Do your staff know about the different allergens – do they really? Here’s a little cheat sheet to help you and your staff.
One in thirteen children are diagnosed with a life-threatening food allergy. With allergies in children increasing from 1997 to 2011 by 50% according to Food Allergy Research and Education, there are no signs that this will slow in the coming years. Food service industries, schools, and parents are attempting to track the different allergies and symptoms to prevent a vicious reaction.
In recognition of National Peanut month -the most prolific in growth of all food allergies, an extensive list of other food allergens to be on alert for was gathered here:
Around the globe, it has been argued that roughly 75% of the world’s population is lactose intolerant. Most of the individuals that have the allergy do not suffer from a serious allergic reaction, not recognizing that they are lactose intolerant. With this much of the population having allergies to milk, there are many who have severe pain from ingesting milk and other dairy products.
Did you know casein, a protein found in milk, is often found in breath mints?
Although very rarely the cause of a life-threatening reaction, egg allergies affect children mostly and are outgrown over time.
Did you know that marshmallows often use egg whites instead of gelatin to help retain their shape?
Fish and Shellfish
Unlike eggs, fish and shellfish allergies are often developed in adulthood. Fish allergies are among the most often to be caused by cross-contamination, A good fish restaurant can still be a place for people with allergies can go, it’s just vital that cross-contamination is halted and staff understand the dangers.
Watch for soy sauce! Common sauces and condiments use shellfish. Watch the ingredient list for soy sauce and Worcestershire.
Walnuts, almonds, and cashews are among the many tree nuts that cause this allergy. A person that is affected by the peanut allergen will have a reaction to these products as well.
Food isn’t the only dangerous category for those with tree nut allergies. Watch ingredient lists for soaps, lotions, and hair products. Gerbil food can also contain tree nuts.
Wheat contains gluten, and can be found in many products that a parent or person with the allergy may not expect, like: soy sauce, ketchup, soaps, and sunscreens. With it being such a common product, physicians may prescribe medication in the case that gluten is ingested or absorbed. It is generally advised to avoid products that contain these altogether.
In the instance of a reaction, all symptoms will be similar in that it will cause a tight throat, hives, and anaphylaxis in severe cases. The FDA requires that allergies be places on products that contain food allergens, but that should not prevent a thorough inspection of the ingredients for yourself.
Licorice has gluten. Salad dressings have gluten. It’s not just cake – seems like all the good things have gluten. But with more gluten-free options and more individuals looking for gluten-free alternatives, this is changing rapidly. Look for the Gluten Free symbol on your favorites.
The importance of Allergen Awareness training
Your staff understanding how to deal with an allergy sufferer is vital - if they don't, they could kill someone!
States are now becoming more aware of the importance of allergen training, it is now a legal requirement in the following states for at least one member of staff to be trained.
States where Allergen Awareness training is a legal requirement: