Restaurants & Food Allergies
Do you know what life-threatening ingredients are in the food your establishment is serving? Could your staff identify an adverse reaction to food? The answers could be the difference between life and death for your customers that suffer from serious food allergies.
Individuals with allergies to food face a challenge every day in avoiding harmful food allergens. Reactions can occur in minutes or be delayed by many hours. Every reaction has the potential to be life-threatening. Any microscopic amount of a food allergen can produce an adverse reaction. Food allergies send in thousands of people to the hospital annually. Food Allergies are growing a rate faster than can be calculated.
Currently there is no National law that forces restaurants to accommodate individuals with food allergies. This does not shield any establishment from legal liability if a consumer is turned away or harmed by a food allergen. Food Allergies are considered a disability under the Americans With Disabilities Act and the laws will eventually catch up affecting all organizations handling and preparing food. Restaurants have the responsibility to serve food in a safe manner that does not harm it's patrons. Food Allergies are as serious as Salmonella, E. Coli, Hepatitis A, Norwalk Virus, or any other food-borne illness. It is in a restaurant's best interest to be considerate and collectively work with staff and customers to avoid a severe reaction to food.
Managing Food Allergens
Restaurants have a challenging task in accommodating customers that play the food allergy card when they only have an intolerance or a dietary aversion to certain foods. By instituting proactive steps, a restaurant can manage the unique dietary needs of every customer in a reasonable manner.
Improving food allergy knowledge and communication between staff and customers can go a long way in mitigating a fatal reaction to food. An educated and aware employee can work with concerned customers on a safe meal choice related to their allergy or dietary requirements.
Smart Food Allergy Practices