Food allergies are ancient: research suggests that they evolved around 2500 BCE. While the
term “food allergies” is only a century or two old, medical practitioners have observed their
presence for millennia. Indeed, the term evolved from the Greek word for “allergy” meaning “to
The awareness of the public to food allergies is more heightened now, however, than it ever has
been. With a growing food-allergic population, it’s more important than ever that restaurants
step up their awareness and understanding of how allergens impact a substantial percentage of
the population -potentially 14-17%, according to this study.
Remember the Light Spicy Asian Chili Vinaigrette debacle that Wendy’s ran into back in 2014?
Their omission of labeling the salad dressing properly (it contained peanuts) led to an angry
outburst from the food allergy community. Wendy’s corrected the error and reformulated the
dressing so that it no longer contains peanuts or any peanut product.
Appropriate training, such as through a program like AllerTrain, affords your staff the opportunity to become familiar with food allergies and their severity. They will be able to serve your patrons with confidence and assist in helping them make the best choices to accommodate their allergies. They will be trained under the program that upholds the most stringent regulations to achieve ANSI accreditation. Your customers’ safety must be your top priority, and addressing food allergies with your staff through an accredited training program can help ensure none of these such occurrences happen in your business:
- This teen died from anaphylactic shock after celebrating her birthday with friends
- This young man died from anaphylactic shock from traces of peanuts in a restaurant chocolate mousse dessert after 18 years of never having a severe reaction
- This young woman died from a reaction to shellfish while dining with friends at a local restaurant.
- This father-to-be died from anaphylaxis due to a fish allergy, after never having had a severe reaction before, leaving behind a young widow and daughter.
- This homeless child died after eating a McDonald’s peri peri chicken wrap that his mom bought for him as a treat.
Sadly, there are thousands of similar stories.
It’s never been more important to ensure 100% transparency regarding food allergies on your menu. After just one bad experience, 80% of customers report they would rather take their appetites to one of your competitors.
Having your staff complete AllerTrain, our ANSI-accredited training course, and displaying the certificates beside your food safety certifications, delivers an extra level of confidence for your diners, staff, and especially your food-allergic patrons. Our training on the identification of allergens in foods, ingredients, and menu items gives you the edge and prevents you from delivering an allergen to an unsuspecting diner.
Additionally, learning and practicing safe procedures for handling allergens makes good sense, boosts your staff’s confidence, and keeps people from heading to the ER for dessert. At MenuTrinfo we have a saying: “keep the hospital out of the hospitality”. A food-allergic accident, whether it causes death or just a horrific outcome, can be a brand-ending catastrophe. AllerTrain by MenuTrinfo can give you and your brand the tools you need at a very low per-person cost. Do it before it’s too late.
Finally, these are highly avoidable conflicts. It requires diligent labeling and vigilance to ensure your customers are properly informed, but the results may give you lifelong customers who will tell their family and friends all about their awesome experience at your restaurant.
If you are looking for guidance on food allergy labeling and training at your establishment, contact MenuTrinfo today to find out about our comprehensive training, allergen labeling and nutrition options.