I've been to several dermatologists, doctors, allergists, etc. in an effort to find the cause of this rash for 7+ years and really never been completely without it during that time. Any dermatologist I have seen has refused to consider that the rash could be food related.

2 weeks later:
This is day 6 of the failsafe plan and I have not experienced the burning sensation for the last couple of days. I am feeling very encouraged by the improvement. I will definitely carry on with the diet and hope to see continued clearing of the rash. I am so grateful for your website. This has been such a difficult process and I truly felt like I just didn't know what else to try - Janet, by email

[1276] Food intolerance symptoms were basically destroying my life

I underwent the diet with a dietician about two years ago - I'm now 38 - and finally uncovered what had been basically destroying my life for about a year before that - severe intolerance to amines, salicylates, glutamates, colours and preservatives. My symptoms are generally: extreme irritability; extreme sinusitis-like symptoms, including ear aches and imbalance, near-permanent blocked or runny nose, and general flu-like symptoms (body ache, chills etc; extreme tiredness; and skin problems). I use "extreme" in all of the above because I'm so used to people saying "That doesn't sound too bad".  - Diego, by email

[1275] “Like a switch it turned her eczema off”

I just want to say that I am very thankful for the failsafe diet, all the books, groups like this and support from people near and far. I have had my family on the strict failsafe diet for 9 days now and my daughter's eczema has reduced by about 80%!! It's incredible as a few days ago there looked to be no improvement and it was like a switch has turned her eczema off. The only patches left are a handful of really deep ones that I am sure will disappear in another week or so. So exciting!!!

Another big win was yesterday my daughter went to a birthday party and I packed her failsafe party food and drink. On pick up time she was zooming about with her friends so I assumed just another crazy party with a meltdown to occur around dinner time. Once in the car she settled immediately and we got on with our evening with her chatting happily about the party. No tantrums, negative attitude, harsh words, nothing! It's times like these when you eat yet another serve of only beans and potato (I miss my carrot and broccoli) that you realise time and effort well spent - Tameka from facebook group

[1274] One-liners

Just a little note to say how grateful I am to have found this page and how much I admire all of you on here. The support I have found has been truly amazing and I have never stumbled across any negativity in the slightest. You all make my Failsafe journey so much easier - Misty on facebook page


It is worth doing the RPAH elimination diet; my son is currently on it. He is 4 and was waking every night - thank god I did not persist with sleep school which was what everyone wanted me to do... Now he sleeps when we stick to the elimination diet. I too had the looks from my husband but he has now seen the proof and believes me now! - Frederikke

Eliminating 282 (also known as calcium propionate or cultured dextrose) from my diet almost completely eliminated my migraines :-) - Deborah by email.

Don’t forget, you can scroll through all
current stories


The Failsafe shopping list is updated on an almost daily basis and is fully searchable. Look there in the first instance. Here are some of the interesting updates since the last newsletter:

Organic cotton bodysuits, rompers, wraps and more: Failsafe is close to the heart of the owner and founder of because her son suffered from eczema, so she knows first hand that organic cotton combined with other factors can benefit little ones with eczema and also have a flow on effect of making mums life a bit easier by reducing the severity of symptoms. They have a range of affordable clothing.

Pascall White (vanilla) Marshmallows: despite the packaging saying there are artificial colours in them, “the formulation ... has not altered ... we can assure you colours 102,110,123,124,133 are NOT contained within the product” - Kraft

Tapioca and sago - the widely available Cock Brand has been tested with no sulphites detected at all

**WARNING** Amcal One-a-day vitamin and mineral tablets ARE NOT FAILSAFE as their new formulation (Sept 2014) contains BHA 320, BHT 319 and sunset yellow 110. It took the manufacturer several tries to get this information right, sorry about that.


For the holiday season, check out the factsheet Christmas and food intolerance for recipes and hints.

Major update: The trouble with toothpaste and other dental products

Which are the 20 most popular factsheets? See

For our USA members and those travelling, see the USA food list and also the factsheet Additives around the world for updated info - thanks Bonnie


Thanks for your continuing support of each other!

Failsafe during or post cancer treatment: If anyone is in this situation and wants to talk to someone experienced, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. One failsafer reports "I wasn't FS during or for a while afterward and I deeply regret it. I think the during treatment part would have been hard but 100% of my post cancer health anxieties (complete with panic attacks and conviction that I was going to drop dead any second) was either directly due to food or at least massively exacerbated by it. Now that I am FS I seem to have mostly left all that behind and when I do worry, I find I am a lot more sensible about everything. Time has helped too, but FS has made such a big difference."

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 (over 8,500 members) and/or the Failsafe forum (more private). If you want to use an email support group, join at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. There are special interest email support groups too.

