Failsafe 96 May - July 2020


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.


Covid-19: 5 questions from readers

Asthma, wine and covid-19

Immune systems and failsafe eating

Domestic violence and diet

Loud voice, silly noises, speech delay, stuttering due to diet

Goldfish have a longer attention span

Research: Could myopia be related to too much MSG?

In brief: In the last newsletter we said goodbye to the local contacts list; Make your own hand sanitiser (from the WHO); FSANZ issues COVID-19 advice for food businesses

Your questions: I've been told wheat is a glutamate. I'm wondering how come it is viewed as a failsafe food?

Success stories: [1558] – [1564]

Failsafe shopping list: Food Intolerance Resources from RPAH; Failsafe sausages list updated; ***WARNING*** look out for “cultured sugar”; USA shoping list updated; Icecream cones; Special offer on revised and updated Friendly Food from RPAH

Factsheets: over 100 science-based information sheets on symptoms and additives plus video resources.

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

Cook's corner: Instant pancakes; Lockdown activity; The Failsafe Table - it is fantastic

Thanks and admin:



Hello everyone

In these strange lockdown times, Howard and I would like to say a big thank you to members of the failsafe facebook group for being so supportive of each other ??.

This has led to some Covid-19 related topics in this newsletter – questions and reader feedback such as the effect of failsafe eating on immune systems: “I cannot remember the last time I or my children were seriously ill with a cold or flu" and “If I stay low sals I never get sick at all" from story [1560].

There are also articles about effects of diet on myopia (shortsightedness), asthma, domestic violence, loud voice and attention span. 

With people generally eating more fruit and veg, some new reader stories show the problems of an ultra-‘healthy’ high fruit and veg diet for people who don’t realise they are salicylate-sensitive, including a 3 year old: “we couldn’t ignore how extreme his tantrums would become…for the past few weeks he had been eating a ridiculous amount of strawberries, as much as a punnet a day…the improvements (on diet) have been astronomical!” from story [1561].    And some fascinating answers to “what triggered your food intolerance?” as in the report “I did the I Quit Sugar program and was eating heaps of vegetables, using olive oil, coconut oil and spices. I started getting hives …” from story [1563]

Also in this newsletter, product updates including failsafe ice creams and cones, supplements such as vitamin C and a warning: propionate preservatives (280-283) in bread are now permitted in meats and can be hidden under innocent sounding names –  such as cultured sugar!

In Cooks corner, Sandie’s lockdown activity suggestion - use monopoly money to buy “movie” tickets and snacks for chores. Plus an instant pancake recipe.  Now read on....and stay safe

 - Sue Dengate

Covid-19: 5 questions from readers

Homemade Coleslaw with Shredded Cabbage, Carrots (moderate salicylates), and Lettuce

Five useful questions (and answers) from people about coronavirus and food issues

1. What are the best fruits/veg for Vit C when you have salicylate and amine problems?
2. What is the best Vitamin C supplement for failsafers?
3. Zinc is meant to help our immune system. What are the best foods for zinc when you have salicylate and amine problems?
4. If we get the virus what would you recommend?
5. Can you explain to me why we don’t get sick when on failsafe?

Read full blog from Sue Dengate

Asthma, wine and covid-19

Experts warn that people with moderate to severe asthma may be at higher risk of getting very sick from covid-19, although there are differing views.

Our readers say that when families go on an elimination diet to help a child with behaviour problems, any asthmatics in the family are likely to improve as well - because the food chemicals that can be associated with asthma are the same. Sulphite preservatives (220-228) are the additives most associated with asthma and for adults, sulphites in wine and beer can be a major source of these additives.

Read full blog from Sue Dengate

Immune systems and failsafe eating


With coronavirus Covid-19 dominating the news, people are discussing how to boost their immune system.  It is common for failsafers to report that they no longer suffer frequent colds, flu and recurrent infections once they are established on failsafe eating - and yes, there is scientific evidence.

Studies have found that certain food additives act as immunosuppressants, that is, they can actually suppress the immune system, making some people more likely to suffer from recurrent infections.

