Nearly a third of all Americans believe they have a food allergy, making eating out at restaurants difficult.
Up to 90 percent of all food related allergic reactions are traced to just 8 items: milk, eggs, peanuts, soy, wheat, tree nuts (such as almonds, pecans, walnuts, etc.,) fish and shellfish.
New regulations in Massachusetts, which will tentatively go into effect in July, require restaurants to display what kind of allergens they have in their food and train food service workers about food allergens, the symptoms they cause and what to do when a guest has a reaction. Restaurants also have to put a notice on their menus asking customers to inform their server if they have a food allergy.
One-third of survey respondents said they had had a reaction to food served in or provided by a restaurant, according to a 2005 Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network study. Of those, almost two-thirds (63 percent) had suffered an allergic reaction to restaurant food on more than one occasion.
In 2006, federal regulations under the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act required consumers to put the eight most common allergens on food labels, but the regulations do not include labels at restaurants.
Certainly other states will follow. However, your restaurant could lead the way by introducing the practice and using the publicity generated to promote your facility. For assistance with food labeling, please contact Synergy Consultants.Blog, Menu Development, Restaurant News