Suzanne Cohen, Foodservice Director at SCA AfH Professional Hygiene, shares her insights on serving guests with food allergies. As an expert in the foodservice segment, Suzanne leads industry specific marketing solutions and strategy development. Her passion is understanding actionable consumer insights that fuel growth. SCA, a global hygiene company and makers of the Tork® brand away-from-home paper products, is a sponsor of National Food Safety Month 2013.
Are you prepared to cater to the 15 million Americans affected by food allergies?
Operators need to understand the precautions needed to serve guests with allergies, National Food Safety Month this year will focus on the importance of food-allergen awareness.
Each year, about 200,000 Americans visit emergency rooms because of food allergies, 2,000 are admitted to hospitals, and 150 die. To prevent allergic reactions in your restaurant, here are three tactics to consider:
Implement a food allergy menu. Guests with food allergies are most likely to dine in a restaurant that caters to their needs. Consider making a special menu that includes allergy-free options.
Partner with a local hospital. Partner with a local hospital in which your restaurant can be a resource for those living with food allergies. Soon your restaurant will become more than just a location to dine – it will serve as a resource, enticing new customers.
Create a food separation process. Separate food before and after preparing menu options to create allergy-free foods, as wells as to avoid cross-contamination during storage, preparation and cooking.
As a sponsor of National Food Safety Month and a strong supporter of food-safety best practices, Tork is helping to provide materials and course development for five core educational sessions to make restaurant dining safer. The free programs include:
Week 1: The Big 8 and Cross-Contact
Week 2: Reading Labels
Week 3: Cross-Contact: Front of the House
Week 4: Purchasing and Transportation
Week 5: Separation in Equipment and Storage
These online training programs can help restaurant owners and employees learn basic information to keep customers safe. To learn more about food allergies, check out the resources on the National Food Safety Month website.