This has been shown in several studies – read full blog from Sue Dengate and see feedback on this blog in story [1560] below.

Domestic violence and diet


Experts say that domestic violence increases after natural disasters such as earthquakes, cyclones and bushfires but all their emphasis is on psychological effects of disasters.

When we started the Food Intolerance Network in Darwin about 30 years ago, some of our families were caught up in severe floods, unable to access their usual foods.

These families reported that the behaviour of children who were affected by additives in processed food worsened because they were unable to buy, for example, preservative free bread, and had to rely on food parcels full of convenience foods that tend to be high in additives.

So it made me wonder – could some of these cases be due to what fire refugees have to eat and drink? Processed foods are not usually blamed for domestic violence, but maybe they should be.

Read reports and science in full blog from Sue Dengate

Loud voice, silly noises, speech delay, stuttering due to diet


A grandmother was describing her grandsons, aged 5 and 7:

"From the minute they wake up, they are making noise and their voices are so loud"

Loud voice – or “no volume control” – and constant noise – or “silly noises” have often been described by our readers as symptoms that disappear when you get the diet right.

If you are stuck at home with kids and they are driving you crazy, this might be a good time to get diet right. Read helpful blog from Sue Dengate

Goldfish have a longer attention span


While the internet argues whether humans have a shorter attention span than goldfish, an Australian study found that inattention is one of the top four behavioural effects of food additives, along with irritability, restlessness, and sleep disturbance.

Compared to bad behaviour, parents don't complain much about short attention span because it is not as difficult to live with. The trouble is, short attention span leads to learning delays at school – and these can cause school failure.

It is common to blame inattention on too much screen time, but scientific evidence and our readers say short attention span and inability to concentrate can be improved by diet. Look at the evidence in the full blog from Sue Dengate


Could myopia be related to too much MSG?

There has been a big increase in myopia – or short-sightedness – in the last 40 years, particularly in East and South-East Asia. In some Chinese cities, up to 90 per cent of recent high school graduates have myopia and up to 20 per cent have high myopia.


Latest studies suggest that the epidemic is due to near work, whether reading from books or screens, and not enough outdoor time - but none of these studies looked at diet.

What is the scientific evidence that myopia could be caused by too much MSG? Read full blog from Sue Dengate

In the last newsletter we said goodbye to the local contacts list

Since then we have had some lovely feedback about the value of this list over the years, collected in story [1559] below.

Make your own hand sanitiser (from the WHO)

Here's a useful youtube video showing how to make an effective hand-sanitiser now that shelves have been cleared by panic buying. BUT it might be equally hard to find one of the ingredients (isopropyl alcohol) and you should put the sanitiser in a dark bottle as sunlight breaks down the other main ingredient, hydrogen peroxide.

FSANZ issues COVID-19 advice for food businesses

The Australia/New Zealand food regulator FSANZ has stated that there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be transmitted through food. In particular, FSANZ said that it is unlikely that COVID-19 would be transmitted from meat to humans in Australia given the operation of existing controls relating to the supply of meat.


Q: I've been told wheat is a glutamate. I'm wondering how come it is viewed as a failsafe food?

There are various lists around that claim to show anything containing glutamates but many of these lists are incorrect because they include ingredients and foods which have BOUND glutamates. FREE glutamates are what you react to and these are in very high in MSG 621 for instance and in some ingredients like yeast extract. If glutamates are BOUND in the protein chain you would need to be very sensitive to react to any glutamates freed during the digestion process. Wheat glutamates are bound glutamates, not free glutamates. And please make sure that you do not confuse gluten, which is the name of the protein in wheat, with glutamate, which is an amino acid found in either bound or free forms. Here's a list of 129 ways food manufacturers can hide free glutamates.

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!

