Fifty-eight percent of American adults say they dine out at least once a week, according to a 2013 Rasmussen Reports survey. As the number of people with food allergies in America grows, many restaurants are working to provide safe and worry-free dining experiences for their customers.
One way restaurants are doing this is by creating special “allergy” sections on menus. These sections detail what allergens are present in certain dishes and remind customers to speak to the wait staff about their food allergy. For example, The Meatball Shop offers an Allergy Matrix that guests can use to identify potential allergens before ordering.
A recent article on Eater detailed how the seasonal American restaurant Odd Duck in Austin, TX takes special precautions to ensure the safety of its diners, including printing several different menus a night that list the allergens in each dish.
Diners can and should also take matters into their own hands. AllergyEats.com is a resource that allows visitors to rate “allergy friendly” restaurants across the United States. The site boasts over 600,000 listings, from large chains to small independently-owned establishments, and provides menus, allergen lists, nutrition information, certifications, and contact information. Visitors to the site can review and rate restaurants based on allergy friendliness, and search for safe restaurants near them.
Restaurant owners and operators can further their commitment to allergic customers through staff education and training. The state governments of Rhode Island and Massachusetts recently introduced Food Allergy Bills, and New York State may soon follow suit. Is your restaurant prepared to safely serve customers with food allergies?
Hudson Allergy offers a Food Allergy Safety course to educate all restaurant employees, from manager to busser, on how to safely cook and serve food to people with food allergies. The course will help restaurants minimize risk by having a protocol in place when a customer with food allergies comes into the restaurant and outlines an action plan in case of emergency so that they can successfully serve diners with food allergies.
Are you interested in learning more about food safety in restaurants, or are you interested in more information on our Food Allergy Safety course? We can be reached at 212-729-1283 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.