Over recent decades the prevalence of food allergies and the allergy-related costs of care have increased considerably. The double-blind, placebo-controlled food challenge test is the gold standard for diagnosing food allergy. However, this test is not without risk and it is labour-intensive and expensive. In addition, the food challenge test only has limited availability which has led to (long) waiting lists. Therefore, there is a need for a safe, reliable and patient-friendly test to detect food allergy that is also fast and cheap. The basophil activation test is a potentially good alternative, however, it is only available at a few clinics and laboratories in the Netherlands and it can currently only be used for a limited number of allergens – and therefore only in a limited number of patients. National collaboration between laboratories and allergy centres should lead to more knowledge, the consolidation of which will benefit the validation and national implementation of the test.
Conflict of interest and financial support: none declared.