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National Restaurant Association - 7 tips for serving diners with allergies

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7 tips for serving diners with allergies

Food allergies are a serious business.

Approximately 15 million Americans with food allergies dine with family and friends where they feel safe. But studies indicate that half of the fatal episodes from food allergens occur outside the home.

Reportedly, every one in three minutes someone ends up in a hospital emergency room because of an allergic reaction. That’s why it’s important to know how to serve your guests properly when they’re at your restaurant.

How to keep your customers safe

May is National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month and Food Allergy Awareness Week starts May 14. Here are some tips from our ServSafe Allergens program to help you cater to customers with food allergies:

  1. Store foods containing allergens separately. Because the risk of cross-contact is high, place the food containing allergens in closed containers and store them away from other items whenever possible.
  2. Use separate equipment when preparing food. Store any equipment used to prepare food without allergens separately, including cutting boards, knives, and other utensils. Also, make sure you thoroughly wash, rinse and sanitize all equipment between each use.
  3. Wash your hands. Always wash your hands before handling food, and especially after handling food containing allergens.
  4. Don’t prepare food with allergens near other food. If possible, use a separate area of the kitchen to prepare food without allergens. That way, cross-contact is less likely to occur.
  5. When in doubt, throw it out. If food comes into contact with an allergen, throw it away. Even a small amount of an allergen can cause a reaction.
  6. Clean surfaces carefully. To remove allergens from a surface, thoroughly clean it with soap and water.
  7. Clean and sanitize equipment after each use. This includes cooking equipment and utensils. Also, be sure to return the equipment to the correct storage area after you’ve cleaned it.

Sign up for our ServSafe Allergens training course

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