How Food Allergy Training Helps Protect Your Restaurant

Tuesday, December 24th, 2013

Food Allergy Training Helps Protect Your RestaurantWhile most restaurants do not require their employees to be certified food allergen experts, the right knowledge and training for your restaurant’s employees can make a crucial difference in reducing your liability. National Food Safety Month may be over, but safe food handling where it concerns food allergies is a year-round must. Ingredients that are commonly seen in almost every restaurant’s menu – milk, fish, wheat, nuts, shellfish, eggs – can have some uncommonly devastating effects on patrons with certain food allergies. It is estimated that over 15 million Americans are allergic to some of the most common kitchen ingredients, which could very well threaten their lives and your business in an emergency situation.

Fortunately, there are many steps you can take to ensuring that your staff is properly trained and educated about food allergies, so your guests can feel safe eating at your restaurant and your staff will feel comfortable knowing how to safely handle restaurant equipment to prepare allergy-sensitive food. The list of food allergy preparedness to-dos include:

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Clean Up Your Restaurant Equipment for National Food Safety Month

Monday, September 9th, 2013

Happy National Food Safety Month, everyone! September 2013 has been designated by the National Restaurant Association as a month to spotlight the awareness of food allergens, which can help restaurants that are concerned about keeping their restaurant equipment safe for those with food allergies. National Food Safety Month was created in 1994 to increase the awareness of the importance of food safety in kitchens everywhere. Previous spotlights have included hygiene and general food handling safety. This month, to get the word out this month about food safety with allergens, the National Restaurant Association has prepared activities and information covering everything from cross-contact to food transportation. To get your staff, students, or family involved, check out the National Food Safety Month website.

Cross-contact was the focus of this week of National Food Safety Month. Cross-contact on restaurant equipment in the kitchen can be a big concern for restaurants that want to be friendly to those with food allergies. Here are some easy things you can do in your kitchen with your restaurant equipment to prevent cross-contamination for customers with food allergies.

• Be careful to use separate restaurant equipment and utensils if you are preparing food for a customer with an allergy.
• If you can’t use separate equipment, clean the preparation surface thoroughly before making a dish for a customer with a food allergy.
• Store foods that could contain allergens in containers separate from other foods.
• Wash and dry hands thoroughly before preparing a dish for a guest with an allergy.
• Designate specific pieces of restaurant equipment (like blenders, for example) as “nut-free” or “dairy-free.” Label it and make sure your staff knows that it’s available for food prep.

What tips do you have for keeping your restaurant equipment safe for people with food allergies? Find ShortOrder on Twitter and Facebook and tell us how you are allergen-conscious in your kitchen.

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