Providing Accurate Information

Individuals with food allergies need restaurants to provide them with accurate information about ingredients so they can make informed decisions about what to order.

Create a plan

  • Who will deal with your guests’ questions about nutritional information? This person will have to deal with customers in the restaurant and possible customers that call in advance to enquire about the menu. Make sure you have one staff member that all queries are directed.
  • Who will be responsible for checking the ingredients used in menu items?
  • How should staff members handle an allergic reaction?

Checking ingredients: Chefs should read ingredient and allergen information for the products they use to create their dishes. This should be done frequently as manufacturers may change ingredients without warning.

Identifying allergens found in unexpected places: e.g cooking oil which is often used for many foods

  • Desserts (may incorporate allergy causing ingredients like nuts, use fruits as an alternative)
  • Sauces (contain many ingredients)
  • Pastry-covered dishes (prevent the individual from making a visual inspection of the food)
  • Buffet tables (possibility of cross contact)
  • Worcestershire sauce (may contain fish e.g. anchovies/sardines)
  • Barbecue sauce (may contain allergens like pecans)

Make your menu easy for those with food allergies to understand. Provide as much information as possible about ingredients directly on the menu. e.g Banana cake describe as Banana-Walnut cake.

In addition, you can also include a printed note at the bottom of your menu or on your website including the following. 'For those who have food allergies, please inform your waiter. We will be happy to discuss any necessary changes'

Keep printed materials and information on the website up to date

Avoid cross-contact (mixing a little of the allergy-causing food with otherwise safe food) while preparing and serving the meal e.g. unclean hands/gloves, shared equipment, utensils etc

Correcting a mistake in meal preparation: It is vital you discard the meal if a mistake is made in its preparation. Removing the unwanted ingredient is not a solution e.g. scraping nuts off the top of an ice-cream or removing cheese from pasta is not acceptable

If a guest has an allergic reaction do not be afraid to call emergency medical services. Let all your team know about food allergens, give them this document to read, take a copy and pin it up on the notice board

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