[1564] One-liners (April 2020)

I have been doing this diet for about 5 months now for my 4 year old son. It has changed our lives – Sharl

Meltdowns, hitting, biting, kicking and ADHD behaviour disappeared when we changed what we ate – Jane

We didn’t even eliminate dairy and in a few weeks he became calm and rational (aged almost 3 at the time) quite quickly. He failed all challenges but we’ve later discovered that amines is the really big trigger, and probably additives – Mary

My good news story: my twins were deemed "exquisitively sensitive" by RPAH allergy clinic at age 10 months. They are now 24 years old, tall and healthy and eat what they like - most of the time. They were failsafe for many years. No wheat, dairy, sals. or amines. ?? – Lena

[1563] “I was underwhelmed by the advice of my GP on insomnia” – facebook thread (April 2020)

I just went to my GP who said food intolerances don’t have any effect on sleep and don’t cause insomnia. What are other people’s experiences with food intolerance and insomnia? - Mika



Salicylates makes my 4 yo restless at bedtime and can wake frequently when his bucket is full - Lisa

I'm sensitive to salicylates, amines and to a lesser extent glutamates. I definitely experienced insomnia, along with my main symptom eczema. Since being on the RPAH Elimination Diet I have slept so much better - Kate

Both salicylates and amines badly affect my sleep - Anne

Definitely for me when I have salicylates and artificial colours. Feeling extremely restless and unable to sleep is my biggest complaint. I’ve also learnt that my sons terrible sleeping as an infant and preschoolers was also caused by salicylates - Clare

Salicylates, glutamates and artificial colours and anything listed as causing hyperactivity and sleeplessness. I include inhaled salicylates such as Lush bath products – Ruth

Insomnia is definitely a side head just 'runs' after a meal of sals....can't settle or sleep....then 'die' for a few hours....and then wake...wide awake for a while...and can then usually doze off again....but usually wake unrefreshed!?? - Jan

Salicylates really trigger my insomnia - Kylie


My son’s sleep is far worse when reacting. I am definitely worse with certain amines and glutamates - Becky

I experience complete insomnia from amines – Sarah

Amines definitely give me insomnia – Maria

I've had insomnia my whole life. Doing the RPAH diet I realised it was amines that were keeping me up - Eve

Amines for me. I can handle GPs not knowing about food intolerances but I get very frustrated when they give incorrect information ? – Jessica

Amines for me! On the challenges I confirmed that for me. GP, family and friends don’t believe me either- but I know my body and every time I’ve tested amines I’ve had this reaction – Dannie

I have found amines to affect me sleeping, I get headaches and feel sleepy then as soon as I lay down to sleep my eyes ping open and I can't relax my brain... like i have had 20 coffees washed down with some redbull – Jackie


If a food affects us, it always shows up as insomnia, for both of us. For example, Vanilla flavouring is a big one for me. If I was to eat vanilla ice cream, I would be awake all night!! - Mel

MSG does it for me, insomnia and restless legs like crazy - Hanna.

One of food’s main side effects for me is insomnia - Anne

If I eat soy I get insomnia - Susan

Preservatives keep me awake all night! Sometimes in hidden things like plain ice cream when out! - Mary

It’s the vanilla and milk that does it for me!! - Maggie

Insomnia is my top of the list reaction but since low chemical 14 weeks I’m getting sleep like I’ve never had and although not figured a direct cause I can see patterns emerging and when my bucket is filling up...I’m excited to report that I’ve had a block of 6 and then 7 NIGHTS SLEEP IN A ROW!!! – Helen

See the science in this factsheet on sleep disturbance and insomnia, a blog on insomnia in adults from Sue Dengate and many more reports from people

[1562] Does anyone know what triggered their intolerances or have you always had it? – facebook thread (April 2020)

I think mine was caused through eating kefir yoghurt. I watched a programme about kefir and it said it was the best thing for gut issues. I didn't realise at first what was causing my problems so continued eating it for a month. I got worse so l googled found it is really high in histamines. I wish I'd never heard of it. I was living a normal life before that on the fodmap diet (thanks to Ann for asking this question).


