Food allergy safety has become a significant focus in the foodservice industry. Below are best practices to implement, as well as dangers to avoid, when incorporating effective food allergy strategies in your establishment.

Best Practices for Allergen Free Foodservice

  • Educate all staff regarding allergen concerns. They must be confident answering customer questions about how allergen-free meals are prepared and served in your restaurant.
  • Visit NFCA to view online courses educating restaurant and cafeteria staff on proper prep and serving protocols.
  • Offer a list of ingredients for your menu selections as a reference for both diners and staff.
  • Establish a system on meal tickets to clearly notify the chef of a meal that must be allergen-free.
  • Chefs must sanitize all cooking surfaces, utensils, cookware and dinnerware before assembling allergen-free meals. Separating prep stations and serving utensils, strictly for use on dishes which are allergen-free, is an ideal solution.
  • Employees must wash their hands, change their gloves and use a clean apron when working with meals prepared in an allergen-free manner.
  • Coach staff to dial 9-1-1 immediately if an adverse reaction occurs.
  • For additional information about food allergy safety, refer to FARE.

Practices to Avoid in Foodservice

  • Never place allergen-free food on shared equipment and cook surfaces.
  • Do not use utensils or smallwares which were used to prepare allergen-containing food or have not been cleaned properly.
  • By no means incorporate foods containing ingredients you cannot confirm.
  • Refrain from placing allergy-safe meals in common areas with meals that contain allergens.