How To Manage The Risks Around Allergens In Food
Below are some tips, information and resources to help you manage the risks around food allergens. They will help you to be confident that the food you serve is safe for people with all allergies and intolerances.
Know what you're serving
When ingredients get subsituted for other ingredients in foods, the allergens present can often change as well. Ingredient subsitutions can occur due to availability or price. You may not know about some ingredient subsitutions made by your supppliers. For these reasons the following points are essential to ensure the foods you serve are safe:
- Keep accurate written details about all the ingredients of prepared food, as well as pre-packaged foods
- Ensure your ingredient lists are up to date
- Demand up to date ingredient lists from your suppliers
- When changing suppliers of foods deman ingredient lists and update your recipe details
- If you change the ingredients in one of your dishes or products, make sure you also update your ingredient list of labels you make available to your customers
Tips for managing allergy risks
- Check all ingredients in the dish/recipe (and what they contain) as well as what you use to cook the dish with, or garnish, and inform your customer if you prepare food in something that may have contained an allergen. Eg. If you cook food in an oil that has been used to cook something else
- Clean all surfaces and utensils that may have been used to prepare foods containing allergens
- If there is any doubt about whether a food contains even a small amount of an allergen, tell the customer - don't guess!
- Store allergenic foods in seperate containers, seperated from other foods
- Use paper towels for drying hands rather than cloth towels
- Make sure that staff are aware of the serious consequences of food allergies and ensure regular training is provided to all staff employed in business.
Anaphylaxis Australia have put together a good guide for food preparers. View it here.
Coeliac New Zealand provides a factsheet you can download entitled Gluten free catering and restaurant information.
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The Fuelled4life team.