Avoiding Peanut Cross-Contamination

Did you know that Peanut allergies account for the most food related deaths in America.

At Always Food Safe we have a simple method to avoid cross contamination:

Communication – Preventing Cross Contact – Thorough Cleaning

Communicate – Your staff need to understand how important this is!

Communication is your key weapon in helping to prevent an allergenic reaction.

Every single person in the business needs to understand why these procedures are in place, as the most common fail point are the staff members you think do not need training.

Team briefings are the ideal time to train, discuss menu or ingredient changes and make sure everyone understands how they communicate allergy information to a customer.

Remember: Communicate – Communicate – Communicate

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Creating new dishes – Know what is in your food!

This sounds simple, but if you have multiple chefs, they may cook a dish slightly differently based on their preferences. This cannot be allowed to happen – a business you need to know exactly what is in the dish and your servers need to be aware if there are any “hidden allergens”.

A prime example of this is below:
“A restaurant owner failed to inform his staff that he had switched ingredients to cut costs, from almond powder to mixed nut powder that included peanuts. A regular customer with a severe peanut allergy died before paramedics could attend”.

We would always suggest a recipe book that everyone in the business has to follow!

Best Practice

Have a folder available containing all recipe information. This is a great way of re-assuring allergy sufferers and proving you run, or work for, a professional business that cares for its customers!

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Cleaning – Don’t leave anything to chance!

A way to ensure consistency across a business is to have a clear, defined cleaning schedule. You can download the necessary documents here

Required procedures

If you receive an order for an allergy sufferer, for example someone with a fish allergy, the first thing you need to do is STOP & THINK.

Think of all the dangers that are present and then remove them.

Any sufferer will be prepared to wait the extra few minutes rather than risk the threat of a severe allergenic reaction. Tell the customer why there will be a delay, they will appreciate it and have confidence in your abilities.

Best Practice

Walk through your business and look for the danger points. Only when you can understand the hazards or danger areas, can you set in place policies and procedures to reduce the risks.


Make sure that all staff involved in cleaning understand the risks and why you are updating the procedures.


If you are the manager or team leader, make sure you check that everyone is following the procedures.

Check your sanitizers. Do they mention if they are suitable for the removal of allergens?


Speak to Always Food Safe today