Allergies: a restaurant’s worst nightmare. The last thing you want to happen at your restaurant is to accidentally serve a guest with a food that has either been contaminated with an allergen, or the ingredient has not been removed by the chefs. To prevent this, here are some ways that a commercial kitchen can prevent the spread of allergens and potentially save a life.
Identify Common Allergens
The first thing you’ll want to do is to go over your menu and identify the foods that contain common allergens. It is crucial that all team members who are present in the kitchen at all times are aware of these allergens so they can pay close attention to them and make sure they aren’t meant to be in any of the foods that they’re not supposed to be in. Some common allergies that you will find in most kitchens are:
- Dairy Products
- Fish (especially shellfish like mussels and clams)
Avoid Cross Contamination
This is in FoodSafe 101. Never use the same surface when preparing different types of food. Not only is it unhealthy and unsanitary, but there is the risk of allergens crossing over into foods if the chefs are not careful. Cleanse and sanitize every workstation, cutting board, utensil, and any other used equipment before using it again for a different dish. This should be done anyways, regardless if the tool has come into contact with a common allergen as it practices safe food handling and drastically reduces, if not eliminates, the chance of harmful bacteria getting into the food.
As mentioned above, it is imperative that every staff member who is present in the kitchen and employed by the restaurant is made aware of these safety concerns. Team meetings, helpful posters around the kitchen, colour-coded items, and many more techniques can be used to ensure a safe workspace and preventing an allergy emergency in the future. Those who work at the front of the house should also be aware of allergens so they are able to inform their guests of foods which may not be suitable for them.
Whatever method you happen to use to keep your restaurant safe, Babak Food Equipment is here to provide you with the tools that you need for a healthy kitchen. All of our products are of the highest quality and, when taken care of properly, will help drive your restaurant to success.