When it comes to preparing the appetizing meals in your restaurant, you understand the importance of avoiding cross-contamination and mixing any allergens. Customers rely on restaurants to handle meal prep with meticulous care, especially those that have a food allergy. As such, it is crucial for commercial restaurants to avoid any mistakes to prevent spreading allergens and having an allergy catastrophe.
Follow Central Restaurant Equipment’s guide on how to avoid food allergy hazards to keep your kitchen and the health of your customers safe.
Identify The Common Allergens To Staff
There is a misconception that food allergies are easily detectable. Unfortunately, they are not always evident and can be hidden within the ingredients. It’s imperative for your entire restaurant staff to be aware of the food allergen group and the common foods that contain these allergens. Here are the common allergens to be aware of:
- Dairy: This can include milk, cream, cheese, butter, etc.
- Soy: Applies to tofu, soybeans, miso bases, soy sauce, and other soy products.
- Eggs: Any variation of egg, along with mayonnaise, ice creams, cakes, and salad dressings.
- Wheat: Includes baked goods and grain goods as well as beer.
- Fish: Not specifically seafood as a whole, but specific fish types.
- Tree Nuts: Nut allergies are quite broad, therefore, it’s of vital importance for staff to be familiar with the different nuts to ensure your restaurant considers them all. Tree nuts, including almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts, but also many more variations.
- Shellfish: This specifically applies to shrimps, crawfish and prawns, lobster, crabs.
- Sesame: A common food allergen found within the ingredients of some spices or foods, such as hummums, marinades, crackers, breads or salad dressings.
Avoid Cross-Contaminating Restaurant Equipment
Your restaurant kitchen equipment, including all workstations, utensils and cutting boards, should be thoroughly cleaned. Kitchen equipment may come into contact with the specific allergen for a previous meal and need to be effectively cleaned and disinfected. Your staff should be aware of proper sanitization methods and apply that to the cleaning of all kitchen equipment to ensure the elimination of cross-contamination. Segregating certain workstations in the kitchen can be beneficial in reducing the likelihood of a food allergy incident. This is especially valuable if certain dishes contain a common allergen and you want to avoid any contamination.
Inform Customers On Allergens
It’s important for customers with food allergies or other intolerances to be informed of how their dish was made. Consider the following:
- Inform customers of how the dish is made and what is used.
- Ensure servers are aware of the food allergens and inform the customer of any hidden ingredients that may contain the allergen.
At Central Restaurant Equipment, our highly trained technicians provide quality repairs and restaurant supplies in Winnipeg. Our variety of services are available 24/7 to ensure your commercial restaurant is clean and operationally ready always. Contact us to learn more about our customized commercial restaurant services and how we can assist your business today!