All kitchens outside the home, including fast food restaurants, fine dining establishments, and even school or workplace cafeterias, have a responsibility to diners to ensure that all foods served are safe for consumption. Since most allergic reactions to food do take place outside the home, all restaurant managers and owners need to be especially cognizant of procedures for avoiding food allergy reactions.
The Food Allergy Research and Education organization tells us that roughly 15 million Americans have food allergies, including one out of every 13 children.The key to preventing such allergic reactions in restaurants is education, awareness, and avoidance, as well as certain standard precautions which should always be observed.
In most cases, a restaurant patron will notify the server about his or her food allergy, and once this is known, your food allergy protocol should come into play for all restaurant employees, so that risks can be minimized to patrons. Make sure that your employees understand what food allergies are, and be sure they know how to deal with guests who have allergies. It’s also important to ensure that no cross-contamination occurs when ingredients are being handled by kitchen personnel.
All employees from the dining area to the kitchen area should be communicating whenever a food allergy guest is being served, so that no food other than what was ordered, is ever put on the guest’s plate. It’s also a very good idea to have marketing materials printed up which indicate your awareness and preparation for patrons who have food allergies, and how you welcome them into your establishment.