There’s a new UK facebook page and of course the active USA facebook page
twitter-bird-blue-on-whitetweet as @failsafers (note the plural).

Food Intolerance Network hits 6.4 million visitors. Interest in food intolerance and in eating food without additives continues to grow.

Local contacts: can generally answer some questions about failsafe eating - many have brochures and a copy of the DVD to lend out. They can also advise on supportive dietitians locally.

Dietitians: for failsafe-friendly dietitians, see 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.


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 $15.50 through


: 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.

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 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


For the holiday season, check out the factsheet Christmas and food intolerance for recipes and hints.

Christmas can be the worst time of year for people with food intolerance - especially those who haven't yet realised they are affected by food. Food reactions are related to the size of the dose, people eat bigger doses of high salicylate, amine and glutamate foods at Christmas time, reactions can be delayed and cumulative. This is when people are likely to realise they need to take food seriously. The good news is that after all those Christmas parties, January is a good time to do your elimination diet, like this family:

"Since Christmas we've lived failsafe which has made our house a calm, lovely environment (thank you for that!)" –Kate


Roast vegie free-form pies MODERATE SALICYLATES
Surprisingly good and worth the fiddling. Our pastry was dairy-free and gluten-free so it is thicker than commercial shortcrust sheets.

3 sheets frozen shortcrust pastry, thawed
100g feta cheese, cream cheese or other failsafe cheese, or Tofu "cheese" (see next recipe)
700g butternut pumpkin, cut into 1cm cubes
2 zucchini, 15cm long peeled and cut into 4 lengthwise into pieces about 1cm long
1 spring onion, sliced into 4 lengthwise into pieces about 1 cm long
salt if desired
canola spray
parsley to garnish

Preheat oven to 190'C (170'C fan-forced). Spray a baking tray with canola oil. Spread chopped vegies in a single layer and spray them with more oil. Roast for 25 minutes, turning once, cool.

Using a bowl as a guide, cut several 13-15cm circles from the pastry and place separately in the wiped down and resprayed baking tray. Crumble feta into the centre of each pastry and top each with vegies, leaving a 3cm border around the outside. Fold pastry up over the vegies, pleating the edge with fingers so it stays in place. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden-brown. allow to cool a little before placing on serving plates with garnish. Adapted from Coles website

Tofu "cheese"

A lot of people miss cheese. Here is a very acceptable alternative.

2/3 cup boiled cold water
2 tsp salt
1 tsp citric acid
375g firm tofu, cut into slices about 4-5mm thick

Dissolve salt and citric in water. Put in closable container (eg glass or plastic) and add tofu. The tofu should be covered with the liquid so choose the right container. Put in fridge overnight then start using on crackers, bread, in salads etc. Keep refrigerated, lasts about a week and is surprisingly good.


Magic maple custard pie

Easy to make and delicious to eat, this recipe can be dairy free and gluten free. Tammy says "have made it with A2 milk and rice milk and prefer the rice milk version".

3 tbpsn failsafe butter or margarine (eg Nuttelex)
4 eggs
1/2-3/4 cup white sugar depending on how sweet you want it
1 pinch salt if wanted
2 cups milk or failsafe milk substitute
1 tbspn maple syrup
1/2 cup plain flour (or gluten free plain flour)

Put all ingredients into a blender (eg Thermomix speed 6) for 30 seconds. Pour into oiled 23cm (9”) pie pan. Sprinkle with carob powder. Bake at 175’C for 45 minutes. The flour will settle to make its own crust.
Adapted by Tammy from


Thanks to failsafer Frillypants for her great collection of (mostly) failsafe cakes for the holiday season


Check out the range of great recipes in the Christmas newsletter of At The Failsafe Table
Also subscribe to the free 'Newspaper'

Don't forget these Failsafe Blogs/Websites (thanks Rona)

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.

This Pinterest page is a recipe index of ANY Failsafe recipes on ANY blog. So far there are more than 300 recipes and ideas all catagorised to make it easy to search

And the very useful weekly meal plan website


The FAILSAFE Newsletter is available free by email. Just email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Unsubscribe by sending a blank message to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Sue Dengate’s books and DVD and the failsafe magnifying card and sulphite test strips are available through

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

40 copies Fed Up Revised and updated at $12.50
12 copies Failsafe Cookbook Updated at $22.00
20 copies Fed Up With Children' Behaviour (NTSC format) - DVD at $15.50

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


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 (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 Teresa and Tracy for their help with facebook and story collections. Further reading: Fed Up and The Failsafe Cookbook by Sue Dengate (Random House Australia), Fed Up with Children’s Behaviour (DVD) by Sue Dengate.