Some comments organised by common responses:

Being a female – ageing, pregnancy and menopause

It's a funny coincidence we are all women replying, maybe it's hormonal. Stress effects hormones (cortisol) – Rita

Always been sensitive to some food items with belly issues but after my second pregnancy it intensified as well as moods, hives and all over aches. I think stress is a huge factor – Tracy

Flu while pregnant (combined with oral steroids etc to treat asthma from flu probably didn't help) -Anna

Puberty and pregnancy hormones were definitely an influence in mine becoming more severe - Amy

Noticed a dairy intolerance after giving birth to first child, then was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, noticed a gluten intolerance after 3rd child and then the intolerances seemed to grow from there! Plus stress and a pituitary tumour! – Carol

Always had dairy intolerance but got more after I got bad reflux after my second pregnancy, then got giardia which attacked my stomach even more – Gill

Menopause - changes our immune system – Sally

I agree with that, I call it middle age sensitivity as a catch - all ? – Anne

Perimenopause brought it to a head. I got prescribed some medication that gave me daily migraines, I was taking asprin for my migraines and headaches for years without realising it was salicylates. I’ve have had chemical sensitivity for many years, just been putting up with the symptoms – Ali

Always had it but didn’t realise but as I got older and obviously built up in my system I got worse and finally went to a specialist I found out more – Lisa


It hit me in my late 30s and yes stress definitely a factor in the previous 30 years ...I am now in my early 50’s and have no intolerances apart from gluten intolerance (after 10 yrs of restricted diet) so it is possible to switch it back ? - Teresa

I believe for me it was a perfect storm of stress and over exposure when I opened my cafe and was handling massive amounts of food - Sue

Stress (20 years of it!) I never even knew what food allergy and intolerance was, so like Ann I'm glad that it hit me later in my life (my 50's) though kind of cruel also as it's happened after breaking free from the situation that caused the stress :/ - Lisa

Anti-inflammatory drugs put me over the top of a lifetime of things wrong with me, at the age of 50. But yes probably stress based – Mary

I'm thinking mine is stress and anxiety with 2 pregnancies just tipping me over the edge - Penny

Heredity was a factor, but changing hormones and stress really ramped things up - Sally Anne

Stress was a massive trigger for me. I went through marriage breakdown, loss of job, having to sell a house and raising my son – Michel

Always had it (genetic issue or hereditary)

Mast cell activation disorder and Ehlers- Danlos Syndromes (a group of inherited disorders that mostly affect the skin, joints and blood vessels) - Kay

I’ve always had it. Genetics - Ruth

For me it is Sjögren’s syndrome (an immune system disorder characterised by dry eyes and dry mouth, often occurring with other such disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus) - Clare

Always had it from birth – Michele

Always have been intolerant of dairy wheat carrot. Never got other grains and preservatives until I was 16 years old and then very ill. I have had 40 years of experience and finally found failsafe and find I had sorted out most of my intolerance – Daisy

Gastro-intestinal and other illness

For me it was glandular fever - Jessica

I think I've always had a mild form, like so mild that I didn't really need to do anything about it, but after a bout of gastro just over two years ago, things went bonkers – Terri


6 months of antibiotics and 3-4 years of bulimia – Nan

Mine was caused by 13 years of taking daily antibiotics for a lung condition. I’ve been intolerant of salicylates for over 20 years now ? So used to eating boring safe foods but happy to stay reaction free. Although I still get caught out every now and then - Jan

Clindamycin, 5 weeks of it for an infection. ? –Linda


I didn't know I had intolerances until I was adult, but when I discovered that I, my young son and husband were healthier and happier (no bad aggressive or depressive moods) when we stopped eating certain foods and learnt more about intolerances, I realised I had always had them, and was the reason I had illnesses and used to vomit, and have tummy pain sometimes as a baby and child – May

I think I have always had issues with food but I didn't realise my symptoms were being caused by food. Then I went to a new naturopath who made me very ill from something she gave me. I was doing gut healing to try to recover from that, that's when I got extremely ill - Sharyn

Thyroid disorder for me – Judy

We started adding lots of high antioxidant foods, little did we know we were actually just loading our body full of histamines..that's when our rashes and hives started...damn that kefir Ann!! – Rebecca

