Food allergy aware checklist
You can download this checklist and place it on your workplace notice board or laminate for your kitchen.
1 LISTEN to your customers and be 100% truthful
- Ask customers if they have any food allergies.
- Listen carefully and take customer requests about food allergens seriously.
- Give customers the right information about the ingredients of meals when they ask.
- Have specific processes for staff to follow if a customer says they have a food allergy.
- Place the name of known allergens next to menu items, if possible.
- Include a note on your menu asking customers to ALWAYS tell you about their food allergy when they order.
2 KNOW what is in your food
- Only accept foods with a label or foods supplied with ingredient information (Product Information Form).
- Check all ingredients for allergens, even in sauces, spices, garnish, oils, and dressings.
- Food labels and Product Information Forms should be checked every time an order is received as manufacturers may change their ingredients or processes.
- Always use standardised recipes so that the allergen content of menu items is always the same.
- Avoid ingredient substitution or adding extra ingredients when preparing food.
- If you accept a different product or brand from your supplier, check the food label or the Product Information Form to check if the allergen content is different.
- Be familiar with different ingredient names for common food allergens.
- Set up a food allergen matrix for each menu item – this will help staff quickly identify the common food allergens when customers ask for allergen information.
3 PREPARE food safely
- Avoid cross contamination of food allergens – even very small amounts of the food a person is allergic to can cause an allergic reaction.
- Always double check the ingredients with the chef and the customer.
- Handle food safely with clean hands washed with soap and warm water and dried with paper towel (not a tea towel).
- Wash hands regularly and always before preparing food for a customer with food allergy.
- Clean and sanitise work surfaces, utensils and equipment.
- Store food safely in sealed and labelled containers and keep storage areas clean.
- Have a separate area for preparing meals for customers with food allergy - be aware that food that is safe for one customer with a food allergy may be unsafe for another customer with a different food allergy.
- If you can, prepare meals for customers with food allergy first.
- Have a clear way of identifying the meal for the customer with food allergy, such as a coloured flag for plated meals or stickers for wrapped foods.
- Always take the meal to the customer with a food allergy separately, not whilst carrying other meals.
- Check the correct meal is given to the customer who has the food allergy.
4 EDUCATE your staff
- Make sure food safety supervisors are up to date with their food allergen management training.
- Train all staff regularly in food allergen management using the All about Allergens free online training - foodallergytraining.org.au
- Teach staff of their obligation to declare certain allergens.
- Ensure your staff are updated on new laws relating to allergen management.
- Display The Usual Suspects poster in your kitchen – foodallergytraining.org.au/resources
- Conduct a food allergen management audit to see what your service can improve on when it comes to managing food allergens - foodallergytraining.org.au/resources