Allergies are a growing concern for the food industry today. Research shows that 80% of allergic persons have had reactions while eating outside the home, which makes it imperative that restaurants know how to handle allergens safely. The FDA 2013 Model Food Code requires that the Person in Charge be knowledgeable about the "major food allergens, and the symptoms that a major food allergen could cause in a sensitive individual who has an allergic reaction" (2-102.11) It also mandates that "Employees are properly trained in Food safety, including Food allergy awareness" (2-103.11)
While over 170 food allergens have been identified in the US, the FDA identifies 8 Major Allergens which cause 90% of allergic reactions to FDA:
Also, Gluten intolerances and other food sensitivities are growing every day. The only way to protect a gluten- sensitive individual is to avoid use of gluten-containing ingredients in their dishes- wheat, oats, barley and rye. No matter what the customer's food sensitivity is, we must take all concerns seriously. Training is the key to keeping your customers safe from dietary hazards- to prevent cross contact, emphasize proper preparation and cleaning practices in your food establishment.