I think I’ve always had it but it jumped to the foreground in 2016 when I did the I Quit Sugar program and was eating heaps of vegetables, using olive oil, coconut oil and spices. I started getting hives every day after I ate anything and reactions were so bad they became almost instantaneous. I would cut up capsicum for a meal and within 5 mins I had red hands and forearms down to the elbow. I’d always suspected perfumes so had avoided all fragrances in my skin care, body wash, shampoo/conditioner and laundry/cleaning stuff but didn’t know about foods causing it until it was mentioned by a Dermatologist that I was seeing in 2017 for an autoimmune diagnosis. From the time it started til I got it under control I had had the hives for close to 8 months continuously and a year sporadically as I had had some reactions of hives months earlier from new clothing - Joan

A slow leaking shower that created mould in my built in wardrobe - I wasn’t aware of it till I discovered a hat covered in it. I was breathing in the toxins for months I think – Mary

I was exposed to chemicals and toxins in the 1980s at the Steelworks which affected my gut bacteria, and then the intolerances started. I’ve been treated at the Centre For Digestive Diseases in Sydney and I'm finally turning things around, the improvement I've seen has been stunning - Wayne

Note that many come to the elimination for their children, reacting strongly to high levels in small bodies, and then by doing the elimination with their child discover that their lifelong symptoms disappear and that they have always had intolerances themselves that they were unaware of - Tracy

(Several people mentioned food poisoning and campylobacter as the trigger. Other people mentioned tetanus vaccine, Splenda, and medical procedures)

[1561] “we couldn’t ignore how extreme his tantrums would become” (March 2020)

My Nan was the first person I knew who had a food intolerance to salicylates, identified in 1996. Then 10 years later I learnt that our friend’s son had the same issue and used failsafe.

THEN last year, we discovered our 3.5 year old had the same issue. He had always had a rash that came and went that we could never explain. He was also a very active kid but that didn’t seem overly unusual. However in August last year we started to notice a significant change in his behaviour - to the point that we couldn’t ignore how extreme his tantrums would become. Completely out of character. He was also having blood noses and a range of other symptoms that started to worry us. After racking my brain the only change I could think of was that for the past few weeks he had been eating a ridiculous amount of strawberries, as much as a punnet a day at times. With no other explanation, feeling at a loss, I began researching strawberries only to learn they were very high in salicylates- and so began our journey. Almost 12 months on we are still learning but the improvements have been astronomical! We have had great success with this diet for my son ? - Becky

[1560] Feedback from blog on immune systems and failsafe eating (March 2020)

In response to this blog from Sue Dengate

I cannot remember the last time I or my children were seriously ill with a cold or flu (touch wood!). I went failsafe with my children about 7 years ago, and although we're not strict anymore we certainly avoid as many chemicals as we can. Even my "hayfever" has disappeared – Erica

My head is so much clearer now. I’ve had constant Rhinitis my whole life. Nothing ever worked. Just a few days Failsafe and it cleared up. It is one of the first symptoms to appear if I’m not strict. If I eat mod-high sals too regularly I start to wheeze and end up so breathless and coughing and way too much mucous – Rose

This is very true for me. If I stay low sals I never get sick at all! – Rebecca

Less hay fever too due to lower amines I suspect - Carol

My son used to have an average of 35 days off school a year but now it's one or two. So thankful to the Dengates - Ann

I haven't had the flu or a cold since 1988/1989. I've only had Histamine Intolerance since about 2006 (realized about 6 months ago that despite the doctor telling me it was no big deal, that it indeed is a big deal) & Salicylate Intolerance for about 6 months. Failsafe about the same. But, it makes sense since your body is no longer struggling to survive amid all the stuff you were feeding it that make it sick.... - Ella

I have to say my 2 year old hasn’t been sick since going on the diet! She’s in daycare and was ALWAYS sick is summer mind you but I think there is something in this! - Jane

I used to suffer from chest infections requiring antibiotics at least four times a year. Since finding out my intolerances, (to sals, dairy, soy and sulfite preservatives) I have needed antibiotics in a year and a half. Although I did get pneumonia last year, I consider that to be an exception to rule – Jan

I used to catch every cold there was, much much better these days and better recovery times - Sara

[1559] Feedback from local contacts (February 2020)

