In Ireland and Britain, about 10% of the population suffer from a food allergy or food intolerance, according to Safefood. In Ireland the primary causes of allergic and intolerant reactions to food are peanuts, fish, eggs, tree nuts & seeds, fruits & vegetables, milk, and wheat.
Allergic reactions tend to be immediate, while intolerance reactions can take a number of hours. Some of these reactions can be fatal, so avoidance is the key. The legislation is in effect since December 2014, and here’s a recap on what businesses serving food should be doing as part of their HACCP plan.
10 Things to Do
- Train all staff in terms of general awareness of allergens.
- Train key staff as the go-to experts in your business, who can answer customer questions.
- Keep a record of ingredients and recipes, and update as changes happen. Make sure these are available at point of sale for answering customer queries.
- Ask suppliers to notify you of ingredient changes in their products, if and when they change.
- Check that what’s delivered is what you ordered.
- Store foods containing allergens separately, in lidded containers if possible.
- Alert staff to cross-contamination risks – food to equipment contact, food to hand contact, and food to food contact.
- Train staff to clean utensils and equipment properly
- Provide information on menus and signage where practicable.
- Encourage customers to ask about foods on sale through use of appropriate signage.
For more information, contact our technical team on (01) 498 3048.