A food allergen can be described as being a part that is found in food that is capable of generating a response in individuals sensitized to it. As a communal term, food allergies and food intolerances can be unfriendly, complicate life and in the worst cases, are deadly. The reason of food allergic disease is still not completely understood. However, there is overall consensus amongst scientists and clinicians that the cause is linked to a mixture of Western lifestyle, environment, and genetic predispositions.
Some mutual food allergens contain crustaceans, eggs, fish, milk, peanuts, soy, tree nuts, sesame, lupin, mustard, celery and cereals containing gluten. Food enhancements such as bee pollen, Royal Jelly and propolis also reason allergic reactions, as well as non-food items such as latex, cosmetics, and medications. There may be other allergens that have not been listed which are appropriate to country of manufacture.
What is Allergen Management?
Allergen Management is a system of policies and measures that serves to identify, control, educate and communicate the risk and occurrence of food allergens in business, from raw materials through to complete products. All of these procedures, or SOPs, should be established, documented, executed and maintained as part of the Allergen Management Program for business. An effective allergen management program will deliver structure around identifying allergen risks within business and also contributes to exercising due diligence.
Here are five areas food allergen training needs to address:
Supply chain management: Allergen management starts with knowing what comes into kitchen. Assure that allergen training exposes every kitchen staff member to the orders and delivery procedure – they should be able to confidently receive deliveries and check them for quality, inconsistencies, and allergen information.
Allergen-specific knowledge: Some allergens are frequently labelled under a different name. Run through these fewer common names with staff regularly, and have a clear visual reminder in the kitchen.
Open and honest communication: Train waitstaff to ask about potential allergies and to talk to the kitchen staff if menu and allergen matrices are not clear. Under no situations should anyone guess whether a dish is safe or not – if they don’t know, they need to tell that to the consumer clearly and unequivocally.
Emergency allergy response: If an allergy incident does happen in one of restaurants, owner need to be reasonably confident that staff can respond to it correctly. The most significant thing that they can do is phone the emergency services and precisely describe the allergic reaction. If keep an Epi-Pen on the premises, make sure that everyone knows when and how to use it.
Cross-contact prevention: Cross-contact in the kitchen is generally the main reason of allergic reactions in restaurants. Manage it by identifying incident hot spots, having designated prep areas and utensils for allergen-free meals, and by applying a rigorous hygiene policy.