A local contact was a lifesaver at the time when I discovered failsafe, and someone on the other end of the phone was really helpful, even just to de-stress to - Robin

Thank you for making me learn how to cook, though stressful at first I actually learned to love it, and still make most things from scratch even now :). We continue to follow a lot of the Failsafe guidelines, as my husband gets migraines from too many amines - which we learned through the Failsafe journey also and I have quite a few friends who have found answers to their own issues through witnessing our 15 year journey. Thanks for your life changing contribution to families everywhere - Jenny

As a local contact we normally had a flurry of emails/phone calls where I offer support/know how, and just listen to their story, which has often remained unheard, as you know.  These days I signpost them to join the active Failsafe facebook group for the nitty-gritty.  However I think the very fact that through Failsafe our family found our triggers in detail, and moved on to a relatively normal life (!) is tremendously encouraging for them.  I can talk about the practicalities of running a special diet, which I have done for 20 years, common mistakes, handy tips, and offer them the knowledge that it will not always be this hard.  Maybe most of all I shower them with my joy and gratitude that we found the diet, and what a difference it made to my family, and that seems to give hope and boosts determination. Thank you both for all the dedicated, caring and intelligent work that you guys have put into to changing umpteen families' lives - Jan UK

My personal experience with food additives began 19 years ago with Sue’s article called Restless babies as I had one who was about 5 months old. So I started the elimination diet. The change in her was amazing. I still thank goodness for that article, thank you both so much for all you have done for food intolerance information over such a long time - Cath

Thanks for the amazing advocacy and support you offer to people and the amazing difference it makes. Our family is forever thankful for the FAILSAFE diet. For a family history of eczema, I had anticipated all 3 of my children suffering with it. Two did, before we started the diet, and the third child never got it (suspect this was because she was eating FAILSAFE from 18 months old). My own seasonal eczema has not returned since doing the FAILSAFE diet, and keeping our exposure to Salicylates lower than our previous amounts. And my children have now been eczema free for 7 years. It is truly incredible to realise we could have had a very different story, one of continuing disease, medication, and frustration - Nyssa

[1558] Anyone been successful in using failsafe for adult adhd? (January 2020)

I don’t have a formal diagnosis, but my son is ADHD & autistic, I believe he has my genetics. I react to amines with emotional outbursts quite strongly, plus flavour & colours - Amy

I am very interested in answers to this as my partner has ADHD and after using the diet for my son I am now noticing some definite reactions (exacerbated stress, emotional outbursts) to numbers, colours etc. He is yet to believe me though - Ida

Using failsafe has had a massive impact on my depression, my mood swings, and my focus capabilities. I was never diagnosed with ADHD but seem to have many of the symptoms that I can manage with Failsafe diet. Amines are the main culprit - Anna

I have ADHD and while FS doesn’t completely ‘cure it’, my symptoms are much better and more manageable. I’m very similar to those above - amines make my ADHD, emotions, etc. much worse - Jenny

I’ve had a patient I was seeing for gut issues who also had ADHD. She had an improvement & was able to reduce medication – Jo (a dietitian)

Amines are disasters for me - I’m 45 and was diagnosed when I was 8. Diet has saved my life and I have two sons with adhd and it worked for them and also gave info to a friend whose son and husband had it too and they found it helped. I have been cutting amines from my diet for thirty years now and find when I stray from a proper diet all the old symptoms come back and mood swings and the ability to focus are really altered. Thanks to failsafe I can manage - Lee

I'm 52, love my ADHD superpower, better since I'm low Sals though not so much irritation and headaches.  Sounds funny to most but since I changed my words and the way I look being ADHD, I've overcome so much.  Enjoy have fun, run be free – Sue

I did the elimination diet before being diagnosed with ADHD. I am sensitive to salicylates, amines, artificial colours, preservatives and antioxidants, mostly with behavioral reactions. Colours I react violently. The diet helped a lot, but the ADHD diagnosis and medication filled in the gaps and cleared the rest of the brain fog - Jay

Yes. I am a big responder to salicylates, I can tolerate a very little bit, but if I have too many my brain goes whack, and jumps everywhere, my blood sugars turn into reactive hypoglycemia and I can't think straight. I take venlafaxine as well because it helps both my depression and adhd. However it's staying away from gluten and salicylates that help me stay sane and keep my sugars and thought processes stable - Tiah

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


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 failsafe sausages list has been updated again. Please email directly with changes, preferably in the format in the list, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. People continue to rave about the real flavour of these sausages!

***WARNING*** look out for “cultured sugar” as an ingredient, spotted in an “all natural” bacon. It is almost certainly a means of adding a preservative, probably propionates 280-283 which are now permitted in meats. I cannot understand why the so-called food regulator FSANZ limits the amount of propionate that can be added as a white powder and then allows unregulated amounts if added in this sneaky and misleading way.

USA Shopping List has been updated, thanks to Moni (2010) and Michal (2018) - highlighted in green are changes.

Product updates

Tofutti cream cheese is failsafe - taken out potassium sorbate (200-203) thanks to Mel
Hokey pokey ice cream from Woolworths is failsafe, it has natural honeycomb flavour.

Ice cream cones – always check ingredients as they change frequently:


Aldi waffle cones are failsafe.
Betta Ice Cream Gold Cones are failsafe (not the Kiddy Cones with 160b annatto).
Eskal Eskal Ice Cream Original Cones (gluten-free)
Woolworths Essentials icecream cones and Select original waffle


Altimate (coconut oil)
Black & Gold cones (four artificial colours 102,110,133,155)
Coles Smart Buy cones (110, 155), Coles Ice Cream Cones and Waffle cones (coconut oil)
McDonalds Sundae Cone (artificial colour 110 sunset yellow and possibly antioxidant 320)
Woolworth’s Homebrand cones (coconut oil) or Homebrand ice cream cups (319)

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)


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!

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 (now over 15,000 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 just 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 over 12 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.

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. Welcome to Amanda Moon now located in Adelaide and very experienced. Also a warm welcome to some new and updated dietitians.

Jeannette Ryan ACT (Ainslie, Kingston and Belconnen)
Kim Faulkner-Hogg NSW (Malabar and RPAH)
Vivienne Salu QLD (Townsville)

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”.


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 two people 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!

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


Instant pancakes

These are so quick and acceptable as the days get cooler and kids enjoy making them too.

3/4 cup plain flour (works for besan and buckwheat too, adjust amount to get a thickened cream-like batter)
1 tsp failsafe baking powder
1 cup water

Beat thoroughly and stand while the frypan heats up. Ladle about 75mls into hot lightly canola oil-sprayed pan, turn over when bubbles form. Serve with real maple syrup or fruit or your favourite failsafe topping. Makes 4 pancakes.

Lockdown activity


My kids weren’t very motivated to earn money for chores as they can’t go anywhere to spend it but they were very motivated to earn Monopoly money to buy a “takeaway” dinner and movie ticket for an at home cinema complete with movie snacks. We are not fully failsafe so the fish, popcorn, choc (needs to be carob) and lemon Solo would be off limits. I should add I used it as an economics lesson about the value of things being determined by supply and demand and used how valuable Australian dollars vs Monopoly dollars are in our house now vs before lockdown  – thanks to Sandie for sharing this great idea

You can also find more recipe ideas at or Failsafe Cookbook

Every failsafer should get the regular newsletter from The Failsafe Table - it is fantastic April - May Surviving Covid-19 while on the Failsafe diet!! issue just out with inspiring recipes and photos.

This edition will hopefully help you to be able to make a few basics with ingredients you may have at home, plus tips on how to get through the lock down and isolation. I know every country, city and town will be different in what you can access, but hopefully something will be helpful for you in this edition. Make sure you use this time to regularly check in and keep in touch with loved ones on line - Thanks to Rona


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. 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. or use the unsubscribe button if your newsletter comes from MailChimp.

Sue Dengate’s books and DVD and the failsafe magnifying card and sulphite test strips 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"

21 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 2020 (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 and viewing: Fed Up and The Failsafe Cookbook by Sue Dengate (Random House Australia), Fed Up with Children’s Behaviour (DVD) by Sue Dengate